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foreword by Jared Spool

Learn how to express your brand’s personality and delight your audience when you go beyond the basics and design for humans, not machines.

Go beyond the basics—functionality, reliability, and usability—and design for humans, not machines. Learn how to express your brand’s personality and delight your audience through emotional design.

Your users will fall in love with your sites and apps with the principles packed into this brief book. Drawing on case studies, psychological concepts, and other scientific data, Aarron Walter provides accessible, memorable strategies to help you evoke a real connection—from one person to another.

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Practical strategies to help you evoke a real connection with your users, and design experiences through a lens of kindness.

Feeling depressed and lonely, career-wise, design-wise? Do you feel constrained to produce dull, dreary designs? Do your pleas for excitement and emotional content fall on deaf ears? My prescription: 15 minute sessions reading Aarron Walter’s book ‘Designing for Emotion,’ three times a day. Continue until the symptoms disappear. If the symptoms persist, do not despair: reread the book.

Donald Norman Author of Emotional Design and Living with Complexity

If a single, small book can shatter the notion that we’re designing for page views not for people, this is that book.

Liz Danzico Chair, MFA in Interaction Design, SVA

Every now and then a book comes along that changes the way you think about the web. This is one of them. The web is made for humans, and ‘Designing for Emotion’ does a fantastic job explaining how to keep that in mind. Two swissmiss thumbs up!

Tina Roth Eisenberg Founder, Swissmiss and Creative Mornings

Aarron Walter is the VP of design education at InVision and previously founded the UX practice at MailChimp . Aarron taught design at colleges in the US and Europe for nearly a decade, and speaks at conferences around the world. His design guidance has helped the White House, the US Department of State, and dozens of startups.

Paperback: Published: Also available in:

by Tim Brown

by Mike Monteiro

by Ethan Marcotte

Engineers develop new technological solutions. During the engineering design process , the responsibilities of the engineer may include defining problems, conducting and narrowing research, analyzing criteria, finding and analyzing solutions, and making decisions. Much of an engineer's time is spent on researching, locating, applying, and transferring information. [8] Indeed, research suggests engineers spend 56% of their time engaged in various information behaviours, including 14% actively searching for information. Printed leather Port Light sneakers Dolce amp; Gabbana mVvExweZu

Engineers must weigh different design choices on their merits and choose the solution that best matches the requirements and needs. Their crucial and unique task is to identify, understand, and interpret the constraints on a design in order to produce a successful result.

Engineers conferring on prototype design, 1954

Engineers apply techniques of engineering analysis in testing, production, or maintenance. Analytical engineers may supervise production in factories and elsewhere, determine the causes of a process failure, and test output to maintain quality. They also estimate the time and cost required to complete projects . Supervisory engineers are responsible for major components or entire projects. Engineering analysis involves the application of scientific analytic principles and processes to reveal the properties and state of the system, device or mechanism under study. Engineering analysis proceeds by separating the engineering design into the mechanisms of operation or failure, analyzing or estimating each component of the operation or failure mechanism in isolation, and recombining the components. They may analyze risk . [10] [11] Preowned Patent leather flats Charlotte Olympia RtCZW

Many engineers use computers to produce and analyze designs, to simulate and test how a machine, structure, or system operates, to generate specifications for parts, to monitor the quality of products, and to control the efficiency of processes.

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Most engineers specialize in one or more engineering disciplines . [2] Numerous specialties are recognized by professional societies, and each of the major branches of engineering has numerous subdivisions. Civil engineering, for example, includes structural and transportation engineering and materials engineering include ceramic, metallurgical, and polymer engineering. Mechanical engineering cuts across just about every discipline since its core essence is applied physics . Engineers also may specialize in one industry, such as motor vehicles, or in one type of technology, such as turbines or semiconductor materials. [2]

The founders of MailChimp didn’t set out to build the world’s leading email marketing platform.

They didn’t start by asking, “How do we build a product that can be used by millions of businesses for sending billions of emails each day?”

Instead, when co-founders Ben Chestnut and Dan Kurzius launched MailChimp back in 2001, they were simply trying to help their customers.

At the time, the pair were running a web design business. When some of their customers started asking for a way to send emails, Chestnut dug up some old code he had written for an earlier project (a failed digital greeting card product). That code became the jumping-off point for the MailChimp email marketing service.

For years, the service remained a side project. But in 2007, Chestnut and Kurzius decided to shut down their web design operation and go all-in on MailChimp.


Because in launching MailChimp, the pair realized that web design really wasn’t their passion. As the New York Times reported, “What Mr. Chestnut and Mr. Kurzius were passionate about was helping small businesses grow.”

Email marketing, however, wasn’t necessarily the best game to be getting into for helping small businesses grow … at least not in 2007.

For starters, spam was reaching unprecedented heights, and people were becoming increasingly annoyed. (One study found that 95% of all emails sent in 2007 were spam emails.)

But perhaps even more discouragingly, better-funded companies (e.g. Constant Contact, which raised $107 million in its IPO in October 2007) were already dominating the email marketing landscape.

Still, Chestnut and Kurzius saw email as a cost-effective marketing channel — perfect for cash-strapped small businesses that were trying to reach their target audiences.

What’s more, the MailChimp co-founders had a secret weapon for taking out the competition.

“A Proximity to Its Customers”

Chestnut told the New York Times that MailChimp’s success stems from that fact that it had “a proximity to its customers that its competitors lacked.”

And he elaborated that because MailChimp “was itself a small business, it understood what those businesses wanted out of their marketing tools. Its offerings were cheaper, it added features more quickly, and it allowed greater customizations to fit customers’ needs.”

In other words, MailChimp won by getting closer to their customers than the competition.

And as you hear us say all the time here at Drift, “Whoever get closest to the customer wins.”

Flash forward to today, and it’s clear that MailChimp’s customer-driven approach has paid off in a big way: They now have more than 14 million users, and are anticipating $400 million+ in revenue for 2016.

But how, exactly, was MailChimp able to get closer to their customers than their competitors?

At Drift, we’ve identified three key areas where MailChimp was able to gain an advantage.

1) A Lovable Brand

There’s no denying that mailchimp has one of the most memorable and adorable mascots in the business: Freddie (full name: Frederick von Chimpenheimer IV).

But as MailChimp marketing director Mark DiCristina once said, “having a mascot is not a substitute for having a marketing strategy.”

Ultimately, the reason why Freddie works for MailChimp as a piece of its brand identity is because Freddie is an honest representation of the MailChimp brand.

As DiCristina explained, their cartoonish mascot “represents some ideas that the whole company stands behind: making work fun, creativity, and independence.”

And MailChimp’s wordmark — with its hand-written, schoolhouselook — echoes these ideas as well.

But to reiterate: MailChimp didn’t create this fun brand identity for the heck of it. Their branding grew naturally out of the fun experiences they were already delivering to customers.

For starters, MailChimp was a pioneer in the world of witty and informal product copy. Years before Slack started dazzling us with its friendly tone, MailChimp was preaching that they could make sending great content “easier than eating a banana.”

MailChimp also wasn’t afraid of sharing a GIF when they felt the moment called for it.

Getting ready to send out an email campaign? MailChimp would show you this animation of a hand sweating over a big “send” button.

And then once you sent a campaign, guess what? MailChimp gave you a high five.

Instead of making email marketing feel like a chore, MailChimp managed to make the experience fun. And that experience they delivered — not their primatemascot — is really what set their brand apart.

Of course, the strengthening of MailChimp’s brand didn’t happen by accident. They’ve clearly put a lot of thought into nailing down their voice and tone, and setting guidelines for how their brand assets should be used.

One of my favorite examples of how MailChimp has codified the language they use comes from their content style guide . It’s a list of what the MailChimp voice is, and what it isn’t.

As you can see, there’s a fine line to walk. Get too informal, and customers start viewing you as unprofessional. But for MailChimp, walking that line, and striking that perfect balance between fun and professional, paid off.

As a result of their brand-building efforts, MailChimp was able to change the way people felt about email marketing software.

The experience MailChimp delivered was warm and friendly, as if their customers were trusted friends — not entries in a CRM.

Other email marketing solutions on the market, by comparison, felt cold and robotic.

There was only one thing holding MailChimp back from conquering the world of email marketing:

Not enough people were getting the full MailChimp experience.

In order to grow, MailChimp needed a strategy for getting potential customers to see, first-hand, what being a MailChimp customer would feel like.

Luckily, they had a plan …

2) Freemium

In September of 2009, MailChimp announced they were going freemium.

Now, I could summarize the reasons why MailChimp made that decision, but considering their announcement post was just a few-hundred-words long, you might as well read it yourself:

In true MailChimp fashion, the post (written by co-founder and CEO Ben Chestnut) opens with a tongue-and-cheek commentary on how MailChimp had “wasted all this time” building a profitable company and an “awesome product” that had amassed a user base of 100,000 people.

Chestnut’s point here is that MailChimp was successful well before it chose to go the freemium route.

This wasn’t some lucky gamble — it was a calculated move.

As Chestnut wrote in 2010:

Ultimately, the MailChimp team had the benefit of being able to study all of this data they had amassed (presumably) since they launched in 2001.

And the conclusion that they came to was that offering a free forever version of MailChimp was the best strategy for driving growth.

For Chestnut, however, the underlying inspiration for going freemium grew out of an experience he had at a Ben Jerry’s. When a friend took him there for the first time, and he got to try all of the free samples, he was hooked.

Catch that last line? The “little monkeys in their footer”?

That actually proved to be one of the most brilliant tactics MailChimp deployed as part of launching their “free forever” plan: All of the emails sent by MailChimp’s free users were stamped with a hyperlinked image of Freddie, which would send folks to MailChimp.com.

This helped drive product virality, as recipients would click on the friendly face of MailChimp’s mascot and end up learning more about the company and their software.

The free users who were sending those emails, meanwhile, would earn “MonkeyRewards Credits” every time a person they referred through their MailChimp footer badge ended up becoming a paying customer. Free users could then put those credits toward MailChimp services like inbox inspections or even future bills if they decided to upgrade.

One year after adopting this new, freemium model, MailChimp shared some data on their blog:

According to Chestnut, that extraordinary growth in profit was primarily a result of their customer acquisition cost (CAC) dropping. At the time — September 2010 — Chestnut reported that MailChimp’s CAC was less than $100.

Jump aheadto February 2012, and MailChimp’s user base had grown from 450,00 to 1.2 million. On average, they were adding 5,000 new users every single day.

Clearly, MailChimp’s freemium sales model, coupled with its already well-established and lovablebrand, helped take the company’s growth to the next level.

But in order to sustain that growth, and to prevent churn from creeping in, MailChimp had another trick up its sleeve.

3) Surprise Delight

Whether it’s sending customers t-shirts, stuffed animals, or monkey hats for their cats ( yes, seriously ), MailChimp is renowned for its “weird swag.” Or at least that’s whata 2012 article from calledit.

In that same article,MailChimp marketing director Mark DiCristina explained that MailChimp creates and shares this “weird swag” because it makes people happy. There’s no other angle. They don’t have a dedicated swag data scientist crunching numbers behind the scenes.

They’re not measuring monkey hat conversion rates.

Instead, MailChimp simply thinks of them as gifts.

To quote DiCristina:

For MailChimp, the quality of the gifts they give to their customers is more important than the cost.

And while MailChimp employees don’t spend time trying to quantify the effects of their gift-giving, they do spend time testing out gifts to make sure they’re top quality.

As reported, it wouldn’t be uncommon to see MailChimp employees, “testing the softness of a stuffed chimp’s belly.”

It might sound a little cooky, but the attention MailChimp pays to these tiny details is what helps set their customer experience apart from the competition’s.

As DiCristina explained:

The broader takeaway here isn’t that you should start putting more budget toward t-shirts and stuffed animals, it’s that you should look for ways that you can surprise and delight your own customers based on what you know about them.

For MailChimp, it made sense to pursue a customer delight strategy that was silly and lighthearted because that’s the experience they were known for delivering — that’s what was already resonating with their customers.

But, as a hypothetical, if you’re an internet security company that’s built a brand around being trusted and taking responsibilities super-seriously, sending a bunch of stuffed animals to your customers might not play so well.

(Alternatively, a free security audit and/or free access to a new product feature might be better options.)

Ultimately, the specific tactics you use for surprising and delighting your customers should be an honest reflection of brand.

Final Thought: Stay Tuned for More

At Drift, we have a list of companies that we look to as role models.

MailChimp, as you’ve probably figured out by now, is one of them.

In the months to follow, we’ll continue to showcase companies that have achieved extraordinary growth through getting closer to their customers.

In the meantime, you can check out some of our earlier stories about companies we love:

Click here to learn more about how Drift can help your sales team convert more leads and close more deals.

A lovable brand
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