Emotions and Web Design

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Analyzing Vimeo's structure and emotional connection

Vimeo and YouTube offer users a video hosting platform, but each have a different emotional connection for users.

People make hundreds of decisions each day. Emotions drive people’s decision-making from their clothes, the foods they eat, or the websites they choose to visit. Designers can tap into human behavior to improve the user experience for digital applications by learning about human psychology.

I think it’s safe to say that everyone has experience with websites they loved and websites they hated. People visit websites looking to fulfill a particular emotional need. Users’ engagement increases once their website meets their emotional needs. However, users tend to disengage with a website that doesn’t meet their emotional needs.

Vimeo and YouTube

Vimeo Upload Page
Vimeo offers users a clean and sophisticated upload page. The page’s user interface includes simple instructions and simple illustrations.

The internet offers many opportunities to share and distribute video content. Vimeo and YouTube lead the video service platforms, and each satisfies video content producers differently. YouTube provides a platform that allows users to distribute any content across millions of viewers, and Vimeo offers a platform for professional video content producers who seek a more focused platform.

To simplify the two sites, if you wanted to upload a video of a cat doing something silly, upload it to YouTube. If you’re looking to share a short fictional film about a cat saving the world, upload it to Vimeo.

Vimeo’s video pages reduce distractions by streamlining content for users. The page offers limited options for users and increases user focus.

I use both websites; however, my emotions prefer Vimeo more than YouTube. I find Vimeo easier to use, love the professional interfacing, and find the subscription packages affordable. Although the website provides an optimal user experience, large audiences live on YouTube, and Vimeo content rarely goes viral, I’m willing to make that trade-off.

As a disclaimer, I have not received any funds from Vimeo to write this blog.

YouTube stresses me out, and I actively try to avoid the website at all costs. I wouldn’t say I like the overwhelmed feeling YouTube creates for me, and I wish the site reduced visual stimulation.

The comment section also creates a problematic user experience. I only want to use YouTube to post and watch content. Participating and reading people’s disgusting comments on YouTube does not interest me, and I’d rather not deal with it altogether.

Across YouTube, pages include too many options for me, and it’s easy for me to get distracted on the site. Something tells me YouTube wants to engage people with distractions.

YouTube’s video pages offer too much information for me. The right side panel offering me more content to watch distracts my thinking, and I rarely engage with those suggested videos. I also have never liked, subscribed, or saved video options and don’t see the personal value in those features.

Vimeo and YouTube Emotions

I recently analyzed the two platforms and examined my emotional responses to each site, and looked at the site’s user experience design and user interface. After viewing ten different pages for each site, I developed a feeling and need statement, analyzing my emotional reactions and emotional needs.

I found my emotional responses to be more favorable for Vimeo and unfavorable towards YouTube. Overall, Vimeo provided a simple user experience and met my need for organization, community, and simplicity. I like the simple design put forth in Vimeo’s user interface, and applaud Vimeo for streamlining the video upload process.

YouTube provided a challenging user experience, often making me feel overwhelmed and not meeting my simple digital structure needs. I am also put off by YouTube’s aggressive user interface that encourages users to consume more content by distraction.

Vimeo homescreen
Vimeo’s Homepage includes a fantastic call to action button and highlights the need for Vimeo products. The layout is simplistic but effective.

The home page of Vimeo makes me feel PROUD and CONFIDENT by fullfilling my need for SIMPLICITY and PROFESSIONALISM.

feelings and need statement for Vimeo
YouTube Home Page
YouTube’s homepage overs an abundance of options for users. While some might enjoy the bombastic nature of YouTube, the page overwhelms me.

YouTube’s home page makes me feel FRUSTRATED and OVERWHELMED by not addressing my need for CLARITY and ORGANIZATION

Feelings and need statement for Vimeo


I usually wouldn’t look at my emotions when accessing websites, but this process inspired me to rethink digital designs for the future. I might think twice about making design choices and reflect on the type of emotion I want my audience to feel when using my work.

The process opened my eyes to digital design thinking, and I can’t wait to reflect on users’ emotions in future work.

You can view my analysis of the two websites below.

About the Author
About the Author

Drew Furtado is an Emmy Award winning filmmaker, and leader of a nationally recognized high school media arts communication department .

He develops guides and strategies for nonprofit and educational organizations to improve and grow their social media presence, website development, and communication practices that best engages audiences.

New Bedford, Massachusetts

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