Needs and Desires

Web Designer Depot has an article on self-centered web copy that is pretty interesting. They quote Abraham Maslow with a tidy list of peoples needs and desires:

  • Transcendence: help others realize their potential
  • Self-actualization: realize your own potential, self-fulfillment, peak experiences
  • Aesthetic: symmetry, order, beauty, balance
  • Learning: know, understand, mentally connect
  • Esteem: achieve, be competent, gain approval, independence, status
  • Belonging: love, family, friends, affection
  • Security: protection, safety, stability
  • Physical: hunger, thirst, bodily comfort

Kind of interesting to think of targeting peoples core desires with web copy. Clearly smart though. Although I’m having a hard time figuring out which categories casual drug use and anonymous sex would fall into (clearly human desires), so I’m not sure how accurate this is.


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One response to “Needs and Desires”

  1. James says:

    First reply here, Chris, and I gotta say, I love the fact that you have a personal blog in addition to CSS-tricks… somewhere where you can talk about things beside the sometimes boring world of web design.

    I think anonymous sex probably falls under the physical need, or rather physical desires. Drug use is probably a combination of esteem and physical, although don’t quote me on this; I’m just musing.

    I remember “self-actualisation” from studying psychology at school, I never really understood it. Then I realised, instead of thinking about it like a static goal to which you must aim in life, I had to think of it as something similar to enlightenment for Buddhists.

    I don’t like the idea of applying psychological research to marketing techniques or something like web copy because, if Maslow was correct, and someone was to apply his findings to a marketing campaign… well, it wouldn’t be good for the people exposed…

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