Emotional Design Psychology & Neuroscience [ED]

2-Day Design Psychology & Neuroscience

Deepen your understanding of what shapes user emotion and behavior

Over two days, discover how to build emotionally intelligent websites, apps, content, and campaigns based on the psychology and neuroscience of user emotion, motivation, cognition, and behavior.

You’ll develop new skills in building technologies that inspire, motivate, and win customer loyalty. You’ll also learn how to pre-empt your users’ emotional reactions, so you can defuse negative situations before they explode, while upgrading your users' experiences from good to great.

Our training will transform your understanding of what emotions are and how they work, while you learn practical strategies on how to target specific emotions. Plus, we’ll provide you with templates, strategy frameworks, research tools, and techniques that you can take back to the office, and apply immediately.

This workshop is for intermediate-to-advanced level digital media practitioners who are looking for deeper insight into the factors that shape user and consumer behavior. If you’re starting out, you’ll probably benefit by first taking workshop DBC1 and possibly DBC2. If you're not sure, see our FAQ or get in touch.

Skills and knowledge you’ll gain

By the end of this workshop, you’ll be able to:

  • Understand the full spectrum of user emotions
  • Build emotionally intelligent technologies and campaigns
  • Predict users’ cognitive disposition and emotional needs
  • Craft messages that make users feel good while shaping their behavior
  • Evoke healthy motivating stress while avoiding frustration or anxiety
  • Defuse potentially negative user emotions before they explode
  • Understand what drains your users’ attention, energy, and willpower
  • Conduct user research to optimize emotional impact
  • Build wireframes and mocks from psychology and neuroscience
  • Know which emotions to target to achieve different outcomes
  • Predict how people will react to various types of photos and images
  • Design personalities for humanlike AI bots and conversational interfaces
  • Build technologies that your users love

Workshop modules

Over 2 days, we’ll cover:

Day 1

  1. Intro to emotional design
  2. Emotional drivers of online behavior
  3. The Emotion–Behavior Model
  4. Sense perception and digital triggers
  5. Mapping the full spectrum of emotions
  6. The emotional quadrants that motivate behavior
  7. How to measure emotional reactions to design
  8. Shaping user habits with incentive systems
  9. Reducing emotional, cognitive, and physical barriers

Day 2

  1. Reverse-engineering emotional strategies
  2. Emotion-driven wireframing
  3. Designing for different personalities
  4. Relating with computers and conversational AI bots
  5. Defense mechanisms against manipulation
  6. Emotional design strategies for behavior change
  7. Neurotransmitters, core emotions, and interactive design
  8. Shaping behavior and engineering empathetic content
  9. External conversion metrics vs. your internal compass

Behavioral science made easy and practical

What you learn is all based on hard science, but we’ve tailored the content to working professionals who need to get to the point and learn what works, fast. We present the science in clear, jargon-free language, using case studies, examples, and practical exercises that are accessible and easy to pick up, learn, and apply.

Obtain exclusive resources

Your training kit includes our proprietary design resources that will help you develop emotional design strategies, site audits, research studies, and wireframes. You’ll receive:

Training Guide

Reference Manual


Oversized Wireframes


After completing all modules, covering 13 hours of instruction over 2 days, you will receive a certificate of completion.

Learn more about your certification options.

Who this workshop is for

This workshop is for digital professionals who want to gain true mastery of their craft, by developing a profound understanding of the psychological and neurological traits, that lay behind online engagement. It’s ideally suited to:

Usability and UI/UX professionals

Graphic designers and interactive designers

Digital marketing and advertising specialists

Content strategists and web writers

Product marketing managers

Digital project managers

Health promotion specialists

Conversion optimizers & researchers

The professionals you’ll meet at our workshop

Our training attracts an eclectic blend of professionals from a wide range of sectors. We’ve designed the content to be relevant to those working across a broad range of organizations, including:

  • Technology firms, Cloud services
  • Digital agencies, Creative firms
  • Non-profit organizations
  • Government, Health sector
  • Retail businesses, Consulting services
  • Financial services, Insurance
  • Media, Gaming, Entertainment
  • Telecommunications, Infrastructure
  • Small businesses, Freelancers, Students
  • Academia, Behavioral science, Psychology

Make sure this workshop is right for you

If you’re interested in gaining a deep understanding of emotions and how they shape user behavior, then this workshop is for you.

You can take workshop ED on its own or as a complement to workshops DBC1 + DBC2 as they draw on different areas of science and take a different approach to digital behavior change.

The goal of this workshop is to deepen your understanding of what shapes user/consumer behavior from within, rather than learning empirically validated external behavior change techniques, which is what we cover in workshops DBC1 + DBC2.

For this reason, we do not recommend this workshop for beginners, or people who are interested in learning foundational digital psychology. These groups will benefit more by taking workshops DBC1 and DBC2 prior to taking ED.

Looking to decide whether this workshop is at the right level for you or want more information? Check out our FAQ or give us a shout.

Timing and logistics

The workshop runs 9:00 am – 5:00 pm (but please arrive by 8:50 as we start at 9:00 sharp). There is a 15-minute break in the morning, an hour for lunch, and another 15-minute break in the afternoon.

We’ll provide all the training materials, so you’ll only need to bring a pen, some paper, and, if you’d like to participate in our live polling, bring a smartphone or tablet. We’ll provide Wi-Fi.

Brian Cugelman, PhD (your instructor)

Have a question?

Check out our FAQ or give me a shout. I'm happy to help out.

Call: +1 (888) 977-2055
Email: brian (at) alterspark.com
Tweet: @cugelman
LinkedIn: linkedin.com/in/cugelman

With an extensive career running online projects and studies for industry, non-profit organizations, governments, and the United Nations, Dr. Brian Cugelman has been working as an online behavior change specialist since 1997.

In 2006, Brian launched AlterSpark, with a focus on merging behavioral science with creative design and data science. Over the years, Brian has helped numerous companies and institutions measure and improve their online campaigns for greater understanding and measurable results.

Early on in his career, Brian was honored when the United Nations General Assembly recognized the outcome of his digital campaigning work. He has also acted as an expert advisor for the World Anti-Doping Agency, the Heart and Stroke Foundation, and the annual International Conference on Persuasive Technology.

High-level government officials from both the United States and Canada have invited Brian to educate their personnel. Pentagon officials invited Brian to present his research for their Cyber Influence Project and then cited his research in their strategy to counter online extremism. Government of Canada officials invited Brian to train their team and to run an educational session to a packed house of digital media professionals and behavioral scientists across federal agencies.

Brian obtained his PhD in Online Social Marketing with the Statistical Cybermetrics Research Group, a world-leading Internet research team specializing in large-scale online data science. He has published over 25 papers and studies for the United Nations, global institutions, and scientific peer-reviewed journals.

While completing his doctorate, Brian developed the scientific basis for his behavior change system, which he subsequently published in the world’s top scientific e-health journal and then later adapted to a format that working professionals could quickly learn and apply.

Brian conducts workshops across North America, training individuals and teams—including those from the world’s top companies and brands and from the highest levels of government. Check out his partial list of clients and testimonials on AlterSpark.com to see who has attended his training, as well as what they had to say about it.

Brian’s philosophy is to make his training accessible to students and researchers, regularly donating scholarships to people who use technology to build a better world. Brian welcomes professionals from all disciplines, from beginners to some of the world’s leading behavior change specialists, and especially those who are using technology to build a better planet.

See what Dr. Cugelman has to say about the workshop.

Brian has trained teams at these companies:

“I gained valuable insights that I can apply to landing pages currently in production. The context was very interesting, delivered in an easy to understand format and actionable.”

Susan Oslin, UX Architect and Product Lead, ECO Auto Solutions

“Brian's expertise has given me not only additional tools to make my client's campaign more successful. It's helped me make my agency stand out in the world.”

Philip Djwa, CEO, Strategist and Creative Director, Agentic Digital Media

“We marketers cannot do our jobs successfully without psychology knowledge. Brian shares current research and examples that can be used in creating more impactful interactive messaging.”

Debbie White, Creative Director and Principal, Frank + Candor

Register now

New York
Sold Out
New York
24-25 May 2018
18-19 Oct 2018
Toronto 2
Toronto 2
8-9 Nov 2018
22-23 Nov 2018
Toronto 1
Toronto 1
11-12 Apr 2019
Super Early Bird Deadline Jan, 25
Register early to save 25% ($150)
New York
New York
9-10 May 2019
Super Early Bird Deadline Jan, 25
Register early to save 25% ($150)

Tuition fees

$599 (299.5/day)2-days

To see our training packages, early bird rates, and group promotions, visit our tuition fee page.

Get this course for $249.8/day on a 5-day Complete Package.

Registration in Eventbrite
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Waitlist for sold-out classes
If you can't order tickets because the workshop has sold-out, join the waitlist in Eventbrite. We have a flexible cancellation policy, so there's always a chance that space will open up.

Have any questions?
Email: team@alterspark.com
Call: +1 (888) 977-2055

Next Early Bird Deadline for Vancouver (15% off) Sep 21, 2018









100% Satisfaction guarantee

We’re so confident you’ll love our workshop that we’re offering a 100% refund to anyone who wishes to withdraw. To qualify, simply return all your training materials and notify your instructor by the start of lunch on the first day. That’s pretty much it.


Terms, and conditions

All our workshops are subject to AlterSpark’s Guarantees, Terms, and Conditions. Please ensure that you read these before signing up.


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