Creating Relationships by Designing for Emotion

Hey Lovely Viewers,

This is the first time we cracked open our text book, Designing for Emotion by Jared Spool. The material Spool included in the first chapter felt like review, mainly because we have been living in the events described in the chapter. The chapter was an enjoyable read, so if the other chapters are similar in content then it should be an entertaining read.

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I agree with a majority of what Spool stated in the chapter. The Internet no longer is just strictly business and professional, it now has cat videos and song parodies. The internet has become a tool for people to express themselves personally – where someone may have difficulties expressing themselves in public, they have the opportunity to online or start their own business (Kickstarter, I’m looking at you), sell their products, etc.

The main point is big companies are not the main factor producing online content. This leads us to Spool’s observation of people who are moving away from the robotic interactions between companies and their customers and creating relationships/friendships. The authentic interaction between human beings that has been lacking  in the business world, he moves this observation to social media and how big companies are creating personalities for their companies to match the growing personal audience, which then leads to relationships with customers. Though companies need to be extremely cautious when creating personality, it can backfire on the company.

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By creating personality for their customer care, they are providing the wanted ‘authentic’ interaction people need and want (Maslow). There is a large amount of people who want big companies to treat them as friends, and so there are companies who do treat their customers as friends instead of customers.

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I was recently in an Apple Store and hope I do not have to go in any time soon simply because I felt like a sardine in a can. However, since we were tightly packed (vacuum sealed), I noticed the Apple Geniuses (AG) always used first names with the customers. Every chance the AGs had they used the first names of the people they were addressing. I realized this subtly creates a small relationship between the AG and the customer bringing Apple into a more human, authentic appeal.

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This leads me to my disagreement with Spool; he states that all companies should be designing in a similar way: creating positive relationships by creating a personality, and caring for customers like friends. However, there are moments where I do not need a friend to do my taxes or a friend to put my groceries in plastic/paper bags. Yes, I want employees and companies to treat me with politeness and respect because if they do I will respond in kindness.

He also states friendship-like relationships should be applied to websites as well. If a website is aesthetically pleasing, I will stop for a couple seconds and admire the work and graphics, but ultimately if the website is not easy to navigate or does not do it’s job, I will look elsewhere.

This was a lot longer than I anticipated (I tried to break it up with gifs), I apologize for the word dump.

Have a great SPRING BREAK!

leslie1

Sincerely, Lauren

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