How to Create Powerful Experiences for Your Audience – Part V: Be Desirable

Alicia Willard

Blog five of an eight-part series on the tenets of a powerful user or audience experience

For other posts in the series, visit:
  1. Useful
  2. Usable
  3. Findable
  4. Credible

So far in this series, I shared insights about the first through fourth tenets of creating powerful experiences:  useful, usable, findable, and credible. In this post, I want to discuss the fifth tenet:  desirable.
Desirable is defined as:

  • Worth having or wanting
  • Pleasing, excellent, or fine
  • Recommendable
    While not the only important factor of well-designed experience, desirability can often be the distinguishing factor that keeps users and audiences coming back to your site, products, or materials – especially if they are already useful and serve purpose, usable and easy to interact with, findable and easy to navigate, as well as credible and trustworthy. If two brands have these other tenets locked down, the brand that is more desirable than the other will be more likely to come out on top.
    Going back to the metaphor about public transportation, you found the bus and metro useful because it gets you from point A to point B and it gets you there fast. You also determined the metro and bus were usable because you were able to easily purchase a ticket or card online and add money to it for fare. Next, they were findable because you could easily navigate the routes and stops. Lastly, you knew the systems to be credible because you had not heard of any accidents or major delays.
    But now you think about what your journeys will be like on both the bus and metro.

    • “Do I want to take bus rather than the metro?”
    • “Are the bus and metro clean, or do they feel grimy?”
    • “Do the seats have enough room for me to sit or will I be smashed between other people?”

    In short, being desirable is about the emotion of a user or audience’s experience. Do they feel good when they see your product, message, information, or brand?  Does it make them feel like they would recommend the service or product to others?
    Desirability is all about the branding, imagery, identity, aesthetics, and emotion. The more desirable your brand, service, or product is, especially compared to competitors, the more like it is your audiences will turn into return users and share their experience with other, creating desire in their peers.
    The desirable tenet may be what you typically think of when you think of design. I know I did before I started my journey into experience design. As a result, desirability is often the tenet designers and brands focus on first. But good desirability is rooted in the other tenets:  the fact that the brand is useful, usable, findable, credible, accessible, and valuable. While vital to a great experience, desirability cannot be achieved in a vacuum.
    To enhance your desirability with users and audiences, or any other experience design needs, contact

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