[Posted by Ron Rogowski]
In a world where users approach the Web with ever increasing expectations, a firm's Web site has become critical for building a company’s relationship with its customers. Today, the Web site is often the first, and sometimes only, place customers interact with a company. Unfortunately, many sties offer lackluster experiences that leave an emotional void.
So how can companies create more engaging connections with their customers? That’s the subject of my new report called “Emotional Experience Design.”
We’ve defined Emotional Experience Design as:
Creating interactions that engage users by catering to their emotional needs.
While we feel that the definition is important, what’s most important is that companies consider the three principles of Emotional Experience Design (EED) we outlined in the report.
1. Address customers' real goals. Today's most effective sites help users achieve specific goals related to their visit. But customers' needs go well beyond a single visit to a Web site. To make meaningful connections with customers, firms must uncover what customers really need and help them accomplish these higher-level goals, which often span time and channels.
2. Develop a coherent personality. Companies that want customers to feel "connected" to their sites need to project a consistent persona throughout all experiences. Plastering a site with defined colors and tag lines may be "on brand," but it's not good enough. Firms must let down their defenses and create a human-like personality that customers can depend on.
3. Engage a mix of senses. Reading content and clicking hyperlinks was once revolutionary. But the Web has evolved beyond the printed-page metaphor. If firms want to keep users interested, they need to enrich the sensory experience. While Web experiences don't allow users to taste or smell objects, they can and absolutely should engage users' senses of sight, hearing, and even touch.
To get more detail on the importance of EED today, the principles, and how to get started incorporating them into your site’s design, please access the full report at Forrester’s site.
As always, we welcome your feedback and comments on this report as we continue to develop this idea with additional research to follow in the coming months.