Think of a product you love and that you have recommended to your friends?! Often, these products are not one of a kind in their market. Nowadays, nearly every product can be copied within no time. Just think of all the cheap Louis Vuitton handbags sold on the streets of Bangkok. The same applies to digital products. You can be sure there are competitors which offer almost identical or even the same functionalities. So, what makes the difference? How do you set yourself apart?
Rather than what the product does, it is important how the product makes you feel. Apple realized that when they introduced the colourful iMac computer and sales started booming. Even though those fancy cabinets contained the same hardware and software as Apple’s other models, such a small change, giving the user the possibility to choose their favourite colour for their PC filled them with total joy.
Another example is MailChimp, which proves that it can be the smallest details that sets you apart. Our beloved business development intern was raved about the delightful experience, sending out a campaign with them. His enthusiasm was caused by the animation users see when sending out a campaign: a monkey pushing a button and giving you a high five once the campaign is out! MailChimp uses a friendly and funny tone of voice, like an actual person cheering for you “We’ve got your back - great job!” instead of a faceless bot confirming that you launched your campaign. These delightful elements are what make users feel good and what makes them recommend the product to their friends.
It is common knowledge in the business world that innovation is the key to success. This is leading to companies feeling pressured to ship new features fast and develop product after product investing tons of money in innovation. They neglect to design delightful elements until the very end (which often means never) and this is one of the reasons why so many new products fail. We don’t need a constant stream of new products, we need companies thinking about how their product makes their users feel. Emotional design has the power to turn users into fans, spreading the word about products they love. During the development process, product teams are often simply not aware or underestimate the business value of emotional design. In fact, emotional design not only helps increasing conversion and sales, it even has the power to make users overlook the imperfections of a product.
But don’t get us wrong and make the mistake of assuming emotional design alone will make a product great. The product must provide value to its users first and solve an actual problem. Make sure the messaging is crystal clear! Only combined these elements can lead to products which spread happiness among their users.