What is User Delight?

Previously we mentioned that…

“It’s not simply enough that we build online products that are usable and functional. We also need to design experiences that bring delight, excitement, and engagement to people’s lives.”

If it’s not enough to build usable and functional products, how can we ensure we are bringing delight to our users? Is it simply a case of adding slick animations to the User Interface and creating personalised copy to hook and engage your readers? Well, no!

User Experience delight isn’t just aesthetics. It’s also the usability of your product, the accomplishments your user feels, and how you exceed the user’s expectations of your product. To accomplish this, we must first understand the relationship between user needs and user delight. We can then differentiate between the two areas of UX Delight:  Surface and Deep delight.

Definition: User Delight refers to any positive emotional effect that a user may have when interacting with a device or interface. User Delight may not always be expressed outwardly, but it can influence the behaviours and opinions formulated while using a website or application.

UX pyramid

The above pyramid explains the hierarchy of User Needs and is adapted from Designing for Emotion by Aarron Walter.

As shown in Walter’s pyramid, when Designing for Emotion, our digital products must be:

Functional — they have to work to solve user problems.
Reliable — they need to be up and running at all times.
Usablethey offer a good user experience with emphasis on consistency. They also must be:

Pleasurable — this is where our DELIGHT is found.

To help us further understand the different levels of delight, Don Norman wrote about 3 levels of design in his book Emotional Design:

Now that we have a better understanding of user needs and how this leads to user delight we can now focus on the two areas of UX Delight.

Surface Delight

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