The very heart of emotional design is creating what feels like a personal experience or human interaction while performing an impersonal task, such as using a mobile app or navigating a website. I think it’s a great idea, because that’s what distinguishes one business, website, etc from another, just as it distinguishes one person from another. It’s refreshing in a day and age where things have become so impersonal and many times far removed from human contact and communication. To me, it seems like good customer service, like a friendly personable store clerk or waitress who welcomes you and makes an impression on you that results in you returning to that particular store or restaurant, because it was such a favorable experience.
Personas are used in emotional design to guide the designer or design team as they plan and create a website, mobile app, etc. It is their “typical user,” that they keep in mind as they design their product/service/website and then try to create a personality for their product/service/site that will appeal to that typical user. An image, a certain voice, and personality traits are a few of the major decisions to consider when creating a persona.
I’m not sure that I have a favorite website, but one that I have visited a number of times came to mind because of its personality, actually I should say, her personality. The persona of the website is a warm, welcoming, down to earth, city girl turned country gal, who shares her everyday life experiences via funny stories along with “how to” segments accompanied by lots of photographs to show every detail and make you feel as if you’re in on the action. My first visit to her website gave me the feeling that I was reading a friend’s letter and looking at a friend’s pictures.