May 20

Optimizing Emotional Engagement In Web Design Through Metrics

Think about what keeps you coming back to your favorite store, your favorite person or even your favorite website. It’s not just a mindless buy-go, hug-go or click-go relationship. It is a complicated, emotional connection. It is what makes relationships with people and brands intoxicating. User engagement must have an equally complex emotional connection. It must affect the user in mind, body and spirit. Anything less is a 1990s brochure website.

You can create strong storytelling strategies based on user personalities and segmentation. However, it seems almost impossible to measure those efforts, let alone know how to optimize them, without access to a neuroscience laboratory. In fact, emotional engagement can be optimized, and quite effectively, using something already at your disposal: performance metrics.

Emotional-Behavioral Response Relationship

Let’s start with the basics: an emotion is a psychophysiological response in your body to a stimulus. It’s an internal process that in turn triggers an external behavioral response. Behavioral responses help you decipher the emotional responses of others. Things like facial expressions and body language give you clues to whether the chef wielding the knife is angry and going to attack you or happy and going to make you dinner.

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Apr 28

10 Web Design Rules That You Can Break

As web design and design in general have evolved, rules have been established to ensure consistent and usable designs.

Some of these rules were created simply because website creators abused certain principles without regard for their users. But these rules are not enforced by anyone and should be broken when necessary, especially when breaking them would lead to a stunning design. In this article, we present 10 rules that you can break if it suits your design needs.

Rule #1: Do Not Display the Horizontal Scroll Bar

A significant number of mice don’t have a horizontal mouse wheel. This makes it awkward to scroll left or right when a web page’s content extends past the sides of the browser. It can be annoying to have to bring the mouse cursor down to the bottom of the window and drag the scroll bar over just to see a word or two that lies beyond the viewable area of the page. That said, here are some well-designed sites that put the scroll bar to work in effective ways. Continue reading

Apr 08

Tips for Choosing a Typeface

Let’s pull it all together with some pragmatic ways to get your typeface choice made. You might want to try these tips, which many designers use to their advantage in one way or another. Be the beneficiary of their wisdom and experience.

1. Plan Your Hierarchy

First, make sure you have a good grasp of the content and typographic hierarchy your design job will dictate. You may realize, after a thorough analysis, you need five fonts (not typefaces) to cover your various heading, sub-headings and call-outs. Can your typeface provide enough variation with bolds, italics and small caps? Or do you need two typefaces to create more distinction in the hierarchy? Three? Use a mind-mapping tool or make a traditional outline to see as much as you can before you start choosing typefaces. Consider this example of a bad and a good hierarchy using the same text. Notice the role white space plays in the hierarchy, too. Use as many levels as you need as long as there is distinction and clear purpose in your choices.

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