Communicating to both the rational and emotional parts of the brain


Just two snippets from an article by Mona Patel ( Influencing the customer experience through the internet) over at

Mona argues the case for the emotional part of the brain and the importance for communication on the web to stop ignoring this large lump of thinking and decision making hardware and start designing solutions that are not exclusively rational and needs new ways to be measured in order to prove effect

Snippet 1:
“In the past, building a successful interface was based on understanding users’ needs, designing for ease of use and validating through usability testing
. Traditional usability testing, however, deals almost exclusively with the rational, behavioral aspects of the customer experience, such as whether people can buy a product online, access information easily or learn to navigate the site.

To attract and engage customers, online usability must now address the much broader concept of user experience, one that encompasses people making decisions and taking actions on variables that they are not consciously aware of

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. This includes how people are feeling; how they are reacting emotionally and how we grab their attention.”

Snippet 2:
“In an example of this, a well-known global pharmaceutical firm with a dedicated website for people seeking information about the health benefits of taking their medication recently hired a team of dedicated experts to increase conversion rates for its online health survey, site referrals and repeat visits

The problem identified with the survey was that there was no motivation for people to actually start it. What’s more, for those who did complete it, there was no positive feedback telling them how well they were doing managing their medication
. People were also confused about what the survey questions were getting at and how they would benefit by answering them. The survey’s actual design also presented difficulties for people.”

– Mona Patel, Human Factors International ,
Influencing the customer experience through the internet

Via. Putting People First
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