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.
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…