Emotionally Intelligent Interactions

Never underestimate the power of humanizing machines. This is sometimes called creating “emotionally intelligent interactions.

Washington Mutual, renamed WaMu, was one of the first banks to use this approach for its ATM machines. Customer were greeted by a friendly “Hi, how can I help you?” The whole transaction sounded informal and easy, down to the Get Cash in place of Withdrawal. Even the buttons – sure, no thanks– were more casual than a standard yes/no.


It helped make the bank sound more informal, and well, less of a bank. Of course this approach also had its critics, but overall it was a big success.

Will friendliness help lessen frustration with an out of order ATM?

Emotionally Intelligent Interactions are also the subject for this interesting article on Smashing magazine. The writer explains how we create attachment with the apps we love. It all comes down to, according to the writer, emotionally intelligent applications, applications that have added details to make them look more “human”.

The article also presents many great examples from current apps. Can you think about other examples?

What is it that makes us loyal fans of the websites and apps we love? When we sat down to answer this question for ourselves, we found that the websites and apps we truly love have one thing in common: soul. They’re humanized. They have emotional intelligence designed into the user experience. And this emotional intelligence is crafted through thoughtful interaction design and feedback mechanisms built into the website…

read the whole article

5 thoughts on “Emotionally Intelligent Interactions”

  1. That’s amazing, UX applied on ATM sound like a great idea. I just hope it doesn’t end up confusing people who are used to the usual behavior, specially for people who aren’t good adapting. Personally, this doesn’t seem to be that different than what I usually see.

  2. Very cool, definitely more friendly than the BofA ATMs I use. In this case they did a great job of giving the user a nicer experience, while still remaining clear and easy to use.

  3. Before I decided to attend Platt I would never notice something like this and just think that the machine is interesting in the way it functions and is laid out. But now I see it as great UX and can notice it in other everyday things in my life such as this.

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