Psychology is everywhere and the sooner you realise that the better you’ll become at whatever you do for a living – sell, manage (people, company, etc..) or design websites. In this article, I’ll talk about how psychology affects your website visitors and how important it is for your website success.
The colour palette you choose for your website will speak directly to your visitor’s emotional self. Depending on your visitors’ personality or even their current mood, they might instantly like or dislike your website. Colours are known to affect our feelings causing us to feel certain emotions when exposed to colours. I won’t go into much detail on what each colour is associated with and how it makes us feel because there is a great post on this topic.
You can use one image to tell a whole story, so imagine how important imagery is for the story you want your website to tell. Images breathe life into your website and given that the human eye identifies images in a matter of milliseconds, again, they speak to our subconscious and affect our mood just the same as colours.
According to Wikipedia, anchoring or focalism is a phenomenon where an individual relies too heavily on an initial piece of information, which is considered to be the “anchor” when making certain decisions. Knowing this, you can use the whole context to make certain information look more important or your prices more affordable. A good example of anchoring is a new discounted price shown next to the original price which is higher.
Typefaces can spark different associations, from fun (Comic Sans) or modern (Sans Serif) to formal and even solemn (Old English). For our client, AG Events, a wedding entertainment company based in Newcastle upon Tyne, we’ve used “a perfectly imperfect hand-drawn font” for certain parts of the website and this font is usually associated with fun, entertainment and playfulness – Playlist Script Font
Creating a sense of urgency with your visitors can cause them to feel fear of missing a chance to do something good or lose something good. This can be done by adding ‘a limited time offer’ next to the product you want to focus on. The fear of loss or the idea that something they are interested in might not be available in a few days will create a sense of urgency with your customers, which will lead them to buy your product.
Humans are social beings and the feeling that they are a part of a community, that they belong somewhere is what they need. According to Maslow, our social needs include love, acceptance, and belonging. Human beings feel a need for emotional relationships, and this need drives their behaviour. To satisfy this need and avoid loneliness, we form relationships with other people – friendships, romantic relationships, social groups or community groups and similar. If people believe that they will become a part of a community, your community, if they become your customers or users, they are more likely to subscribe to your newsletter or register as a member.
Social proof is a situation where people copy the behaviour of other people assuming that this is the correct behaviour in a given situation. If your website features testimonials, case studies or an outstanding product/service rating, your visitors are more likely to believe that what you offer is really good and the right thing to do is to become your customer.
As I said, psychology is everywhere. We work with people, our employers are people, our customers are people and they all feel the way they feel, they want something, fear something and do so many things driven by their emotions. Given that psychology deals with emotions, it IS everywhere and I really hope this post helps you understand how important it is in web design too.