There’s no question that an attractive website brings in more traffic and conversions. However, there’s more than to improving conversion rates with a pretty website. That’s where the psychology of web design comes into play.
What is Web Design Psychology?
Web design psychology is more than just making a website pretty. It’s about bringing in site users and converting them into customers. The site needs to engage the visitor and lead them to a specific action. This is done through web design psychology.
Web design psychology includes every aspect of the website’s design, from the colours and fonts used, to how space is used. These aspects can have a psychological effect on site visitors through subconscious reactions that the site must leverage to lead to the desired action.
Site visitors decide within a few seconds whether they want to stay on your site or leave. Web design psychology can help you, as the designer, to understand these subconscious decisions and how to use them.
The Benefits of Psychology in Web Design
The main benefit of using psychology in web design is speaking in the same language as your site visitors. We’re not referring to actual languages. What we mean is using web design elements that reach out to the site visitor. Elements that resonate with them and speak the same language.
The goal here is to use familiar colours, patterns, and elements to make your site stand out and connect with site users. Visitors need to understand what the site is about and where they can quickly find the information they want. This is done through the use of colour, space, liens, and typeface that all combine to have a certain desired impact on how visitors feel about your site.
How to Use Psychology in Web Design
Here are some of the ways you can leverage psychology in web design.
The following elements can affect how visitors perceive your website:
- Similarity: people see similar objects as the same or as part of the same idea.
- Proximity: elements that are close to one another are seen as part of the same group.
- Continuity: the goal is for the visitor’s eyes to move naturally from element to element.
- Closure: an object that’s not completely closed is still seen as a whole; people’s brains want to fill in the gap.
- Figure & ground: people’s brains simplify images into the main objects they’re viewing.
- Colours, fonts & spaces make a smooth transition: site users are directed to keep scrolling down, going on to the next section, and more.
This is not an exhaustive list of elements; however, you can see how they can be used to draw attention, direct readers where to go next, and more.
And remember, the goal is always to reach the site visitor where they are and engage them. The site design, content, and more must be geared to their needs and the information they want in order to be effective.
Shapes are another integral part of using psychology on a website. Each shape creates a subconscious association:
- Triangles & squares: are seen as symbols of professionalism, strength, and power.
- Circles, ovals, and ellipses: symbolise relationships, love, and unity.
- Horizontal lines: create a sense of calm and community.
- Vertical lines: represent strength and action.
Space is an essential element in website design. Web pages should never be cluttered, even if there’s a lot of information that needs to be included on the site.
With the correct use of white space, it’s possible to create a sense of minimalism and a clean site. Here, help site visitors focus on the most important point on each page.
The use of white space allows you to ensure each section of a webpage is presented clearly. With the right arrangement of elements, the visitor’s eye is naturally drawn down the page. This can be accomplished with the right use of elements, text, and colours.
The right colours draw attention and engage site visitors and can lead them to a desired action. What’s more, colours also increase brand recognition. In other words, site users will remember your brand by its colours.
When designing with colour, here are the things you need to consider:
The purpose: what do you want site visitors to do when they land on your page? If you’d like them to fill out a form, it’s best to choose a colour that stands out and is easy to see. Blue is a beautiful colour; however, red will draw attention and lead site users to take a desired action more than blue.
The audience: different cultures around the world have different associations with colour. For instance, in Asia, the colour white is associated with death, while in the West, white represents purity. So, carefully choose colours that will resonate and be appropriate for your audience.
The mood: what mood do you want the website to present? Does it need to look more professional? Or do you want the site to appear relaxing and calming? Maybe your website needs to be exciting and energetic. Once you’ve decided on the site’s mood, use the appropriate colours to bring site visitors into that mood.
Don’t forget about using the right typefaces. Good web design may need to include different typefaces to create interest; however, using too many different typefaces can be overwhelming. This can also make a website appear messy and cluttered.
So, focus on using a few typefaces that are crucial to the site and then use variations of these to create visual interest. For instance, use bold and italic versions of the typefaces to add more interest. As an example, you may want to consider using a serif typeface in the headlines and using sans serif for the body text.
Fonts can also be used to help guide site visitors to take a specific action.
The goal of your website is not only to look great but to also engage site visitors and lead them to complete an action. Using psychology in your web designs can help increase engagement and conversion rates.
Remember, the ultimate goal of reaching out to your site visitors is to speak their language and reach them where they are right now.