Academic qualifications or technical capabilities are often only the threshold requirements to gain entry to a job role. Beyond this, what makes you a “rockstar” is your emotional intelligence - qualities such as resilience, optimism, ability to change and empathy. Few managers will cite this as the reason for hiring someone, but often “emotionally intelligent” design is the deciding factor. Now, what does this have to do with building websites?
Today, a website or any other digital asset competes on the same measure. Making your website stand out in the clutter of more than 650 million websites worldwide requires emotionally intelligent design.
01. Why emotional intelligence matters in a website design
Digital assets no longer compete just on the user interface, content or technology they deploy, but how well they leverage these to deliver an intuitive and emotionally intelligent user experience. Like the higher up you go in an organization, the more “soft skills” matter, at the user experience level emotional intelligence matters. User interface alone is no great import. What matters, in addition to the obvious design factors such as clean, clutter-free design is the ability to anticipate and pre-empt user interactions from the UI and call-to-action inputs.
02. Importance of intuitive design
Studies of both entrepreneurs and c-level executives have discovered that “right-brain” intuition is at the heart of their decision-making process. While they may provide “left-brain” analyses to convince others of their choices, it is the subconscious analysis that brings them to their decisions.
So, what is it that makes us so intuitively use the websites we like? The answer again lies in “right brain” emotional intelligence. Right-brain websites are humanized. They have emotional intelligence built into the user experience by design. And this emotional intelligence is created through persuasive and thoughtful interaction design built into the website.
03. Emotionally intelligent user experience
Consider the user experience on a home loan business’ website. It can infuse emotional intelligence with a thoughtful call to action button. Instead of using the typical “Apply now” button, the website button can say “I want to apply” as various loan options show up. It is a small touch, but one that personalizes and humanizes the user experience.
Likewise, the user experience of entering a wrong password. Have you ever entered a wrong password and got an alert box telling you that you made an incorrect input? You probably have and also noticed that this alert dialog took one more click to continue. Google avoided the click with a ‘Shake’. A simple ‘Shake’ tells you that you should enter something different. Showing errors without interrupting the user flow is nothing but emotionally intelligent design.
Just as emotional intelligence sets the standard for leadership and performance today, it will define the benchmark for intuitively designed websites as well. Eventually, emotionally mature designs will lead us to “zero click” experiences which are frictionless and invisible. Design will go beyond being useful and usable. It will create a more empathic and compassionate user experience.
So, is emotional intelligence that omnipresent panacea for fixing everything from your job to your weight to your relationships to your career growth and your website? Let your intuition decide.