One day, someone asked me what I did for a living: ?I?m an interactive designer?. The immediate response was: Ahh! Painting and colouring in! And if you put it like that, it sounds easy. All I did was fill the wireframes that information architects provide with colour. Of course, the choice of colour palette is important, but it?s not everything.
As a designer, I have to visually represent the skeleton data, the copy, the logo and all the elements defined in concepts, functionalities and strategies in a way that the user will understand easily.
I have to ensure that the user, the main actor, our shining star, our spoiled little baby, our client and our final judge, gets a true mental picture through a quick, sideways glance at the interface. This is the first main objective for good web design but is not enough to make a persuasive design.
In a design which aims to persuade, we need empathic interaction.
And just exactly what is empathic interaction? It is the creation of a scenario where our main actor feels confident, secure and comfortable and wants to get to know us, know more, buy more, come back to us, recommend us, talk about us, and all these interactions over time build up an relationship based on empathy, where the user feels emotionally linked to the website.
The formal characteristics of the scenario/interface are influenced by:
- The universal principles of design, where designers shuffle concepts like graphic consistency, legibility, efficiency and simplicity of use.
- Brand communication: branding, the corporate image, integral communication,
- And by user psychology-related issues: empathy, momentum, needs,
So yes, we do paint, but not only to please: to persuade, too.