You may already feel that you know what makes a brilliantly designed website – yet in truth, you might not. The only thing you might be sure of about a given site is that it just ‘feels’ right. It touches all of the right psychological buttons. How do you translate a mere ‘feeling’ into a better design for your own site so that your own customers feel the same way?
Here are just a few examples of how our web consultants in the UK here at PENNInk Productions draw on human psychology in their design of websites for our clients – and how you can start doing the same.
Tap into users’ emotions
As much as many of us may take pride in feeling that we are good at controlling our emotions, in truth they remain a massive and frequent driver of human decisions. Just think to the last time you impulsively purchased something you didn’t really need; in all likelihood there would have been something deeply emotional driving you to make that decision.
Well, you can work similar tricks with your website design. It might be with the colours you use, given that certain hues are commonly associated with certain psychological responses. Your choice of fonts will also have an effect on visitors.
Place the essentials where you’d expect them to be
Sure, you want your website to look and feel fresh and different enough to be interesting to the user. However, there are circumstances in which ‘fresh’ and ‘different’ simply means ‘irritating’. If you were urgently looking to purchase a used car and a seller invited you to see theirs, you’d probably be a little irritated to turn up and see a unicycle instead.
Similarly, visitors to websites are accustomed to such things as where the ‘Contact Us’ and ‘Home’ links are supposed to be on a site. We are sensitive to perceiving certain familiar patterns, and are used to behaving accordingly. Web design, then, is about complying with these basics to keep users comfortable; it isn’t about trying to reinvent the wheel.
Make intelligent use of white space
Think back to the last time you were browsing a ‘white cube’ art gallery. When you weren’t looking intently at that painting or sculpture, what purpose did all of that white space surrounding the artworks serve?
You might think “not much”. But in many ways, that’s the whole point. The white space enabled you to relax your mind and eyes, and to periodically stop the cognitive process. If you visited an art gallery with no visible wall space at all, or a website with every inch occupied by text or graphics, there’s a good chance that you’d feel more than a little overwhelmed or disorientated. White space, then, has its own powerful and important psychological effect on human beings.
Do you fancy talking through your thoughts for what may or may not work for your own next website design, with our own highly trusted and capable web consultants in the UK? If so, simply give the PENNInk Productions team a call now, on 020 8144 7931.
Edward Solomon has over 15 years’ experience in project management, technical education, computer networking, web design and development and is a Digital Business Consultant for PENNInk Productions Ltd.