UX Psychology

How to Design Interfaces That Evoke Positive Emotions


Design that evoke positive emotion is created by the use of design elements that evoke positive emotions in users mind. This effective method is useful while creating more engaging and memorable experiences.

When we design interfaces with positive emotions in mind, we’re not just trying to make users happy. We’re also trying to create interfaces that are more accessible, legible, and easy to use.

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Positive emotions can make user feel good about the experience while using the product and indeed make user spend more time on the product, increasing the engagement.

The Science of Emotional Design

Well there are two types of emotions

first there is Positive emotion, and then there is Negative emotion

Positive emotion evoke seance of curiosity and it is mostly associated with progress and growth.

Negative Emotions are associated with bad experiences or bad products.

while our brain rationally make the choices and judge things but emotions are the key element of how we analyze the reality.

Experiences associated with positive experiences tend to stay in your mind for longer period of time, also human tend to recommend the product with which they are emotionally closed!

Human brain tend to associate our feeling with the experiences that we encounter, positive feelings create pleasant experiences.

The emotional design of product has a great influence over its success or its failure.

Here are three levels of cognitive responses that are impotent to consider while you design –

  1. Visceral – The reaction of user upon the first impression of the user interface design, the good the Design the better the experience.
  2. Behavioral – While using the product user form the opinion about the the product. How the design help them achieve their goals.
  3. Reflective – When user use your design, users will consciously judge its performance and benefits, including value for money. If they’re satisfied, they’ll keep using it, form emotional connection with it and recommend it to others too.

How to Design for Positive Emotions

If you want to give a good Positive emotion design to your user make sure that you give proper functionality via your design first, if your design is not function at first place there is not use of emotional triggers.

  • Understand your audience. Understanding your audience comes down to understanding audience behavior, requirements and pain points. What emotions do you want them to feel when they use your interface?
  • Use visual elements wisely. Your Color, typography, and imagery choices can all play a role in evoking emotions. For example, bright colors can create a sense of excitement, on the other hand soft colors are calm in nature.
  • Personalized on-boarding experience – User is constantly observing how your app is making its experience hassle free and smooth and one of the most important part of this is user on-boarding, its a great opportunity for designers to have a great first impression!
  • Transparent feedback. When a user takes an action, app should provide an clear feedback. This transparent nature helps to create a sense of control and satisfaction also improve the trust.
  • Great storytelling. Good stories have lasting impact on people, don’t just create product create stories that will create everlasting connection with your users!

Examples of Emotional Design

Apple – Apple uses peoples emotions to stay relevant. when you buy Apple product you are not buying for its features you are buying for its brand image that you have in your mind, when you design brand make sure your brand seems attractive and considered as status symbol.

Nike – Nike also uses storytelling in their promotional campaigns which primarily evoke sense of victory, pride and heroic in sports.

5 Key elements of Emotional Design

Color – Different color represent different set of mood, for example; Blue evoke sense of Reliability, While represent sense of calmness, Green represent Natural and fresh. Orange represent Optimism and Enthusiasm.

Empathy – Showing empathy towards your user is a great way to letting your user know that they are the first priority. Making them comfortable through effective cues and affordance.

Self awareness – Its your ability to understand your own thought process including the emotions.

Sound – Sound is as important part of a interface as visuals, we get sound resonances from the nature that we interact with and the same thing the user is expecting in an interface so as a designer while designing micro interaction make sure you add sound feedback too.

Other Tips for Designing for Positive Emotions

Here are a few other tips for designing interfaces that evoke positive emotions:

  • Use humor. Humor can light up he mood and decreasing stress this can be used to give user good time that stays in users mind for long period of time. However avoid using humor in serious scenarios as it may affect trustworthiness of your product. Use humor with pinch of salt just to make your product fun to use!
  • Use social features. Social features such as daily challenges, points, and leader-board will allow users to compete user with others, and provide them with free rewords this way user will feel favored.
  • Show user about their progress. User will feel motivated if he see the progress, let your user know their progress to keep them on the track!


In this article we discussed the importance of designing interfaces that evoke positive emotions in users. Positive emotions contribute to creating engaging and ever lasting impression among users, makes app more usable. we discussed science of emotional design, explaining between positive and negative emotions. Positive emotions, associated with progress and growth, lead to favorable user experiences and product recommendations.

By Hrushikesh Paygavhan

UX designer at Customer Capital. With 7+ years of Design experience, I belive in passing the knowledge to everyone. I help UX designers upskill themselves, and stay updated in the design field.

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