The Spotlight Is on Visceral Designs

Are you constantly checking one of your mobile apps? Why is that? May it be that smart designers created a product that makes you feel good? That is what visceral designs are all about. In case you did not know, but visceral refers to the gut and not the mind. Emotional connections dominate and rule.

Visceral designs give people what they want and crave. If you made it your mission to create a game and mobile app users cannot get enough of, then you have to incorporate kinetic energy and exhilaration into your design. Without that satisfying feeling, your product will not reach optimal results. You need to incorporate elements into your design that create delight, surprise, and the desire to manipulate and engage.


Designs have to feel right to be successful. Contentment can be generated by incorporating several components, as well as microinteractions. These contained product-moments can turn a good digital product into an amazing one. The benefits of microinteractions include the following:

  • Accomplishing single tasks
  • Adjusting settings
  • Connecting devices
  • Interacting with single pieces of data
  • Controlling ongoing processes
  • Creating or viewing small pieces of content

Keep Improving

Visceral design is called “juicy feedback” in the gaming world. It refers to that overpowering experience gamers feel when they reach and pass a milestone, or when they make it to the next level. Mobile app developers have learned from their game-producing colleagues. They now incorporate visceral feedback into their applications.

Moving from a high aesthetic design to one that affects users on a gut level has amazing benefits. Users will feel emotionally satisfied. They will be driven to experience this feeling over and over. Habits form, and users turn into engaged fans. They are connected to a product and brand on an emotional level. Do you want to accrue many benefits? Keep improving your visceral design until it reaches a point that gives your business the exceptional profits you are hoping for.

Study Behaviour

Generating a visceral design for a product can be challenging. For starters, users generally do not articulate what excites them. Many cannot even describe what exactly they like about their favourite apps. How can you solve that problem? Learn more about human behaviour, and what makes people tick. Implement that knowledge and test it frequently. The results will validate your work or let you know that more improvements need to be made in order for your design to create that perfect coveted visceral reaction you want. Learn and consider the following tips:

  • Research through ethnographic studies and targeted surveys can measure the overall satisfaction from users before and after they were introduced to visceral feedback elements.
  • Collect insight by observing users engage for the first time with new elements. Are they delighted and surprised or rather confused and stressed?
  • Savvy marketers use A/B testing and randomized experiments to determine if the users’ responses boost site performance.
  • Find out if you gained extra attention and repeat usage through click maps and eye tracking.
  • Set a baseline against current design patterns in order to determine if any new feedback elements generated a more visceral feeling.

Visceral Design Building Tips

There are 5 creative ways to build visceral design into a website and include emotions.

  1. Concentrate on feedback loops:  Pull-to-refresh mechanics that are found in inspiring apps are perfect examples of control systems that allow elicit visceral response. Complete ample research before making a selection. Examine the core user flows on the site. Focus on features, such as exploration, conversion, ordering, and registration. Make improvements in the areas where results are not up to scratch.
  2. Create micro-experiences: How easy is it for users to accomplish a task? Improving the micro-experiences around activities can be extremely helpful. Dig deeper into the design, study every little detail, and determine what exactly happens when you click. Is that the enjoyable, unexpected effect you were hoping for? Are you so impressed that you need to share your experience with everyone in your social circle right away?
  3. Add dimensions: Websites are not like books. Although they all have pages, in cyber space, you can actually count on a third dimension or z axis (one of three axes in a three-dimensional Cartesian coordinate system). Why would you not take advantage of multiple layers within a website? You could add more context and details without diminishing the main flow.
  4. Pay attention to details: Aesthetics are important, but so are other web app elements. Looking amazing does not matter if the user does not feel attached to the site. Test and optimize features such as response, delay, state, and sound effects. Do not ignore the importance of audio. It has been making its way into some prominent web apps, and for good reasons.
  5. Balance the viewing experience: Responsive design experts aim to craft sites and applications that provide optimal viewing experience. When you want to master a visceral design project, you have to go beyond typical responsiveness. You should also not strip an experience to the bare minimum. Some details are necessary to create that vital emotional connection.

In Conclusion

Web specialists can learn a lot about visceral design from the gaming and mobile industries. The road has been paved, and they just have to walk it. By sending juicy feedback to users, designers can create that fulfilling sensation of a gut-level reaction. It is indeed possible to make users happier and more engaged by being observant and implementing the right techniques. Keeping your visitors content, will benefit your business.

stuart gonsal Stuart Gonsal is the co-founder and managing director of Lava Digital Agency, a boutique web design and development agency in Melbourne. Stuart believes in collaboration and that people and ideas are at the heart of every successful project. Follow Stuart on Linkedin, Google+ or visit at

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