Secret ingredient: Joy

SXSW DonNorman
A nice quote from Paul Annet's enlightening talk at SXSW: "Oooh, That's Clever!"

At SXSW (South by Southwest for those normal folks in the audience) Paul Annet gave a wonderful presentation on delight. His focus was on web design. But his point applies to virtually every area of product –and even service — design.

Our job as marketers is generally to convey information and motivate action. But a truly important part of what we do — and the part that makes so much of the rest work — is to create delight, excitement and joy for our audience.

Near the end of his talk, Annet focuses on two factors: execution (lousy to great) and satisfaction (upset to delighted). Every marketer wants customers who are at least satisfied, and preferable thrilled, ecstatic, delighted and entertained by their product. That’s what gets people’s attention and that’s what gets them to come back to your website, your product, your hotel, your brand.

What we designers strive for — and what Apple, Starbucks, Chipotle, the Hotel Modera in Portland, the Parker Meridien in New York, Nespresso, Virgin America, and so many other great companies already make sure they do, too — is to create moments of joy. Unexpected tiny discoveries of sheer coolness and fun that engage our audiences and keep them, yes, delighted.

Want to stand out in a sea of blandness? Find a new way to delight your customers.

Watch the slide show and hear the presentation of Oooh, That’s Clever! (Unnatural Experiments in Web Design)


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