Marketing is one part intuition, and nine parts psychology. Designers of any kind, from automobiles to cake decorations, make use of psychology to elicit the best results from their audience. Whether they want the viewer to think “fast and reliable” or “moist and delicious,” designers that take psychology into account tend to do well, and web design is no different.
Here are a few different areas of psychology that should be considered in your web design. Many are very easy to incorporate, and others may require a fundamental shift in your design choices. Just keep in mind the Psychology of Web Design.
The Need for Trust
Quality is extremely important. If you don’t have a high quality site, it’s likely that you also neglect the quality of your services and your products. Even more condemning, you may be seen as a business which doesn’t look forward if your site isn’t modern. If you’ve ever visited a site that has a design that dates back to the early 2000′s, you already know what sort of reaction this can cause.
Having clearly identified elements, secure coding in your check out and shopping process, transparent policies on customer information storage and usage, and official logos from businesses that you’ve worked with or which endorse you can be key ways to gain trust. Nothing trumps having a secure, polished, and functional website.
Much of the early success of the diamond industry across the world is due to the emotional anchors of gifting diamonds as a sign of promise and bonding. Emotional anchors can influence the mindset of your visitors, whether through colors, image choices, or even the type of font that you use. Aggressive, “act now” design is perfect for limited time sales, while more relaxed design schemes are more suited for long term investments in finances or home ownership.
Don’t Overload Your Users
It can be very tempting to try and put as many images, links, and descriptive text into every pixel of real estate that your site has, but a minimalist approach can also be appropriate in certain areas. Knowing where and when to add information, according to a proper visual flow, is key. Having too much information in one space can actually reduce the interest of your visitor. Use empty space to properly frame your designs, and it can have a positive impact on how users react to their options for clicking on links, responding to calls to action, and more.
The Social Mind
The way that we interact with others can inform our reaction to a website as well. This includes the associations that we form based on prior experiences as well. In web design, you will notice that every website of a certain industry will have a similar look. Banking websites, for example, all tend to use similar elements, bold coloring, white text on colored frames, and other details. While it’s good to stand out with your own design, people have expectations of your site that you shouldn’t stray too far from.
Creating a sense of community is also very big for generating the right numbers. If you have social marketing, integrating it into your web design can be a smart move. Using inclusive wording or images can also net you very positive results and engagement rates.
The Colors of Thought
Color choices are large in human psychology because they relate to our very earliest days as cognizant thinkers. Red, for example, is one of the very first colors that the eye will notice, because it could be associated with certain situations and conditions that required the immediate attention of our hunter-gatherer ancestors. We’re programmed to associate colors with certain states of well being, comfort, interest, and much more.
Color choices can also change from culture to culture. The actual context of color choices matter; as another example, black could be associated with funerals in the West, while at certain points in history in the East, white was the color of mourning. Consider your audience, your geographical location, and your best associations for your business. If in doubt, orange, blue, and green have almost universally positive associations with enthusiasm, calm, and growth respectively.
A Visual Flow
Just as the eye is naturally lead to attention by colors, the flow of images, text, links, and more can all create a “trail” that the visitor will follow. This creates a visual priority that should be optimized for the best results. Using heatmap software with your website’s visitor data can help you to assess where users are naturally drawn first, with “hotter” areas being red, just as you would expect to see with thermal imaging.
So, just remember, the Psychology of Web Design is an extremely important aspect of building a website.