I will soon be implementing a learning platform for blue collar workers about security for a client and as a hobby, I'm making a completely different platform on the side for children about science.

With some sweeping generalizations, since the target demographics are in the thousands, what are the most important bad feelings to shield your users from when they're already feeling pretty overwhelmed with stress as they're learning something difficult? Are there any differences between children and adults in that regard?

  • Don't use anything that's visually distracting? Commented Jul 2, 2015 at 12:58
  • I usually feel comfortable when I'm given the fun challenge of learning something new, not stressed at all. Commented Jul 2, 2015 at 18:49
  • @MattiVirkkunen So, I shouldn't worry about kids feeling stressed or anxious over their confusion or that the employees will feel stressed that they have to complete a course before a certain date to be allowed to keep their job?
    – pimmen
    Commented Jul 2, 2015 at 19:18
  • I think this question may be too broad. In general, UX is about removing bad feelings in general. But that's not the direct focus. The focus is to make the best user experience, which, in turn, will (hopefully) avoid bad feelings.
    – DA01
    Commented Jul 6, 2015 at 7:37

2 Answers 2


This a great question. Taking into consideration the emotional journey is crucial to creating an exceptional experience. Anxiety and security are the two emotions you want to manage. These two are the big friction generators and often result in abandonment.

The good news is both can be addressed in design. We can't eliminate all friction but we can work to create enough momentum to push an overwhelmed or stressed customers through it.

Have someone you know work through your design and encourage them to verbalize how it is making them feel. Look specifically for interactions that cause them to feel uncertain, fatigued or like they have lost control. Use these as opportunities to restate your value proposition, reassure them and to insert delighters.


First, I'd check the assumption that your target audience is stressed. In the situation that you describe of learning something difficult, there are many emotions that your users might be feeling. They could be feeling stressed. They could be feeling resigned. They could be annoyed that they have to do something that they don't think is worthwhile. Which is to say: spend time with your users to ensure that you have a good grasp of their emotional state.

Second, I would focus on the outcome that you want, not the emotions that you don't want. Emotions are only one part of the context for your users. You definitely want to account for it, and ensure that your design can help your users achieve the desired goal.

If your users are feeling overwhelmed, there are many design decisions that you can make to help them not feel so overwhelmed. A clean design that sets the user up for success in their next task will help them. Consistency helps the user build upon what they already know and be able to learn how to use it more easily.

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