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Experience Design

The Fundamentals of Emotional Experience Design

Making an experience engaging is the key to everything we do as digital designers and builders. As digital platforms multiply and bandwidth speed grows, the ability for digital designers to draw in users and keep both their attention in the moment, and have them retain the information in memory long after the initial experience ends, is to design beyond just text and images, and engage a wider sensory set.

As I mentioned previously in my post about Picture Superiority, images stick in the mind much more strongly than text. In a multimedia experience like a portal or mobile app, designers must go beyond images, and work into richer territory such as animation, video, audio, and whenever possible, the clever use of gestures in navigation. Engaging experiences go well beyond just the visual, they are aural and tactile experiences as well.

First impressions matter. Human beings react to new experiences viscerally, and they decide within microseconds if they want to stay or leave. So we have to make the most of the first 5 seconds with eye-catching visuals and intuitive design.

Physically immersion draws people into your experience. The market has caught up with touchscreen devices, and so gestures will be expected to be part of all implementation in the future – even if only on the extended platforms and browsers that allow more interesting animations and motion graphics.

The point of all this is to leave a lasting impression. And just like the notion that images are retained in the brain as both a visual and keyword-based (text) memory, robust experiences stay with the user for much longer than the mundane.

For more on Emotional Experience Design, please follow Ron Rogowski (@ronrogowski) of Forrester Research, has a number of reports and presentations on the subject, that will go into much greater detail.

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