Psychology in Web Design

The process of web design is a complex and often underestimated part of any web development project. In fact, the novice, do not put much thought into the design of a website. However, a web design agency, with the backing of professionals tend to play a big role in the way people perceive and react to a website. A good design not only attracts more visitors to a website but also raises the website’s importance and credibility. Whereas, a bad, not thought-out design only diminishes its purpose and serves no good to the business. Good web designs come from well thought out page layouts, carefully picked colors and typefaces, and well-structured unique content. This logical process is often called the psychology of web design. Many web designers begin to design their websites by employing psychological concepts in their designs to influence their customers on a deeper, psychological level. The psychological impact is reflected through some of the crucial elements of web design like color, page layout, typefaces, and content.

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Image Credit: 10BestDesign

Choosing a website color is one of the essential parts of web design. Color can be a strong tool that will have a great impact on the website’s visitors. The colors that web designers choose help to set up the customers’ emotions and mood towards a website. There are thousands of colors and therefore millions of color combinations. Each color has a different emotional impact on a human being and thus has a different purpose of use.

For example, blue is often used by banks and social networks on their websites because most people associate blue with certain feelings such as trust, calmness, and loyalty. Another example of a color that creates a feeling is red. Red displays power, importance, and energy. Many websites often use red to grab the attention of the customers or highlight the importance of something on a web page. Some other examples of colors that have psychological effects that on a person include: orange, which provokes energy and friendliness, yellow often causes a feeling of happiness and enthusiasm. There are more countless examples of colors’ effects on people’s feelings and emotions towards a website.

Clearly, every color has its own psychological effect on a human being. Web developers and web designers should always choose the colors for a website based on the message that a website is trying to convey. The social network websites choose to have blue as their primary color because their goal is to convince their customers that these websites can be trusted. Similarly, the color red is used by web designers for the purpose of emphasizing the importance of a certain place or function on a website. Carefully selected colors are used to create a specific emotional reaction from the customers and a big component of the design process.

Similar to other aspects of web design, page layout also has a significant role in the process of web design. The design of the page layout involves the organization and arrangement of visual elements, text on a web page. Web designers can utilize the psychological patterns of human behavior in order to better translate and communicate the main ideas of the website to its visitors. After all, it’s the page layout of a website that will guide the website’s visitors. Hence, why web designers need to establish elements on web pages that lead the reader’s eyes guiding them to the key element and message. For example, focus on attention-grabbing titles on web pages, call-to-action-buttons, links, and buttons.

Research has shown that visitors on websites tend to look at a web page from top left to right, up and down, in a “Z” like pattern. This means that web designers should place important information at the top left, middle, and bottom right parts of the web page as these are the most common places where the visitors will look. Another example of how human psychology can be utilized in the design of a page layout is the use of blank space on the web page. Most people do not like to look at large blocks of text. Space should be used to create a visual break for the visitors. The intentionally created blank space can be used to lead the website visitors to a specific spot on a web page. One reason, how space will narrow down the areas on the page where the customers can look, and essentially show the right content. Any top web designer will have mastered this art, and get this part checked off during the design process.

Evidently, designing the page layout while applying the psychological aspects of human behavior is beneficial to the final outcome. One reason why professional web designers are careful when it comes to choosing the placement of the key elements of a website Different places throughout a web page have a different influence on a customer and need to be placed accordingly. Positioning the most important information in the areas that have a stronger influence on people will increase the bounce rate and visitor retention.

A typeface, commonly known as a font, is a group of several fonts that are similar in design. These are an essential part of the psychology of web design and can evoke emotions and feelings, as well as set up the tone for the text. Typefaces vary in size, shape, design, as well as purpose. There are thousands of typefaces and each one is designed to be used for particular situations and to spark a certain feeling. For instance, Serif typeface has a history of being mostly used in professional fields of work, like law firms, news websites, and schools. For this reason, many people associate the Serif fonts with professionalism, thus using Serif fonts on a website would create a feeling of seriousness and importance. Another example of a typeface is the Sans-serif fonts. These fonts create a more modern and informal mood for a text. Sans-serif fonts are commonly used by social networks and tech companies to give their users a feeling that they are always up-to-date.

Research has shown typeface is associated with a certain feeling and mood. When people see a text with a Serif typeface, they feel that this text is important or knowledgeable. On the other hand, Sans-serif typeface provides a more modern and futuristic feeling to the readers. Other typefaces can also be used to create a specific feeling or mood for the reader. Web designers use typefaces to create distinct emotions that they want customers to experience. After all, it’s ensuring that visitors are connected and continue to explore and delve deeper into the website.

The content of a website is arguably the most important part of web design. The content is one of the first things customers see when they open a website. This includes numerous elements on a website such as text, images, or videos. Unique content serves as the major way for website customers to learn more about what the website has to offer. With Google search algorithms improving through AI, it’s become a necessity to hire content marketing professionals. After all, not everyone is born a writer! It is often expressed through blocks of text or multimedia. Content does not seem too complicated for it has any psychological connection to web design. Nevertheless, it has one of the biggest roles in how customers will perceive a website.

One of the most common mistakes that web designers make is that they have too much content or just too little. It is good to have well-populated web pages but, the amounts of content need to be balanced. The best way around this is to hire a content writer that will be able to create unique content specific to the business. Unique content on any website will help page ranking as well as separate your website from the competition. In fact, a website with too much text could result in visitors immediately leaving. Large amounts of text tend to intimidate people because it is hard to find any information in large blocks of text. Web pages with too many images or other multimedia are also not good for websites unless they are organized correctly.

Applying aspects of psychology to web design is a must for any individual creating websites, or thinking of designing on. Usage of psychological logic during web designing will allow web developers to have a greater impact on their customers. Careful planning and execution of psychological aspects of web design can guide customers to certain information or set up a website’s mood and theme. The psychology of web design is often applied through various elements of a website like color, page layout, typefaces, and content. Qualified and professional web developers always consider what effect they want the final website to have on visitors. Each element of an effective website’s design serves as a support to the business. The strategic planning and utilization of psychology in web design helps to make the most effective and enjoyable design for a website, whilst delivering the main goals. That is to attract visitors, retain them, and finally convert them into customers.

Remember it takes a couple of seconds for website visitors to decide to stay on a website or not and the psychology of a web design will help.

Written by

A Seattle web design and online marketing agency that delivers high-end websites. A passion for web development and SEO.

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