We know how to make products that are easy to use and understand. But what about emotions? What about designs that delight? What do we know about how to produce an emotional impact?
Why are Google earth, Google maps (maps.google.com), the Beta version of Yahoo! maps (maps.yahoo.com/beta) and Microsoftâ€™s Windows Live (local.live.com) so compelling, addictive, delightful? They provide the same information as the older, static maps from Yahoo!, MapQuest, MSN, and others, and the very same driving directions. They arenâ€™t any more usable or easy to understand than the older, more static sites â€“ some people have even found them more difficult, especially in their beta deployments. But they are more fun and engaging. What lessons can be learned from this?
(via Usability in the News)