Emotion in Product Design
We humans experience a wide range of emotions in our day-to-day routine. These emotions arise naturally when we encounter certain situations in our daily life such as happiness when it rains all of a sudden on a sunny afternoon or sadness when a close friend of yours moves out of town. In a similar way, we encounter a wide range of emotions when we interact with digital products like mobile apps or on the websites that we browse or on the software and tools that we use day in day out.
The emotions that these digital products elicit are crucial not only to the users but also to the product owners who build them so that they don't lose a valuable customer. While most of the emotions that arise while interacting with digital products are unintended, I still believe there are some brilliant minds who carefully plan and design their products in such a way that their products elicit a certain desired emotion in their users.
Navarasa in Product Design
Netflix released an anthology series recently which featured nine stand-alone episodes that portrayed nine different emotions based on the concept of Navarasa (Nine emotions).
This made me write this article where I share 9 different products and their features which left me with 9 different emotions. This is completely from my point of view and I suppose you have your set of products and features.
Please share your recent interaction with any digital product and let me know in the comments what kind of emotion that it left you with and how you feel about it.
#1 Laugh — Snapchat Filters
Looking at yourself with these funny filters on will definitely give a burst of laughter. A definite stress buster if you are in a bad mood. Filters are definitely funny, I actually installed Snapchat just to try out the filters on it but have never posted something on it.
#2 Wonder — Illustrations made in Figma
Never thought someone could do such things on Figma. Getting awestruck when seeing such detailed illustrations that are done purely on Figma.
#3 Peace-Explore in Instagram
When I get exhausted at the end of the day spending 5 to 10 min scrolling the explore feed on Instagram where it captures and shows across the globe moments give a sense of peace in my mind.
Pece is a kind of feeling more than an emotion. While many products give you this sense of feel it widely varies from one person to another.
#4 Anger — Search results in Amazon prime
I wouldn’t say this emotion as anger instead I would call it frustration which is an emotional level before you actually get angry. Have come across such situations in many digital interactions recently that too in well-recognized products.
The search function in Amazon prime as you see in the first image when you type for a title the suggested results show my expected movie title but when I click and move to the results it shows a completely different set of movies leaving me frustrated. sometimes it also leaves me disappointed but it kind of gets frustrated when I get to see this many at times.
#5 Fear-Results on Anna University Portal
If you are someone who has studied in Tamilnadu, India you would obviously recognize what the portal does. For others, this is the portal of the biggest universities in Tamil Nadu, India. The portal is used to check the exam results at the end of each semester.
I bet at least once in your college days you would have felt the fear while you wait for your results to load. It’s not like any other system that loads something, for someone to load their results it takes ages to show your results. It's the delayed waiting time because of the inefficiency of the system that accentuates the little bit innate fear that you have to a much larger one.
Nothing ever comes to my mind where I felt brave and courageous other than while playing PUBG. It’s sure the gaming experience that gives you this emotion, but there are minor small experiences that elicit different emotions.
One particular experience I wanna mention is the recent addition to the after winning journey. In the second image as you see if you end up as a winner, you are allowed to place a victory statue and go in front of it to celebrate and create a screenshot. This gives you a sense of achievement for the efforts that you have put in has been recognized.
#7 Compassion — Reviewing on Google Maps
Writing a review on google made me feel compassionate about others who might potentially visit the same place. There are not many materialistic benefits out of it but it does make me feel concerned that no other person should receive the same bad experience that I had with a place.
#8 & 9 Disgust & Romance
Haven’t experienced a disgusting feeling using any digital product. I have had annoying experiences but that is a completely different emotion that comes under the category of anger.
Romance — LOL! Haven’t experienced such emotions using any digital products. Could a digital product feel romantic? If you have ever come across something please let me know in the comments below.
The above-mentioned products that had given me their mentioned emotional state are from my personal experiences. You might not feel the same way that I do but every product at some point does trigger us in a certain emotional manner which could be either negative or positive.
We as designers should try and build a product that helps to elicit positive emotions for the users using them. Will be exploring and sharing how to achieve them in my future posts.
Thanks for reading, Bye.