Designing for Emotion – Book Review

Designing for Emotion book

Designing for Emotion bookI just finished reading Designing for Emotion, by Aarron Walter. It’s another fantastic addition to the “A Book Apart” series (brief books for people who make websites). Aarron works as lead user experience designer for MailChimp, so he knows a thing or two about making design more emotionally engaging and building brand loyalty.

The premise of the book is that in addition to websites being functional, reliable, and usable, they should also provide their visitors with a pleasurable experience. Why can’t visiting a website and completing a task online be fun, and not just functional? Like Aarron says:

We need a new yardstick to measure the success of our designs. We can transcend usability to create truly extraordinary experiences.

This book makes the case that when you create “truly extraordinary experiences,” you can expect improved conversion rates, improved sales figures, increased brand loyalty, etc. The book delves into human psychology, and principals of design and branding. It explains how to shape website content with a distinct voice/personality. Theory is backed up by case studies from websites such as Wufoo, Betabrand, Twitter, Photojojo,, Dropbox, (and of course MailChimp), among others.

For anyone involved in creating websites or working in an online or web-related business, I would highly recommend picking up a copy of Designing for Emotion. Aarron is a great writer, and like the other “A Book Apart” books, this is a quick read and is full of full-color images that illustrate the content.

I’m excited to continue pushing “emotional design” concepts with some current and upcoming projects. I’ll post some new work soon, so stay tuned!