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Website Design Psychology: The Key to Strategic UX

By Anthony Matiya

How to Use Color, Spacing and Visual Cues with Website Design Psychology

Website Design Psychology

Website design psychology is the study of a user’s likely mental and emotional responses to the design, which influences UX and their opinion of the brand.

Website design psychology is an essential field of knowledge for any skilled digital design specialist. A professional can create an online experience by seeing through the eyes of the user. Great web design blends both form and function. An appealing visual layout complimenting pragmatic site architecture driven by purpose. We recently discussed the importance of creative design and digital marketing in the online world. You can execute these endeavors beautifully with a keen understanding of website design psychology.

When producing a stellar website design that a client will truly respect and appreciate, digital creatives must use sound reasoning in planning their design. If you can convey strategic reasoning and meaningful intent behind every aspect of your design, the client will be able to understand your value. As a result, website design psychology is helpful for designer client relations. Finally, knowing how users respond to various design features improves professional expertise for strategic business. Designers can create websites with skill, intention, and inventiveness while for both visual appeal and conversion metrics.

 

The Essentials of Color Theory

Color plays an important role in website design psychology while greatly influencing the user’s digital experience. Learning color theory is often the first step in becoming a top-notch web designer, and entire books have been written on this subject alone. The fundamental significance of color on the human psyche seems logical and easy to understand. If you imagine your dream car, isn’t the vehicle’s color one of the first aspects that jump out at you in your vision? If you were to found your own company or build a personal brand in the professional world, isn’t color a critical factor in the logo you would design?

Color plays a fundamental role in the visual identity of a brand, logo, and their associated website. Most visual identities are comprised of monochromatic neutral colors that are used along with their primary color scheme, but it’s the colorful hue that often stands out.

Using Color to Convey Meaning and Elicit Emotion:

  • Yellow conveys happiness, energy, fun, and playfulness. This bright color also conveys warning signs and points of emphasis on a website.
    Orange is a loud and warm color connotative of vibrant unity and fun, much like yellow. In branding, orange is sometimes seen as an indicator of haste or affordability as well.
  • Red is a primary color that means passion, power, and adds a dimension of daring to any color scheme. Most importantly, red stands out powerfully in design, especially in contrast to cooler hues. Red is often used to direct user attention to points of emphasis, like a call to action for example.
  • Purple is a common indicator of lavish royalty and prestige that dates back to the Roman Empire, as the elite Praetorian guard used purple to indicate their premier status. Luxury and boutique brands commonly use purple to indicate sophistication and elegance.
  • Blue produces a calming effect on the user, often eliciting a feeling of peace, trust, and consumer loyalty. Blue has widespread appeal and is often considered an indicator of trustworthiness.
  • Green is a friendly, natural color that’s great for use in organic branding and outdoor-related business websites. As green is also the color of money, it’s an ideal way to convey growth and profit as well.

 

The Importance of the Background: Minimalism in Web Design

Minimalist Website design psychology

Minimalist website design uses negative background space to achieve visual simplicity and produce a mentally calming effect. Image Courtesy of Emergent Digital, Website Created by Design Studio

Layout and spacing are essential to good design because customer opinion, visitor engagement, and user experience are all heavily influenced by page organization.  Minimalism is wildly popular in the modern world of website design, and for good reason. Today’s hottest design trend cuts out superfluous information to emphasize the most important core content.

Minimalist web design prioritizes the negative space of a background alongside the written words, images, or video content in the foreground. ‘White’ or negative space acts much like the neutral colors that play into logo design on a website, giving the user’s mind an opportunity to rest and organize information. This emphasizes the high importance of the background and overall spacing in website design psychology.

Many digital creatives favor minimalist design due to simplicity, mobile display appeal, and increased user focus. If words and graphics litter a website with visual chaos, users will feel uneasy. If no there is little negative space present, there is no place in your site layout that allows their mind to take a visual break. Finally, by utilizing less foreground content, your site will be faster and more responsive to user engagement. By employing a touch of minimalism in your site layout, you can provide a calm feeling of professionalism and proper organization that builds trust and loyalty with your visitors.

 

Using Directional Cues in Website Design Psychology

Directional cues are of vital importance in harnessing the power of website design psychology, as they tell your users where to focus. In terms of UX and UI, few elements of site design are more important for a visitor. The right directional cues prompt user action, critically influencing content engagement, bounce rate, and conversion volume.

3 directional cues to tell your visitors where to focus:

  • Arrows: The most obvious method of directing attention in UX. Arrows can direct visitors towards a button, header, or call to action. The human mind possesses a natural inclination to follow lines to either their starting or ending point. This allows you to engage their focus and direct it to where it can convert.
  • Pointing: In addition to graphical arrows, designers create visual cues with images or interactive elements. Directional lines, color contrast, and a dominant focal point can accomplish this goal.
  • Human Eye Direction: This more of an advanced directional cue, but it is an incredibly effective one. Humans have a powerful impulse to follow the eye-focus point of the people around us. Including a visual of people looking in a specific direction will cause the user to look there too.

We hope you enjoyed our expedition into the world of website design psychology! If you have your own psychological tips or tricks for site design, please leave a comment below!