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Psychological factors behind great web design

A good web design company should include design psychology in their discussions and implement it in to the work. The psychology of web design includes how colours, spacing in the design and even typeface can affect a viewer’s mood.

While it’s a subject that can cover a lot of ground, examples of psychology in web design include:

Color Psychology:

Understanding color psychology and using an appropriate color scheme that aligns with the brand and content can evoke specific emotions and enhance user engagement. The use of color can affect a consumer’s emotional reaction to your website. For example, blue promotes calmness and trust, while green is associated with nature and money. Black promotes the idea of luxury. Using yellow and orange on call-to-actions buttons often works well, as these colors give a feeling of excitement and action.

Typography Psychology:

Fonts and typography choices affect the readability and user experience. Selecting legible fonts, appropriate font sizes, line spacing, and contrast between text and background contributes to better comprehension and overall user satisfaction. Sans serif fonts look sleek and modern. Comic sans promotes lightheartedness and fun. They are usually used on sites aimed for younger people. Knowing your brand and who your audience is will help in determining the right font for your website.

Emotional Design:

Emotional connections greatly impact user engagement. Design elements that evoke positive emotions, such as appealing imagery, relatable content, or interactive elements, contribute to a memorable and enjoyable user experience.

Focused Attention:

Web design should guide users’ attention to the most important elements and calls-to-action. The use of visual cues, such as arrows, colours, or animations, can direct attention and encourage desired actions.

Content :

People respond better when they feel things are directed to them specifically. Personalized content that speaks directly to users – using the word “you” for instance – and discusses their specific areas of interest gives many consumers a positive, friendly feeling that builds trust in your brand.

Understanding Patterns:

As newspaper and magazine publishers learned long ago, readers tend to scan pages in a “Z” pattern. That means the most crucial elements of a site should be at the upper left, middle, and bottom right of a page. It’s the way we as humans are wired to read, so the websites we build should accommodate those thought patterns.

Great websites prompt action from users because they rely on intuitive design. These web design principles informed by human behavior and psychology can help:

  1. Hick’s Law

Ever wondered why you struggle to choose what you want to eat from a huge menu? Hick’s Law says too many options will stifle decision-making. The same goes for the design of your site. Named after British and American psychologists William Edmund Hick and Ray Hyman, it describes the time it takes for someone to make a selection based on the number of options.

By incorporating these psychological factors into web design, designers can create visually appealing, user-friendly, and engaging experiences that resonate with the target audience and achieve the desired goals.

  1. Fitts’ Law

Fitts’ Law states that both the size of a target object and its distance from the starting point impact user engagement. The bigger and closer an element is, the easier it is to interact with. Fitts’ Law is a staple in human-computer interaction. But it was created long before web design was even born. Psychologist Paul Fitts understood that human error wasn’t always down to personal mistakes. It could be a result of poor design. It’s why Spotify makes the “Play” button far more prominent than any other on the screen Button placement is also carefully considered: on mobile, it’s closest to where users’ thumbs naturally rest. Fitts’ Law doesn’t mean making a button big enough to fill the screen. It’s about pinpointing your most popular buttons and making them easier to tap or click.

  1. Gestalt design laws and principles

Humans have an engrained need to find order in disorder. Gestalt psychology has a number of laws and principles that apply to web design

The principle of proximity calls for related items to be grouped visually, creating less clutter and making for a more organized layout. Items unrelated to each other should be placed further apart, to emphasize their lack of relationship.

The principle of Similarity We naturally group similar items based on common elements.

The principle of Closure We fill in the gaps of shapes that aren’t closed or parts of images that are missing.  the principle of Closure makes simplicity interesting.

The principle of Common fate Objects moving in the same direction look like they belong together. You can use this tactic in web design to direct the user’s attention to a sign-up form or value proposition. This “sticky form” shows how you can use the principle to draw attention to the parts that aren’t moving, too.

There are many other principle like Symmetry, Continuity, Common region in Gestalt design laws and principles. Also there are many other principles  informed by human behaviour Visual hierarchy, Occam’s Razor, the von restorff effect,  The Serial Position Effect and Peak End Rule, The Zeigarnik Effect.

By incorporating these psychological factors and principle into web design, designers can create visually appealing, user-friendly, and engaging experiences that resonate with the target audience and achieve the desired goals.