A usable website makes you feel something

13th May 2012
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Man screams at computer

This article I just found on SearchEngineLand.com goes into great detail about how Emotional Design and SEO can cohabitate, and it explores why websites that elicit emotion are effective but it gets lost in the woods and misses the point.

It’s so simple – it’s all about emotion

A usable website makes you feel great because it works well, it has immediate use and is memorable. I get excited about websites and applications that have an immediate impact on my life. I go back to websites repeatedly to relive the experience. Now this can go the other way too, a website can make you angry or frustrated because it contradicts itself or just doesn’t work.

We can design this experience but it takes focus (don’t design for everyone!) and determination (do it even if you make 80% of the users unhappy but 20% of your core users really really happy). And it takes guts to understand that the web is emotional and what you love might just make someone else frustrated. This is why the web is so enthralling.

These are some websites I love at the moment because they are so usable and relevant to me:

  • Dropbox depends on word of mouth excitement so its website can be sparse and completely focused.
  • Kickstarter shows you all the great projects going on that you can contribute to; worldwide crowd-sourcing!
  • Smashing Magazine gives any web denizen all the tools she needs to rock the web with great design and development.
  • CSS Tricks is such an amazingly designed website I want to live in it! *seriously*. And it’s so useful to me it’s scary. Just found an article on Responsive Image Resizing Techniques I can’t wait to explore further.
  • Vimeo makes me want to create a video, even though I really have no interest in it otherwise. I’m more a fan of pictures and free time audio.

Make usability work for your website or app

What do these website do right, design-wise? Their purpose is clear with great organisation of content, content hierarchy, and great stories. Access your files on multiple computers and have it all sync seamlessly, create a video and upload it for free! Simple benefits, well executed.

What’s useful to you immediately, so useful you want to tell everyone about it? Tell me in the comments.


Nathaniel Flick

I'm a Front End Web Developer passionate about usability. My primary specialties are HTML5, CSS3, SCSS, LESS, and jQuery and I am very familiar with Foundation and Bootstrap frameworks. I've worked on top of and with WordPress, Shopify, Rails, Python, and ASP.net/Umbraco frameworks.

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