How to design positive user experiences?

More and more brands are designing their products for positive emotions. The reason for this is simple: While brands used to ask questions like “Does this application work?” or even “Does this product work for you?”, there is one more pressing question at work when it comes to user experience. The question is: “How does our product make you feel?”

Positive associations are what makes users coming back, and brands are recognizing and designing for positive emotions.

In this article, we are exploring some ways to design positive user experiences.

How to design happy user experiences?


Imperfection has become a significant part of a design. The idea is to make objects purposefully imperfect to give them a human touch and make the brand itself more personal and approachable.

One example for this is the new design of Typeform. When you scroll down the page, the perfect circle around their logo takes on imperfect shapes:


“Laughter is an instant vacation” (Milton Berle)

Whether you are making your users laugh out loud, smile broadly, grin or just chuckle at their desks, you are winning. Humor is an instant stress reliever and trigger of positive emotions.

Researchers have found that humor triggers the brain’s reward center and delivers “happiness” hormones such as dopamine, serotonin, and endorphins. But what makes something funny?


Often, humor is based on exaggeration. Exaggeration, or hyperbole, takes a familiar situation to an extreme. We all know these times when we have a lot of tasks to manage.

basecamp user experiences

This woman’s hair on Basecamp’s landing page is literally on fire because she has so much to do that her head is smoking.


Seriously, we don’t work for or sponsor Mailchimp, even though we mention them so regularly on our blog. 🙂 We just love their humor. Everyone knows their cute mascot and many companies have integrated animals into their marketing.

Another example (among many) is a sleeping fox is exuding calmness and cuteness.



Gamification has become a buzzword in UX Design. But what is it actually?

Gamification is very likely to trigger emotional responses: the Joy of making it to the next level, a sense of accomplishment, success. Brands are rewarding users with badges to spend more time in their product and with their services.


A lot of digital products include illustrations. And the reason is simple: it is easier to see yourself in a character than in a photo of another person.

Here is the illustration that welcomes you when you are opening Slack:


Wrapping it up.

When designing user experiences, one question is most prominent: How does the user feel? There are multiple ways to evoke positive emotions such as curiosity, surprise, or happiness when it comes to designing digital product experiences.

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