Aarron Walter – “Designing for Emotion” review

There are books that bring nothing to the table – you’ve heard it all before. On the contrary, there are books that change the way you see the web forever. Aaron Walter’s “Designing for Emotion” is one of them.

Published by A Book Apart in 2011 book hasn’t grown old and probably it never will. Aaron Walter made sure to cover the issue of designing for emotional engagement thoroughly and to base his statements on solid and remarkable examples of great designs. And he knows what he’s talking about – he has been the Director of User Experience in Mailchimp for almost 7 years now, previously having rich experience in creating digital interfaces. He was one of the creators of the user-centered revolution in Mailchimp I wrote about.

What’s inside?

Walter starts his brilliant study with a solid psychological background of how people in general see the web and interact with it. He brings up numerous examples of how great designs influence the users – e.g. Basecamp, Wufoo, Twitter and, of course, MailChimp.

From his own and fellow designers’ experience, the author allows us to understand why digital products need a personality and why is it crucial in the modern market. The diversity of methods that can be applied to build such personality and connection with the audience is astonishing! Key touchpoints such as homepages, forms and error screens can be sprinkled with brilliant copy that changes the way people see them. Failures can be turned into successes and pains can be turned into gains.

Both big brands and small startups successfully apply emotional design techniques to delight and engage their audiences. After all, reliable and usable interface are not enough – companies feel they need to aim higher. For the sake of their customer, ergo, the sake of their business.

We want our work to stand out from the rest. We want people to have such a great experience that they feel the need to talk about it to everyone. We want what we make to be remarkable. – Jared Spool, foreword.

Why is it worth reading?

Aaron Walter is a mine of information about designing engaging interfaces. You can see his knowledge shine through every paragraph of this timeless book. He makes sure you understand his points by referring to clear and inspirational examples. The book is worth reading whether you are a UX designer, a product manager, a marketer or anybody else involved in creating products. You can apply methods learnt from it in any line of work possible. To some extent, we all want our customers to feel good, right?

// Photo source: http://www.abookapart.com/products/designing-for-emotion

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