Psychology of Designing Delight

User Experience is one of the fastest growing tech fields in the industry, and has become increasingly important for the growth and adoption of new technologies.

Industry peers came out the evening of July 6th to General Assembly Atlanta, located at Ponce City Market, to hear a diverse panel of designers talk about the psychology behind designing a product or website that delights customers and increases adoption rates.

As a moderator to the event, I asked a smart crew of panelists the following questions and got some really great insight.

Here’s a recap from the event:

How do you define the terms “UI” and “UX” and how do you distinguish the difference?

A user experience professional is someone who designs the end-user’s journey through wireframing or blueprinting the decisions and interactions of a customer during their lifecycle with a product. UI designers are concerned with the translation of a brand into the front end communication and look of the product.

How do you reference, or use, psychology when designing?

The best approach to using psychology when designing is to do research on customers beforehand, and then user testing once a product or website Minimal Viable Product is launched. Once you understand how a customer functions within certain mental models, you can figure out what is valuable enough to the customer what would convert them to using the product. Then, making sure you’re consistently testing what you push out to be sure you’re observing and measuring what works and what doesn’t. You have to make sure that you’re always working to better the product, so that you continue to retain and keep your product users happy with everything you’re offering them.

What is the term “delight” mean to you within the app design industry?

Delight can mean certain ways of creating a positive experience for someone who is navigating through a product. It could be a simple as a notification that a form submission was sent successfully, or it could be an entertaining animation communicating that a task has been successfully completed. Either way, the “delight” designed into a product should be strategic and not designed just to “look cool.”

How do you aim to delight users, and solve a problem at the same time?

If you have done your research to understand your users, and you’re working with a team of talented designers helping to communicate properly, then you’re already ahead. Successfully onboarding customers and making the customer journey easy is part of the process without intentionally thinking about the “delight” factor. It’s about being helpful, communicating properly, and having the customer satisfied with their overall experience.

A big thanks for the following panelists for being a part of the event:

Tyler Berry
UX designer, AKQA

Ashley Putnam
Senior UX Lead, Fjord

Javier Santana
Creative Director & Founding Partner, Launch Interactive

Mark Wolf
Interactive Designer, Slalom Consulting


Now it’s your turn: What methods or systems do you use when designing delight for your customers?


I would love to hear from you! Please feel free to leave your thoughts, comments, and feedback in the comments below.

~ Christine

Photo courtesy of Aaron Coury and General Assembly.