To create an impactful and engaging experience is simpler than you’d think.

Image for post
Image for post

You’ll need an understanding of how to create emotions in others. Using frameworks that can paint a picture of the audience’s needs.

A project can often chase a purely functional solution. This happens when lacking the knowledge of how to create emotive designs. The focus on business goals can cause stakeholders to control the narrative of the design. A focus on emotion creates a shared language between stakeholder and product audience. Creating experiences that are intuitive to stakeholders understand and engaging for the audience.

With three frameworks, I’ll explain how to establish emotion as a foundation:

The brief

The Design Team is called together. As they shuffle around the table greeting each other, the Creative Director walks in. …

My Dad was always a Mr. Miyagi character in my life. A short, calm and wise man.

I’m giving my Dad a piggy-back
I’m giving my Dad a piggy-back

For over 30 years he persevered through kidney failure. Never allowing it to change him from being a kind man. I think his study of martial arts and it’s philosophy helped cement who he was. How he saw adversity, as an opportunity for him to overcome.

He looked for whatever small joys he could find in life. Always up for silliness and quick to smile.

He wasn’t able to do many of the things a (hyper)active son would’ve wanted to do with their father. For what we lost in physicality, we gained in conversation. We would spend hours talking about philosophy, creativity, education, everything. I grew-up fortunate, having someone who could guide me through the start of my creative career. …

People don’t buy a product, they buy the emotions that the product gives them.

Image for post
Image for post

I’ve seen many user research sessions only pay attention to how/if a product functions. The participants entire emotional experience is overlooked. Often with a room of observers writing the exact same notes for each finding, such as: “The user became stuck here”. User research can illuminate what people are wanting from a product. It can be more than ‘how successfully a product functions’.

The ability to relax, but not influence a participant, is a difficult skill to master. It allows a rare glimpse into the customers sincere experience.
I want to give research teams a way to access the true emotions people are experiencing and looking for. …

If we enjoy something, we do it more.
If we don’t, we stop doing it.

Emotive Design is a framework used to understand and design for emotions. Understanding emotions allows us to create appropriate and engaging experiences, people will love.

Man with many faces. Expressing all the emotions.
Man with many faces. Expressing all the emotions.

How Do You Create Engaging Experiences?

You are doing amazing work. What you do should fill you with pride. Assured that you are creating a service that gives people confidence. Work that you’re proud to tell others about and look back on.

At times, traditional business pressures make that difficult. The focus on ‘speed of output’ over ‘quality of experience’ for one. Knowing if we focussed on the experience of the user, we could create something that will benefit their life.

When we measure success as ‘speed of output’, what we create becomes functional. …


James Castro-Griffiths

Digital Product Designer, UK.

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store