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PuRsuasive Design

Inju Heo
I
Design
|
Sep 7, 2016

Design with Aristotle’s 3 persuasive appeals

Creating a persuasive appeal is a main key to a successful design. What makes someone a good communication designer? Luckily, it is not a mystery. We can find a solution from the Aristotle’s Rhetoric theory to being a persuasive public speaker. The three elements identified in his theory can be used as an effective guide to creating a successful communication design.

Aristotle’s three appeals are Logos, Pathos, and Ethos.

Logos - Logical Argument - Analyze

Does your design display a logical mode for appealing to users' sense of reason? Try to find a way to portray a clear message that makes sense to your users and audiences. It is typically done by using facts and statistics, quotations from experts, and/or informed opinions.

Recognizing the need is the primary condition for design. – Charles Eames

Pathos - Emotional Connection - Persuade

Does your design appeals to humor, fear, imagination and hopes? Making emotional bond is the reason people believe that your design will matter to them. Giving a vivid impression with competence will make the greatest influence on users' perception on your design.

Good design is making something intelligible and memorable. Great design is making something memorable and meaningful. – Dieter Rams

Ethos - Credibility - Trust

Your audience will judge the propositions of your design as being more true and acceptable. It is important to show a credibility in your design. Social proof such as testimonials from credible sources or badges of affiliated industry or well known individuals will help to establish the credibility.

To be persuasive we must be believable; to be believable we must be credible; credible we must be truthful. – Edward R. Murrow

In order to make a successful communication design, consider these elements to create a persuasive appeals. These three elements of communication - Logos, Pathos, and Ethos - reinforce one another. Combining them based on users’ perspectives will be the path to achieving the greatest success.

Inju Heo
Inju Heo is a principal & creative director of YBYI Design. She has over 17 years of experience in communication design. She has two master degrees in computer arts and communication design. She is the author of Computer Graphic Design Essential and co-author of Media Design. She also taught computer graphic design courses in colleges.
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