When you decide to design your website, whether brand new or an upgrade, understanding the basic principles behind human behavior and psychology, and incorporating them into your website design are as important as the a designer once gave your printed material.
Having your website chosen and read is becoming ever more competitive. You need to be easily recognized, attract and keep an audience. Keeping them coming back is extremely important.
Website design hasn’t been taken seriously in the past. But actually using the psychological aspects of design apply here more than ever, considering a companies website is the most obvious and prominent place you are seen in today’s advertising world.
The original websites were created by “techies”, mathematical people who learned and loved writing program code. They were not designers or marketing people. Today we are realizing that having a professional graphic designer/web designer, with training is very important. Just as the programmers knew little ( and still are not trained in) design, amateur home users with free programs are just as misinformed and uneducated in design concept and principles and user psychology.
A website’s purpose must be immediately clear. What is the site about? Who is the target audience? Are you appealing to them? The website must make you feel something immediately, such as at ease, happy, excited or even anxious.
As well as the colors, design and fonts, the content of the text must be seen as very important. Your text must be well worded, be exiting, informative and most importantly, accurate and grammatically correct. It is very important to realize that search engines look at your text when ranking your position. When I read a section of text that shows lack of grammar and spelling I immediately consider the credibility of the company whose website I am looking at. Communicating accurately and clearly will dramatically increase your viewers response.
Some other important factors to consider is your choice of images. Are they pertinent to the subject? Personalized for that business or industry? Free “canned images” are just that…canned. Use real and accurate images to reinforce your message.
There is a psychology to color! Yes, indeed, many uninformed business owners and clients choose colors because they like them. This has been a source of conflict for me and my clients when I am designing their site. Once informed, they are surprised on the psychology that is involved in color choice. Color psychology has been around forever. Certain colors have known reactions, making us feel certain ways, act, react or do nothing. Professions know how to use color and consider it in getting your message across.
Lastly, we mustn’t forget how your eye follows a page. There is a known pattern that has been tried and used for years. This has been based on generations of reading the printed page. When we look at something we first look at the upper left corner, then read across, then our eyes scan down the page to the lower left. When designing, this needs to be taken into consideration when we place things on the page. Have you noticed that most logos are in the upper left?
So, in conclusion, psychology and good knowledge of design concepts are what makes good website design. It is tempting to try and design your own website with all the free templates available, but hiring a professional that is trained in this surprisingly complex field, will get you better results.