When I decided to teach myself HTML in 1995, I did what many others did back then. We studied source code by copying and dismantling what someone else did. In those days, there was only one background color – gray. Creativity felt limited, but that didn’t last long.

Today, there’s no end to what web designers can do. If you can imagine it, someone is inventing a way to do it. The pace is fast. We call it things like Web 1.0, 2.0 and 3.0. What excites me is that the quiet pioneers in emotional design (captology) are more visible these days. I’ve long felt we can do more than static, one dimensional web pages. Internet users rely on the ‘Net for so much that usage is an extension of our selves. Many people need the ‘Net and demand it to enrich their lives.

More and more people approach web sites expecting to feel something from the experience. This is where we’re going. This is what’s next with software application design and web page presentations.

Social media plays a part in our expectations and our interest in experiences that touch us. Video games, online video sharing and virtual Internet worlds also opened our eyes not only to what we can do to satisfy ourselves, but made us want more. Whether you noticed it or not, what you feel while using a web site matters. How you respond to it matters. You can vote. You can comment. You can recommend. You may find yourself loyal to certain web sites because of how you feel when you’re interacting with them. They may make you feel content. Happy. Safe. Included.

I think Flash is going to find itself in more and more web sites, and developers who teach themselves how to make Flash pages and scripts accessible will be setting the stage for greater adaptation of web site usage by a wider range of people. Personalization is going to become specialized and eventually, individualized based on, again, how we feel about our experience.

As content producers, some companies will want to cause experiences. They’ll learn to create reaction.

Influencing the customer experience through the internet by Mona Patel, executive director at Human Factors International, discusses emotion and trust, and how these influence our decisions and choices on the Web. She writes,

Whatever a site’s conversion goal, it is now more about people than product or services.

How do you design to reach out and touch someone? How do you test to see if you have done so? What types of web sites may want to explore emotional connections and trigger reactions that convert?

Health care sites, beauty (hair, skin, weight), dating, clothing, jewelry, non-profit charity organizations…are just a few. I like to take the ideas and apply them to harder situations, such as furniture sites, educational institutions or food. Anything we search for in a search engine can be found. But getting us to choose, commit, try, buy, recommend, or get in the car and drive to the store takes more than playing with color contrasts, table-less CSS and long shopping cart processes.

Do you make purchase decisions based on a certain “something” that’s kind of undefined but you know it when you feel it?

That’s what fascinates me. Designers and developers are learning how to inspire us.

Here’s another article that may inspire you…

Monday Inspiration: User Experience Of The Future

Below we present some of the outstanding recent developments in the field of user experience design. Most techniques may seem very futuristic, but they are reality. And in fact, they are extremely impressive. Keep in mind: they can become ubiquitous over the next years.

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Kim Krause Berg’s long background in web design, SEO and usability includes software application functional and user interface testing, accessibility, information architecture and persuasive design. She shared her passion for Usability and SEO through her site and private consulting at Cre8pc for 17 years. Kim founded Cre8asiteforums in 1998. In the fall of 2012 she sold her forums to Internet Marketing Ninjas and retired from private consulting to join their Executive Management team where she continues her work in usability testing, customer experience and conversions design.

My Online Course: Web Site Usability 101


American Society for Information Science and Technology (ASIS&T)

Information Architecture Institute

Usability Professionals Association (UPA)