Jenny Reeder

Stylin’ with XHTML and CSS: Emotional Attachment
January 29, 2007, 9:09 pm
Filed under: Uncategorized

I must admit: when I first read Luke Wroblewski’s comment about the importance of a succesful website to “establish lasting emotional ties,” I was perplexed. I wrote in my margin, “Does a website establish lasting emotional ties?” After just a few paragraphs, I quickly changed my mind. And now I want to learn how to use my personality–or the personality I want for my website–to attract my audience.

Websites have a definite feel. From professional to amateur, from warm to cool, from active to calm–color, space, font, shapes, style, texture–all communicate personality and emotion. Donald A. Norman mentions the connection between the emotional system and the cognitive system. I love the idea that the way I present my website can incite visitors to think more creatively. “Happy people are more effective in finding alternative solutions and, as a result, are tolerant of minor difficulties.”

As I read Wroblewski, I realize that I want my site (certainly a work in progress) to be cooler (rather than red–I want to focus on the soothing, calmly invigorating parts of Mormon women’s history rather than inciting the strange, negative, highly conflicted aspects); personable (I want images of real women from a bunch of times, ages, races, etc.); with sort of an older feel (I want my site to be clean but to feel a connection to the past, with sort of grainy sepia photos).

I am reminded of the importance of understanding audience. Wroblewski continually refers to appealing to audience, to being consistent and clear for the audience, to meeting audience expectations, getting the correct message to the audience. There is clearly a connection between the site’s emotional draw and returned use.

Now… as to how to accomplish these emotions… I’m still working through Charles Wyke-Smith’s Stylin’ with CSS which provides great technical information…