• 30/08/2022
  • 10

Designing for emotions and mindsets

In design, it is imperative to get an understanding of who you are designing for, the users,- this means – what are their cultural, emotional, and psychological needs. A UX researcher is usually confronted by these challenges of emotions of the users. As part of the strategic design strategy concept of a multidisciplinary product team – designers often reach out to HR teams and conduct pilot research studies on their potential customers along with more indepth research.

This gives designers an insight into understanding the full range of emotions that a user deal with daily, points crucial for designers to build successful user experiences. This makes designing for emotions crucial – it helps tackle mindsets, design for mindsets in hindsight, and build the right experiences for the right people.

Read more: How to get your children ready for design studies?

What is the power of mindsets?
The great challenge for designers is working on designing for different mindsets, it involves the dynamic nature of the user’s emotional state. From a psychological viewpoint, a user’s emotional state is constantly in flux. By choosing emotion as an essential component in the design, design teams can incorporate the changeable nature of human emotions into the design process. Since no human is in the same emotional state all the time, they constantly shift from one emotional state of mind to another; understanding mindsets help designers capture emotions and their shifts more powerfully.

Mindsets essentially capture the change in our emotions and reflect our personas. This involves our needs, goals, behavior patterns, and much more, which are data points for designers to work with. Let’s take an example of a product team presenting three different persona representing their users. Now, each persona experiences their time pressures and emotional state when they interact with the product. The product team now is able to add a layer of three different mindsets for each persona, a powerful tool for building unique user experiences. This is an important layer of emotional understanding to the team’s existing research artifacts.

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Using emotions and mindsets as an Empathy tool: To understand your users’ full range of emotions, building empathy tools based on mindsets is ideal. It will help you as a designer to visually represent a range of emotions experienced by the user when interacting with a product. This artifact comes in handy for designing and researching activities and building maps for your user’s emotional state while interacting with the product during test runs.

How does this really help?
Well, imagine an employee is over-stressed at work due to a personal situation, this person will not like to be rushed now, and a user experience should take into account a user’s cognition and how the user may require a different experience from the product. Incorporating mindset and emotions into design development empowers emotion-driven design into your overall product design and development.

Read more: How skilled experienced designers are the backbone of start-ups?

How emotions and mindsets are used?
– Emotions and mindsets for Generative Research
The variety of our emotions, cultural impact on our mindsets are versatile enough to incorporate into design and research activities. Generative research is when one seeks solutions and innovations. When you combine generative research based on emotions and mindset, you seek to find future-based timeless solutions that are also humanity centric rather than simply solving the issue at hand. This helps to reach the bottom of the iceberg rather than just the tip of it. Understand your action – what a user will do in a particular emotional state, how their emotions are guided, what is guiding these emotions, and what the touchpoints are.

– Emotions and mindsets for design ideation
When you have already done your research in understanding the various emotional states of mind leading to the formation of mindsets, the next step is to begin design ideation. Here you prioritize what emotional state(s) take precedence over others, and which mindsets you will design for first. This is further followed by building a flow that the user frequently encounters and sketching out a design idea. Finding the first step will lead you to many crucial points to include in your creative thinking process.

Read more: How to get your children ready for design studies?

– Emotions and mindsets for prototype testing and validation          
Mindsets and emotions lead you to design through a different lens. When you are crafting a prototype test, you can design a test of various emotions that the user may be experiencing. As a designer, what you are looking for here is to test a mindset with a given task at hand for the user and is this giving you the result you are seeking.

Why is it important we design for emotions?

Emotion-driven designs are one step in enabling our users to bring their full selves to interact with the product – this makes their engagement fulfilling and worthwhile – building loyalty.

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In our world, today, emotions are inseparable from its being and a necessary part of cognition. Their design is how to empower these mindsets and emotions by gaining a deep understanding of them and designing products with emotions that have longevity and also consider the environment.




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