What’s The Psychology Behind Web Design?

7th September 2017 / 5 minute read

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Web design requires a great deal of creativity, and with most creative actions, it relies on psychology. The objective when it comes to designing your website is to appeal to your customers through your website. In the process of doing so, you will need to attract, interact and convert your site visitors into paying customers.

Every website looks different, and so they should. It’s a similar case to the well-known expression, ‘if everyone was the same, then the world would be boring.’ If every website was the same, then the internet would be incredibly boring.

So, what exactly is some of the psychology behind website design?

Every website starts with design

The human brain is wonderfully complex, yet we can use what we know about our brain’s likes and dislikes in the process of web design. The way something looks is crucial for design – not only of websites but anything digital or physical.

The aesthetic design of a website is one of the key aspects of any website. Without a good quality design, your website will become lost within the digital world of the internet.

Create a bespoke look and feel

It’s very cliché, but it’s true. In web design, you need to create a website which has a great look and feel. When a site visitor comes to your website, you need to ensure they feel obliged to stay and find out more about you, your business and your services.

How irritating is it when you see someone and you recognise them but you just can’t place where or how you know them? This is something you must avoid in web design. When someone comes onto your website, you need them to remember your website and brand.

But how do you go about achieving this?

Through colour.

Colour is like a sugary treat for our brain. We all love colour, and it’s the one ingredient that any designer utilises to grab our attention.

Embracing the colour palette of your branding is usually the way forward with creating your website’s look. However, there are always leniencies when it comes to the colours adopted for the design of your website.

Lighter and cooler shades of colours can be inviting and friendly, yet they can also seem bleak and uninviting. Warmer colours can give off vibrancy, which could be interpreted as confidence, and that could deter site visitors away.

As long as you stick to the colour scheme of your brand, your website will coexist with your implication.

Nobody said that web design was easy!

Through organisation and layout.

Believe it or not, space on a website is important. If you have a website homepage that is crammed with information about your services, your business’ history, and your social media activities, then people will more than likely make a run for it.

It’s like speaking to someone you’ve just met in a supermarket. If they start telling you their life story, how would you feel about that? A little bombarded? Awkward even? It’s no different with websites.

Your website needs to drip-feed information to a user, and this is achieved through minimalistic web design and structure. White space should play a big role in your website’s design, as it gives your site visitor a safe place where there is no media.

I know, if only we had white space available for some face to face conversations!

web design laptop

Through minimal web design.

This coincides with our previous point, but minimal websites are becoming more common. The reason being that the visual elements on a website are much more appealing than content. It’s true, I’m a content writer and I’m not afraid to admit it.

Whenever I write content, I always use images to support my writing. Otherwise, visually, it can look tedious, maybe even intimidating.

That’s not to say you should abandon content, it’s still a vital ingredient for web design and the psychology behind it. But striking the right balance between the written form and visual features is essential.

Through an effective user journey

Users on your website shouldn’t need to search long and hard to locate that desired link they require. Creating a structured user journey is pivotal to the success of a website.

By creating a substantial user journey for your website, you can ensure that your users can easily reach the end goal with great ease and natural progression. Whether their aim is to purchase a product or research about a service or skill, then you need to help your site visitors find their need through your website’s layout, call to actions and visual aids.

Through content.

Content can make or break a website’s design. Too much of it and you will scare site visitors away. It’s not like the early years of web design where it was acceptable to smack 5,000 words onto your homepage. The aesthetic value of a website plays a bigger role in how people perceive your website.

The content on your website needs to be short, concise and well-written. People browse the web to find quick solutions. If they’re looking for a product or service and they come across your website, what is it they want to know? They want to know if you have what they’re looking for. They won’t want to know about your history or who works for you until they know you can help.

Website pages with lots of content are actually harder to read and cause much frustration for your site visitors unless it’s an in-depth article or blog.

If you have time, then we would recommend reading ‘The Psychology of Content Design’ by Envato Tuts+ to find out more about content for websites.

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Pause for thought

There you have it, some psychology behind the process of web design.

Thank you for reading, I hope that this blog has given you something to think about during your current or next web design journey.

Web design is not an easy process and it cannot be completed in an evening’s work. You need to assess and review every process and aspect of your website, especially when it comes to the appearance of it.

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