Going beyond Usability: The need to design for Persuasion, Emotion, and Trust


Dr. Eric Schaffer, founder and CEO of Human Factors International talks about his new design approach christened PET Design. It offers a new approach to help companies influence and deepen their interactions with online customers through Persuasion, Emotion, and Trust.

Eric talks about the evolution of software from the early days, when software, hardware were differentiators which have now become a commodity… similarly, he says, usability was a differentiator but it’s now become essential. You have to have great software and hardware and it has to be usable. The differentiator now, he believes, is to make the software more persuasive and engaging.

just because a site is easy to use doesn’t mean it will engage customers and meet business goals

Although I completely agree with Eric, I don’t think this is a revelation… you obviously need to design products that engage the customers so that you can meet business goals, and I can’t think of any Product Manager or UX designer not trying to do that from the outset.

I for one have always designed my products to engage the user and provide a differentiated experience than the competition in order to meet my business goals. As you can tell, all the above factors are linked and all must be satisfied for a successful product.

I give Eric one thing though.. Usability is no longer a differentiator, it’s a must have.

Is it just me or do you think that this is what we’ve been doing all along anyway?

About Sachendra Yadav

Mobilist and Social Media enthusiast
This entry was posted in Usability, User Experience and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

6 Responses to Going beyond Usability: The need to design for Persuasion, Emotion, and Trust

  1. James Kelway says:

    Really interesting point you raise – and one that I decided to make a point of. Have a look at this and please give me your comments, I would be really interested to know http://userpathways.com/usability-is-dead/

  2. Nikhil says:

    Is Eric talking to software Designers, because im not sure if I know any UX or product designer who doesn’t address the three factors in the design process.
    N

  3. James,
    Love your blog, subscribed

    Nikhil,
    Couldn’t agree more

    Thank you both for stopping by and commenting

  4. I think Eric is right however I do not think this is a new concept. This is very common approach in traditional non web marketing campaigns. I believe all Eric is doing is bringing that concept onto web. part of the reason why he can do it is probably technology and bandwidth. Now, smart clients and web interactivity is way more advanced than what we had probably 5 years back. Interesting abbreviation he has coined “PET” …

  5. Manish, good to hear from you. A very animated discussion going on in an IXDA thread around this topic
    http://www.ixda.org/discuss.php?post=43652

  6. Josh says:

    Very interesting video and reaction. Subscribed to RSS! great site

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