Emotional Design is a concept where the design of the website is meant to evoke an emotional connection with the website's viewer. In 2020, and especially now during the COVID-19 pandemic, if you’re not making an emotional connection with your website viewers, you’ve lost them. So what does emotional design look like? I found what I think is the best example on the Internet.
Let the roads sleep. Because when they wake, we’ll have a lot of catching up to do.
Mazda has responded to the pandemic crisis by telling its customers that it’s okay if they sleep (meaning don’t buy new Mazda cars right now), because when things get back to normal the connection they have with Mazda will still be there. They’ve placed this message front and centre on their website to reassure their viewers that Mazda will be here for them. They have connected with their viewers and have built trust by reassuring them that things will get back to normal. The picture they chose to use as a background shows an empty road but there are still signs of life - the city lights. This is also meant to provide a sense of hope to their users.
This is emotional design and it works. It is the most reliable way to gain business because it is human. If you take home anything from this blog post, I want it to be a desire to make your websites appeal to your users in an emotional way.
If you're worried that emotional design is too soft an approach to selling your products or services, don't be. Emotional design is what gets your clients and customers connected to you and your business so that they will naturally want to take action. That's why it is important that you place a Call To Action button (Call Now, Book Now, Learn More) right where your website viewer is likely to become emotionally invested - usually near the top of your landing page (home page). Mazda placed a Call To Action right in the centre of their emotional design element - Learn More. They connected with their viewers and then offered them a way that they could purchase from Mazda when the pandemic crisis was under control. That's not soft, it's smart.