“There are three responses to a piece of design – yes, no, and WOW! Wow is the one to aim for.” – Milton Glaser

It is fairly straightforward for a designer to create a project that serves its functional purpose. We place the buttons where they need to go, adjust the typeface to fit “just so”, kern and track, drop-shadow and fade.

But to create a piece that elicits “Wow” reactions (as Mr. Glaser puts it), is a far more tricky task. This type of designing involves tapping into emotions, and knowing what will thrill a certain set audience. It takes understanding that creating delight is not about just throwing a flashy gimmick into a project, but in artfully embellishing what is there.

Take Swarm’s Big Score project, for example, which Aaron’s recently launched for a third year. While creating and designing this campaign, it would have been easy to stop at a colorful image of a wheel, and call it a day. Swarm’s design and development teams however, saw the perfect opportunity to throw a bit of “wow” factor into the campaign. We included a wheel that not only spins, but also includes sound! The reaction from our audience was a resounding WOW.

So how can you add delight to your designs?

Play With Copy
Try saying things in a fun way that stays on-brand but adds character.

Speak directly to your audience, and make them feel special.

Create “Purposeful” Animations or Transitions
Only add in elements that really make sense for that piece. It’s better to whisper than shout at your audience.

As long as it is on-brand (and won’t incite a lawsuit) humor can be a great avenue to explore.