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Can Web Sites Make You Feel Anything?


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#1 cre8pc

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Posted 05 March 2012 - 04:14 PM

With the neurosciences getting into web site design, I've been following their studies and jump on any article that covers human emotion and design. We react to art, for example, in all kinds of ways. We respond to music. It's been proven we respond to web sites too. Some reactions are frustration, relaxing, persuasion, comfort...

Different types of web sites make us feel something, including humor (some fashion sites are hysterical because they usually make no sense). Smart healthcare web designers purposely choose lighter colors, while the entertainment industry leans towards bold and sleek. Some of us like visuals, some don't. It depends on the way it's delivered.

Are there sites that you've been to that you realized made you feel an emotion? Were you compelled to take an action because of that feeling?

Please share if you'd like. Think about the layout, colors, images, content and the overall presentation. Did you take any action? Did you feel welcomed? Repulsed?

#2 MaryKrysia

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Posted 05 March 2012 - 04:55 PM

Web sites for causes I feel strongly about can inspire me to take action. Web sites about Art can stir my soul. Some of these Web sites are very creative and might not pass usability testing but there are times when usability is not the most important consideration.

A few of my favorites:

http://remembersegregation.org/
http://www.myawardsh...s/adobe_museum/
http://www.jamieoliv.../school-dinners
http://explorer.muralarts.org/

#3 EGOL

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Posted 05 March 2012 - 08:00 PM

I agree.... websites for causes that I feel strongly about are good ones.
http://www.donorschoose.org/

#4 jonbey

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Posted 05 March 2012 - 08:20 PM

Apparently some can make you feel aroused.

:poster_oops:

#5 SEOigloo

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Posted 06 March 2012 - 12:12 AM

MaryKrysia,
Thank you for sharing remembersegregation.org. That was incredibly powerful. I've never seen it before. The designer who thought that splash page up is brilliant. It made me feel totally disturbed...precisely as it was supposed to.

Imagine that...imagine if we were dealing with one Internet for white people and one for black people. Gosh, what an absolutely terrible idea!

So, Kim, check out MaryKrysia's link. There is a website almost guaranteed to elicit emotion due to its strong content.

#6 DCrx

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Posted 07 March 2012 - 04:25 PM


Edited by DCrx, 07 March 2012 - 04:26 PM.


#7 glyn

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Posted 08 March 2012 - 09:31 AM

Thing is, that's my GA experience.

#8 DCrx

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Posted 08 March 2012 - 05:39 PM

Thing is, that's my GA experience.


Bet you felt an emotion about it. So ...there you go. UX Design: Success.

The bill will be in the mail.

Edited by DCrx, 08 March 2012 - 05:40 PM.


#9 iamlost

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Posted 08 March 2012 - 09:04 PM

Bet you felt an emotion about it. So ...there you go. UX Design: Success.

The bill will be in the mail.

Given glyn's reply I'd phrase that more along the lines of:

Oops, you felt an negative emotion about it. So ...there you go. UX Design: Fail.
The recompensive cheque will be in the mail.


#10 DCrx

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Posted 09 March 2012 - 03:24 AM

Oops, you felt an negative emotion about it. So ...there you go. UX Design: Fail.
The recompensive cheque will be in the mail.


Tell me where anybody who ever talked about this topic ever said it had to be a positive emotion. Or even any specific emotion shared by most users. Ever notice, nobody mentions a specific emotion targeted, then a test to insure X% of user experience the target emotion? Nobody talks about a technique. Nobody has a method.

Emotion just happens in the vicinity of the design. And the designer takes credit for it. Because if you didn't notice, that's how this game is played.

Humans have emotions. All the time. They might not bubble to the surface every instant, but emotions are there. A human will feel some emotion, no matter where they are -- on site or off. Any site. Any emotion.

Question being, does the designer deserve credit? Well, possibly. If a specific emotion is named, targeted, and then tested to insure some significant percentage of users experience the target emotion. Otherwise, the designer is taking credit for random events they had no hand in producing.

Or an active hand in producing undesired emotions of one kind or another.

Today, negative emotions are like the Back button -- the most prevalent user choice in most designs. This is fine, because the game is to take credit for an emotion (any emotion will do) and then get the bill out as soon as possible. The absolute best an established, tested, wide spread design methodology can offer is the reduction of negative emotions.

Now, that is not to say some website can't seem to consistently produce one positive emotion over others. But that is largely due to content. And, very often, designers have nothing to do with content. They consider content not their job. And so, they do not get to claim credit when the content does the heavy lifting.

Edited by DCrx, 09 March 2012 - 04:02 AM.


#11 glyn

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Posted 09 March 2012 - 05:32 AM

A positive emotion cannot begin with Recaptcher.

#12 DCrx

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Posted 11 March 2012 - 10:54 AM

A positive emotion cannot begin with Recaptcher.



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...and already I'm feeling the dominant emotion web design most consistently fosters -- boredom.

Edited by DCrx, 11 March 2012 - 10:58 AM.


#13 iamlost

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Posted 11 March 2012 - 12:48 PM

...and already I'm feeling the dominant emotion web design most consistently fosters -- boredom.

What I call the blahs. And, sadly, you are correct: boring is endemic. Running a close second is confusion, either as you can't get there from here or it's somewhere in this data dump of a page.

#14 SeoKungFu

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Posted 27 June 2012 - 05:56 PM

Boredom has a term in GA - bounce rate. No conversion.

Positive emotions pays. Off.



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