As surprising as it may sound, the key to building better websites lies in how much we understand the human behavior. As humans, we are hardwired to think through our actions which affects how we interact with many things – like using a website.
Understanding your target visitors (what they want and need to see) plays a huge role in building a successful portal. That said, we’ll look into some of the theories in psychology and what roles they play in web development. And while this article is no substitute for a psychology degree, we’re sure it can help in creating a better website and in improving visitor’s user experience.
Some psychological factors affect how your visitors perceive your website. Your visitors subconsciously assess your website using what is called the attractiveness bias theory. In layman’s terms, this means that visitors will typically prefer a website with a good-looking design. Their first impression on your website, whether it’s good or bad, influences the likelihood of them visiting again.
Image Orientation and the Serial Position Effect
According to the theory of serial position effect, the location and position of a certain information can affect how well it can be recalled and remembered. In terms of web designing, placing key information in strategic locations can help your visitors remember specific words and phrases. This approach to web design can make your website and your content more memorable.
Recall and Depth of Processing
Depth of processing is a theory in psychology that involves the level of processing an information for it to be committed to memory. When building a website, details that you want your visitors to remember can be repeated (or asked) afterwards. Some good examples are the pop-up screens that ask your visitors if they were satisfied with their experience after using an app or a website. This reinforces the idea of a seamless user experience. On the other hand, pop-ups like the “I accept” button in a license agreement or repeating important warnings pre-check out on an e-commerce website helps them remember crucial details.
Ease of Use and Cognitive Load
The cognitive load theory suggests that the more tasks given to an individual, the longer the amount of time it takes to finish it. When translated to web design, this can be seen that the more steps needed to reach a certain page or accomplish a certain task, the longer it makes your visitors wait causing them to check out other websites that can give them the information or the service they need conveniently.
That said, keeping your website simple and easy can get your visitors to like it moreover other websites that can make their task complicated. The more effortless and seamless the experience is, the better for your visitors.
Trust and Positive Perception
Your online presence and how well your website and brand is perceived can help build consumer trust. Businesses that have a strong and good reputation are more likely to build a rapport with their audiences, or website visitors increasing engagement and the likelihood of doing business. Some factors like the accuracy and correctness of the written information on your website can make a significant difference. Moreover, things like portfolios and web pages containing contact information, reviews, and FAQ pages can help build trust with your visitors.
Positive perception can help you and your business do good and succeed in the industry where you belong.
Human Behavior and Modern Web Developing
The advancement in technology has shaped today’s generation in how they see and appreciate a good website. Here’s how you can put the aforementioned theories into practice.
- The First Few Seconds – As we’ve briefly covered above, first impressions last. And when it comes to web development, it can make your visitor stay or move on to the next link shown in their browser’s search results. Having optimized web pages can ensure that they load fast. Using updated information can make your website look reliable and can make an impression that you know what you’re doing.
- Convenience – Now that you got your visitors to stay, your next step is to make sure that you make their experience as convenient as possible. Avoid making them take extra steps to navigate your website. And because many of today’s internet users access websites using their smartphones, making sure your website is mobile friendly can help boost your traffic.
- Customer Confidence – If you’re offering services online, building confidence and trust is key to making your website work. It’s very unlikely for an individual to trust someone they don’t know. So, adding relevant information like your contact information and business location can help. You can also add a portfolio page showing your previous projects as well as feedback from your previous customers.
Helpful Tips When Designing a Website
Now that you know the psychological theories applied in web design and how to put them into practice, here are some tips when designing your website to look into.
- Branding – Your brand will be the personality of your business. So, it has to be unique, catchy, and should make a lasting impression. Depending on the product you sell or the services you offer, finding the right color schemes, fonts, imagery and the ideal concept matters. Check competitors to avoid falling into monotony and find a brand design that stands out.
- Type of Business – Designing a website based on the type of business you have can make a difference. Your target market will have specific preferences and building a website that gives them what they’re looking for can make them feel confident in your business. This goes hand in hand with conceptualizing and building your brand. For example, if your website is supposed to sell men stuff, then it would be more ideal to make the overall look of your website masculine.
- Goal of Your Business – Your website can be personalized depending on what goal you set for your business. If you aim to sell products, then your website’s layout should guide them through clicking the ‘add to cart’ button. If you’re trying to get people to contact you, then you might need to strategically place different ‘contact us’ buttons on your website.
- User Satisfaction – So, when your web design plan is done, go through it from the top and ask yourself: what else can I add that can make my users’ experience way better than their experience with the other websites they’ve visited before? How can I make my website more helpful and user-friendly than my competitors’?
The idea here is no longer to be different to give your website traction but to see opportunities that other websites in the same business lack. Take the time to look for ways to go the extra mile so you can leave your customers and visitors with more than what they want and need.
Leverage Your Digital Success
Understanding the role psychology plays in web design can help you better understand your target market and make their experience in visiting your website a memorable one. Whether the impact is lasting or subliminal, leveraging your digital success using the theories in psychology can give you a significant advantage.