Designing for Emotion by Aaron Walter Review

As i told you before, i bought the whole “A Book Apart” book collection, and because these books are so interesting, i decided to make a review of each of them. I started by “Responsive Design” by Ethan Marcotte, but today i want to talk about another exciting book: Designing for Emotion by Aarron Walter.

The “A Book Apart” Quality

First of all, i have to admit that the “A Book Appart” is without any doubt one the best books collection for web developers and web designer. Their books are well written, and cover the most important points on a specific part of our businedd. The book itself is really nice, good paper quality, nice colors, chapters not too long, nice case studies, and as usual it’s fun to read.

About Emotions

For those who didn’t know that, Aaron Walter, the author, has worked on the new Mailchimp visual identity, he has made a lot for Mailchimp, and, as a user of this great emailing service, i really like what he made. I’m talking about “visual identity”, these are the terms i have always used to talk about how a brand manage its whole visual communication. But i was (in part) wrong, this is what i learnt in this book. The author taught me that a brand like Mailchimp has to use a “persona”, a kind of brand personality. In fact, we now have to see a brand as a person. Really ? Yes! We have to to give the brand as many emotions as a person could have. I can’t really tell you more about that points, because if i do you won’t read the book, and to be honest this would be a shame!

Create for Humans

I’ve seen so many companies optimizing their website for Google, seen as God himself… that’s crazy! Do know guys that on the other side of the screen there are real people, like you and me? This is what Aarron Walter explains in a specific chapter. And, yes, that’s something many of us forgot: we have to create for people not for robots. I know that we have to optimize our SEO, and use methods to become Google’s best friend, but come on, the web is targeted towards people! When i was talking with Googlers at the Paris GooglePlex or at the Dublin Headquarter, they were saying the same thing: the algorithms of Google will see if you are optimizing too much your website for robots and not for humans. So if Google itself says that you have to create (content or design) for humans, trust me, you should listen carefully to the advice. Aaron Walter gives more detailed points that will help you do that.

Successful Case Studies

To better understand some points about emotional design, Aaron uses really interesting case studies: Wufoo, Mailchimp, Mint, Dropbox, Flickr, Photojojo and more… And wow ! This part is so useful, that i read it twice ! I learnt in this chapter how great brands became respected brands, because they did the right thing at the right time. They came to emotional design in different ways, slowly or really quickly, in part or entirely, but all of them understood how to give emotions to their users through a web design. This gave me so many ideas to create new WordPress plugins to anticipate my visitors emotions… I still can’t tell you more about this chapter, but honestly read it, you’ll never regret it.

Why Emotions Are Important?

Why Emotions are important… Well, they are because emotions are what makes our internal personal software. Yes inside every person there’s a primitive software. That’s what we call intuitions. And the author is teaching us in this book how to use our users/visitors instinct to leave them a good feeling about our website. When so many services on the web are doing the same thing, how do you do to be THE service people will use? Because our internal personal software will, in a few seconds, determine that your service benefits are better than your service costs…. if this phrase isn’t clear for you, buy the book now!

Final Thoughts: 5 stars

As usual i really recommend this book, to anyone who wants to better understand how to do great stuff for real people. I read it in French, and the translation is really good. I spent a great time reading it, and i know that i’m going to make some changes to the way i’m creating visual design. Now I’ll do emotional design.

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