Delightful elements make our designs feel more engaging.

What is delight?

Utility communications are often seen as dry and transactional—they’re usually not fun. To make Opower communications more engaging, we sometimes add delightful elements to:

  • Bring a bit of personality to the product
  • Make the design more functional (ex: animations can invite the user to take action)
  • Subtle
  • Helpful
  • Visually engaging
  • Doesn’t add confusion
  • Doesn’t call too much attention to itself
  • Doesn’t add extra clutter

Examples of delight

Using animation as decoration

The sun rotates to make the illustration more fun. Keep in mind this should be subtle—it shouldn’t draw too much attention, since it’s decorative.

Using animation to kill time

The circular progress indicator assures users something is happening and makes the wait time for the pie chart feel shorter.

Using illustration to convey meaning

The sun, thermostat, fan, and iced tea gives this summer energy report a warm look and feel.

When to include delight in your design


It could be OK to add delightful elements when...

  • At the beginning: create interest an initial communication to make a good first impression
  • In a transition – when something’s loading
  • Feedback during interaction and when things happen
  • At the end: when you finish a task
  • Confirmation

Not OK

There are times when delight is not appropriate.

  • If it’s a stressful situation, it’s best to get straight to the point.
  • Important information that requires attention (extra delightful elements may clutter the main message)
  • Error messages