There's been a lot of talk in the web design world recently about 'emotional design (opens in new tab)' - which involves creating a distinct personality for our interfaces. This thinking has inspired the latest makeover of textbook price comparison site SlugBooks.com (opens in new tab) - which describes itself as "Kayak (opens in new tab) for college textbooks".
The different sections of the site have been given 15 specially-created cartoon characters to represent different subject textbooks, and the books move as various form inputs occur. Nothing to do with functionality; everything to do with making the experience fun and engaging for viewers.
SlugBooks founder and CEO David Miller (opens in new tab) is keen to make sure the new elements of emotional design are helping, not hurting sales of textbooks via the site.
"I'm a huge supporter of websites developing their own branding/personality, but having a pulse on the analytics is very important, especially when you entering those murky waters of branding," he tells us. "So we're always monitoring if there is a subject that is underperforming."
"For example, our dance textbook couldn't keep up with the rest, while our chemistry textbook has consistently been among our stronger performers."