Designing for emotion

Written on 26 December 2011, 12:40am

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I just finished reading Designing for Emotion written by Aarron Walter from A Book Apart, and I am quite impressed with the things I learned. I quickly want to note some ideas that left in my head after reading the book’s 7 chapters.

1. What is it? What are the advantages?

There are 2 main considerations before anything (and the author of the book correctly repeats them several times throughout the book):

  1. Design always comes after content. This means that quality content is always required. Carefully considered content and well-executed design work in concert.
  2. Emotional design comes after the standard design. The emotional design does not have to interfere with the base layers of the users hierarchy of needs: functionality, reliability and usablility.

What does it mean to design for emotion?
In a phrase, it means to engage your audience emotionally; and to do that you must let your brand’s personality show. Humans want to connect with real people.

The advantages of the emotional design:
1. it turns users into loyal users, even fanatics
2. the users end up by trusting the website/product/application, and they will be more likely to forgive any possible errors/mistakes
3. if done right, emotional design can eliminate the marketing costs. The audience will end up by doing the marketing for you, using the holy grail of the advertising world: the word of mouth.

2. Important ideas

And now quickly noting the other ideas of the book, and how they related to other opinions I came across lately:
Maslow’s Hierarchy of needs (physiological, safety, love, esteem, self-actualization) can be remapped for for user interfaces: functional, reliable, usable, pleasurable.
Baby face bias: humans are hard-wired to love babies, and with them – any cute face resembling the face of a newborn.

The takeaway here is not to make your website cuter. With a little consideration you’ll discover that behind every design principle is a connection to human nature and our emotional instincts. (Ex: the golden ratio in Twitter’s design)
-Designing for emotion – Chapter 1

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ColdFusion – get admin mappings

Written on 19 December 2011, 03:43pm

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Here is a very useful recipe from the Adobe Cookbooks: how to retrieve the mappings from the admin area.
It’s really simple, it involves using the coldfusion.server.ServiceFactory java class, but I am posting it here because I am sure that I will come back to this post at some point in the future 🙂

<cffunction name="getMappings" access="public" returntype="struct" output="false">
    <cfset var mappings = StructNew()>
    <cfset ServiceFactory = createObject("java","coldfusion.server.ServiceFactory")>
    <cfset mappings = ServiceFactory.runtimeService.getMappings()>
    <cfreturn mappings>
</cffunction>

Et voila:

This is useful when you don’t have access to the CF Admin interface.

Remember that the CF Admin Mappings are for ColdFusion, while the virtual directories are for the web server!

Update, 02 March 2015: In case you have access to ColdFusion configuration files, the mappings can be found in plain text in the file neo-runtime.xml (link)