Trend eight: emotionally aware digital experience

Neil Shewan NS
What if you could tell if your client is happy or sad when using your website – would it change the experience you deliver? CEO of Adelphi Digital Australia, Neil Shewan, predicts this in 2018 we will see an answer to this question, with the rise of emotionally aware digital experiences.
emotionally aware digital experience

The “human” part of creating digital experiences has become an increasingly important part of how we craft digital products. “Human centred design”, “design thinking”, “user experience (UX)” have become commonplace in the digital industry – with the goal of putting the user front and centre. But, something has been missing – understanding the emotional state of someone using your digital product.

Three factors are contributing to a major shift in understanding the emotional state of users in real time:

Firstly – organisations are realising the digital aspects of their business are an increasing part of the brand experience. E-commerce is a good example of this – with global mobile ecommerce increasing by seven in the past five years.

emotionally aware digital experience

Secondly – humans are driven by emotional connections. Joy, love, security, belonging, trust, achievement, anger, anxiety and isolation are all powerful drivers. Organisations that understand and tap into these emotions can create connections with people that drive behaviours.

Thirdly – the devices and platforms we are use are getting smarter. We now have devices that can see our face and read facial movements, devices that can detect our tone of voice, and heart monitors on our watches that tell if we get excited.

emotionally aware digital experience

Over the last decade there has been a focus on creating useful digital products as users grew tired of shallow emotional tricks to get attention. With the rise in real time measures of emotion – I predict an increase in emotionally aware digital experiences – that adapt the experience based on how you are feeling.

So imagine this…

An ecommerce site that sees your eyes move away from the “checkout” button, and detected your heartrate increasing as you became concerned about the security of a website. A message re-assuring you of the security of the site may ease your fear.

The voice assistant on your phone detecting the tone in your voice and the look on your face to determine whether to respond with a joke or make an emergency call.

Flicking through the Tinder dating app, and the application sensing your heart rate and size of your pupils to auto “swipe” left or right. You get the concept.

The technology in your phone and smartwatch is capable of sensing facial expressions, tone of voice and heartrate today – the question is how can we use it to create better experiences that will be useful to people and create a deeper emotional connection. 

Exciting times ahead.

Neil Shewan is CEO of Adelphi Digital Australia and an expert in service design and communication delivery, with over 20 years’ industry experience.

Are you interested in finding out more about emotionally aware technology? Get in touch with one of our experts today.

Never miss an event or update with Adelphi Digital, subscribe here.

Ask yourself

How can you inject emotion into your next digital product?


The Melbourne office is offering complimentary 90 minute idea workshops in January/February 2018

Want to come and meet the team?