“Conversion starts with empathy.”

Customer experience is forged not only by how people think, but also by how they FEEL. Because most purchase decisions are made emotionally rather than rationally, the key to creating delightful and memorable customer experiences is a solid understanding of the emotional journey of your user.

All of the feels

I’ve been mulling over this concept a lot lately, and it brought me to Digital Product Design: Understanding Emotional Design Ownable Moments, a 15 minute online class via Skillshare. (Highly recommended!)

I learned that each user experience has a series of highs and lows on a scale of enjoyment to misery. These moments leave impressions on your users through the creation of emotional responses.

An “ownable moment” is a point in the product experience where one can identify a change or escalation in emotion, either positive or negative.

Let’s use Uber as an example. It’s Saturday night, and you’re partying it up with friends. The night comes to an end, and you realize that you need to get home, but driving at this point is precarious. In fact, you feel downright anxious about the prospect of driving.

You decide to call an Uber. It’s easy accessible as an app on your phone, and the interface is intuitive enough that drunk people can use it. The geo location takes the guess work out of figuring out where you are, and your Uber driver finds you. You feel optimistic that you will arrive home safely.

Your Uber driver arrives, and you get in the car. You find the driver to be friendly, and the cab is clean. He even offers you a bottle of water, which let’s be honest, you need at this point. (Hydration is key!) You feel replenished as you begin your journey home.

However, despite typing in the destination carefully, the Uber driver gets lost. You are annoyed by his confusion.

Finally, you arrive home. Because the app is connected to your credit card, the fare is automatically deducted, and you can skip an awkward fumble for cash. This clarity in the payment process makes you feel at-ease.

You are reassured that you arrived home safely and for a fraction of the cost of a cab.

Uber ride

Are you customers happy pandas or sad pandas?

If you have a digital product, understanding ownable moments is essential to providing intelligent user experience.

Want to map the emotional journey of your users? Here’s how:

1. Identify key touch points in your user experience.

This involves the moment the customer accesses your digital product and ends at point of sale. Remember to be specific and keep asking yourself, “What happens next?” You can always combine events later.

2. Map the moments on a journey line.

What kinds of enjoyment or difficulty do your users encounter? Is the emotion positive, negative, or neutral?

3. Attach an emotion to each experience

With each interaction, are your customers happy, sad, elated, disgusted, confused, or reassured?

This process can be used to understand the purchasing decisions of your customer. If you have confusing or unclear moments in your user experience, that’s OK because it’s an opportunity to make the user experience better. Just don’t ignore them.

Keep in mind, too many neutral moments can be the silent killer of a good brand. The opposite of love isn’t hate. It’s indifference.

And that’s how to tap into your user’s emotions. Take it away, Donald Glover.

Donald Glover emotions