** Updated: 3/27/2014 - the content is mostly the same, simply reordered to improve the flow and the end has been changed to include what I feel is powerful and compelling example what happens when you begin your design with emotional outcomes in mind.
Emotions are arguably the most powerful of human motivators and yet most design projects lack an implicit strategy to use or target them as part of the overall experience design. A truly fulfilling experience is one that balances our logical and emotional needs and wants.
When an experience only satisfies the logical side of our mind we're often left with little feeling of connection to the experience. When an experience only speaks to our emotional side we're often left second guessing our choice because we can't rationally explain our choice to ourselves or others.
A balanced experience that satisfies both parts of our mind are the ones that create deep and lasting connections. These are the experiences that build loyalty with customers creating lasting relationships that survive even the worst of times.
In order to use emotions as both a targeted outcome for the experience and as a strategy to achieve that outcome we must first understand how have an experience. The 4 Stages of Accomplishing Goals provides this insight into HOW we experience everything. These 4 stages are the same for every person, they happen every time, and happen in the same order.
The 4 Stages of Accomplishing Goals also explains where, when and how emotions impact and influence our resulting experience. We'll learn not only how we experience everything but also WHY we choose to accomplish some goals and not others. Once we're clear on the 4 stages we can make emotions a strategic part of building a balanced user experience.