Web Design and the Emotional Bank Account

You’ll have heard about emotional bank accounts. You hold one with everybody you know. The account might be in credit (you make them laugh, you are always reliable, you surprise them with flowers) or the account might be overdue (you are always late, you offend, you were dishonest)

It’s not wise to default

A simple idea that stretches far further than just people.  Think of the corporate web sites you use:

  • Do they make you wade through pages of marketing fluff before you can do what you want to do? Or are they straight to the point?
  • Do they update their home page if they have issues which effect their service? (Strikes or system down time). Or is their home page an oasis of self denial?
  • Do they ask for lots of dubious information to join their mailing list (why exactly do they need my phone number, are they going to take me on a date?)
  • Are their frequently asked questions frequently asked questions? Or things that they wish you would ask?
  • Can you get at the information you want easily or do they hide it from you? (exactly how much is the credit card booking fee?)
  • Do they put the effort in, perhaps sending you an e-mail to confirm receipt of order? Or are you left wondering?
  • Do they make it easy for you if you make a mistake? Or do they make you go all the way back to stage one?
  • Are they totally honest? Do they default to the price which is best for you or best for them?
  • Do they make it easy for you to do things right? Ever tried putting a UK phone number into a US site?

Is your company’s web site in the black, or red?

Tired and Emotional

Read another opinion

Image by Duncan~’s



  1. Hello James

    Another excellent post. I shall be using this checklist in my work.

    In my experience only a handful of websites would pass the test that you have set. Now that is not an issue. It is GREAT opportunity to improve, to make a difference, to differentiate yourself.

    All the best

  2. Hi James,
    I’ve come across the emotional bank account before but had never thought to apply it to website. Genius!

    Of your checklist, the one I like the most is: Are their frequently asked questions frequently asked questions? Or things that they wish you would ask?

    Too many times have I seen this. Seems to me that the customer service teams need to spend more time talking to the web team.

    Thanks for that,


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