LoveThat Podcast – Episode 2: Design: Data to Deepen the Emotional response  

Charli, Mark and Marcio discuss Charli’s realm, design and how we craft design solutions to capture emotional responses within the audiences we are talking to.  Charli elaborates further regarding her thoughts of design and creativity being at its core, problem solving. The team discuss the various ways a creative team can do this and how important it is to identify the narrative using and interpreting data and insights. 

Design Detectives 

In this episode, we discuss design. The essence of design is how emotion can be conveyed or leveraged and the skills and techniques to employ, whether it’s for a brand awareness campaign or a PowerPoint presentation design asks the viewer to feel a certain way. In order for them to take action or change their behaviour, we need to understand what triggers them.. 

There is no doubt that design is such a broad term, and it can be applied to so many different areas of so many different industries and businesses. At the very center of it, however, is problem-solving, and most designers regardless of the industry have an irrepressible desire to find solutions. It is not one single methodology that fuels the creativity behind our solutions; that is what makes what we do so unique. Each agency and each creative has its own approach, its own ritual to solving the case for its clients. In our case, it is the details in the data that matter: 

Storytelling through Data: 

Having all the information at your fingertips does not necessarily make communication or ideation any easier. If anything, it makes it more challenging if you don’t know how to navigate it. So, using data and insight to drive your narratives can be challenging.  

Even the word: ‘data’ doesn’t sound very glamorous, let alone using it to tell a story… Analytical data, audience segmentation, and sales analysis may seem disconcerting to some creatives. But today’s designers are expected to produce more than cool product logos or flash social posts. They need to stimulate the mind of the audience and keep their interest. They need to find more creative ways to interact and entice, like a mouse in a maze trying to get to the (vegan) cheese.  

And yet, despite the initial turn-off, the story behind those figures is more often than not quite fascinating. Ultimately, creatives and the solutions we provide always come back to the people or the audience that you’re trying to talk to.   

‘Emotional damage’ 

We as creatives need to think about the stages of human response to what we do. How many of us have presented to a client and they’ve loved or hated something, but after 48 hours have changed their mind or raised questions?  

This is because emotional states are ever-changing. After that initial visceral reaction can come contemplation, the ‘I’ve been thinking about X and maybe we should do this as Y’. This can sometimes be frustrating, especially if you don’t have the insight to back up your response and affirm your conviction. And then there’s finally the comparative/reflective state, ‘That looks like X’ or that font reminds me of Y. Once someone blurts out that your logo design reminds them of the Love Island one (yep that’s happened) there’s no putting that back in the box, suddenly others around the room will agree and the credibility of that design starts to dwindle. Being able to explain why that’s a worthwhile comparison because you know 85% of the audience you’re targeting watch Love Island with a rabid passion however, that’s how to turn a frown upside down… 

Storytelling 

Not everyone agrees that design is storytelling. Stefan Sagmeister once gave an interview that suggested that design should be interesting enough on its own. But for us, the beauty of storytelling through data is that you come to understand those people or those audiences and the series of events that lead to the project conception, in crystal clarity. Leading to more confident ideation and conviction in your decision-making. 

Furthermore, great stories make us feel! Scared, upset, excited, and so on, what better way is there to connect with your audience than to have them establish an emotive connection to the brand? Insights allow us to tap into the emotions of the audience in a way that amplifies the reaction (usually for the positive).   

Feeling is believing 

Designing for emotional response requires thinking about how users will anticipate and experience and how they will remember it.  

Think of a hospital visit. A happy emotional trigger could be the birth of your first child. However, for someone else, it could trigger the sadness of losing a loved one. Understanding what your creative solutions will trigger emotionally in your audience (by understanding their habits and behaviors) allows you to minimise or enhance a certain response and avoid alienation. 

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