2 minute read


Emotion Based Design

As organisations continue to look for new ways to gain a competitive edge and improve their customer experience, human centered design methods such as ‘Customer Based Design’ (CBD) have gained popularity and become more mainstream.

CBD helps organisations to explore and obtain insights on their customers’ experience by mapping out ‘customer journey walls’ and understanding the customers perception of their services end-to- end, without the influence of bias and siloed views of those within the organisation.

But there is another emotional layer to consider in the customer experience that is critical in bringing a deeper level of engagement as well as an understanding of how your service offering impacts your customers.

Emotion is powerful, so bringing Emotion Based Design (EBD) into your organisation not only gathers customer insights but uses the scale of the emotion to quantify and measure those insights and include them in design, development and decision making.

EBD begins by identifying the emotion that your customers want to feel (Target Emotion), followed by working to define how to measure and report on it in a way that is meaningful for your organisation. We describe the difference between the current emotion and the target emotion as the ‘Emotional Delta’ (EΔ).

EBD can be adapted to any delivery framework, but it naturally aligns to an Agile methodology given its iterative design to take on new changes. As such, EBD can be used to extend the common three element Agile story template of: “As a …, I want …, So that ...” to a template with a fourth prefix called ‘’So I feel…”

The following example demonstrates how the extension comes into play:

As a homeowner, I want a simple way to purchase insurance on-line, so that I can complete the transaction and get an immediate confirmation, so I feel secure knowing that my house is protected.

Knowing the emotional target in this example means that we can measure the current delta, test different wording, imagery and customer experience to then deliver on the desired customer experience outcomes.

EBD provides organisations with a deepened qualitative and quantitative understanding of both customer pain points and opportunity points. It gives organisations a tool to close and uplift their customer service delivery.

 EBD provides organisations with a deepened qualitative and quantitative understanding of both customer pain points and opportunity points.

And it’s not just about external customers. Executives and decision makers inside organisations can use EBD to assess how staff (internal customers), feel about their internal processes and operations and use this to drive engagement. With higher engaged staff, the service experience offering to their external customers improves.

With the guidance and support of the CSIA we have used EBD to support five attributes within the International Customer Service Standards (ICSS: 2020- 2025).

CSIA now offers a one-day training course with Brooke on EBD as part of their customer service training program. If you are interested in hearing more about how your organisation can deliver exceptional customer experiences by incorporating EBD into your Customer Based design, we would love to talk with you.