Digital Oxytocin, Does Your Business Have It?

Oxytocin. Now there’s a thing. 


A powerful human hormone that caps as a neurotransmitter in the brain. It’s arguably the most popular of hormones in the neighbourhood, because it triples up as the bonding hormone, the trust hormone and the security hormone that keeps your relationship pretty much on the V.I.P list.

Our #OnTheFlipside  host chats to Darren Mansour from So Interactive. Have a listen below:

The question is: does your business do the same? Digital Oxytocin, or fondly dubbed as The D.O Effect, is an instant user experience that benchmarks the initial bonding stage between consumer and brand. Just like the “love hormone” of the brain, Digital Oxytocin is the chemistry responsible for attracting your audience, exciting your audience and making your audience stick around for more.  

When it comes to designing websites, an ‘exceptional digital experience’ should be Number 1 on your strategy list. Getting your D.O levels correct in business, has everything to do with amplifying the user journey online, and focussing on human behaviour as the brand goal towards delivering a compelling brand-consumer relationship.

The D.O Effect is a guaranteed game changer, and can be divided into 5 superior impact touch points that will help you land the ‘love’, first time round.

1: Know What They Want: Intuitive design is real my friends. Knowing what your audience wants before they do is not a skill, it’s a design strategy – and it could save your bottom line. Intuitive design is quite simply, a matter of meeting your online customer’s needs seamlessly, without an interrupted experience. The idea of answering all your customer’s questions before they ask, is D.O gold. Ask yourself: what is the task and can my customer complete it effectively?  

2:  Don’t Make Them Work for It: If you’re running a ‘bookings’ business, for example, and your objective is to sell as many tickets online in a short space of time, make it easy. Simple = Satisfaction. You’ll want to tell your user what to buy, what it looks like, why to buy it and how to buy it in a few easy taps. Airline and Accommodation brands like and respectively have improved their D.O Effect for now, with an easy-flow experience that makes browsing pleasurable, the price-compare experience simple and ensures the user feels secure and at ease from check in to check out.   

 3: Don’t Talk “Responsive” On the First Date: Or the second date. Or the third. Sadly, the term ‘Responsive Websites’ in business, has become as misunderstood as finding true love on the first swipe right. “Responsive Websites” means cross-screen compatibility – NOT necessarily cross-screen user-journey. The proverbial ‘cookie cut’ desktop approach is a fail in web design. Just because your site is ‘responsive’ across mobile or tablet devices doesn’t mean it meets the needs of the user. The truth is, you can’t have a responsive website without a memorable user journey. They need to exist together. If you want your customer to land on your website and stay, then your aim should be to have a ‘mobile first’ strategy in mind from the get go, to support your ‘responsive website.’

Consider this: if there are 3.7 billion unique users online globally (as at Jan 2018) and 49.7% are attributed to webpage viewing then you cannot, cannot, cannot purely rely on desktop stacking your website design. Design your wesbite with a compelling mobile user experience in mind, FIRST – a design strategy that mirrors the same intuitive experience across all devices.

4: Spice It Up: Digital seduction is a key design strategy for Digital Oxytocin effectiveness. How to keep your user from straying? A. Your overall web design should be simple, balanced and aligned to your brand CI. B. Choosing a typeface that is easy on the eye and has a clear weight hierarchy is also must. C. To increase your chances on the D.O circuit, make sure to include visual imagery and video too. D. Whatever you do, DO NOT include  User Interface Animation (U.I) just because you think it looks or sounds cool. Nobody likes an “over-tryer”! Make sure U.I is only created for the purpose of enhancing the user experience, and not just for art’s sake.


5: You Have 3 Seconds. Go.: Quality, sex appeal and good conversation pretty much sums up the Richter scale of relationship “wants”.  Your brand has to present the same – and it only has 3 seconds online to determine whether your customer stays or strays. Your landing page should load and lure in your user within a 3 second speed span – telling them promptly that they’ve landed in the right place. Too much guess work on this one and you’ll risk losing them to Joe Soap in the adjacent tab. With an average of 200 ads being served to a user per day disruption is the new digital disease, and makes for a highly competitive landscape to play in. We recommend keeping your 3-second game plan strong.


Don’t let your plans of www domination stop at design. All things considered, the user journey should be high on the objectives list when it comes to strategising in the online space. Get your user to cuddle up to your brand by marrying form, functionality and intuitive strategy. It’s a non-negotiable. Your business just can’t afford the shortcomings of a negative user experience. Talk to So Interactive, a respected and seasoned digital studio based in Johannesburg, about your place in the market and establishing the touch points that will move your brand forward with Digital Oxytocin.

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