Psychological Perceptions Of Web Design
There is a psychological side of web design that is often ignored. Clients still talk about what they like and not what is meant for their product and what actually works. Every individual has their own priorities. It will factor into the design of a website. Your personal preference, however, may not produce a design that moves your target audience to action. The initial decisions made online are based on emotion and the subconscious mind. Users usually have an opinion about the website before they read a word of text.
Are the parameters of the website up to mark?
Do the colors on the website stir emotions in a customer?
Is the website placed correctly?
Is the website user friendly?
These features are rated instantly by the users. There are a few subconscious design motivators:
A Website’s Color Palette
The colors used in a web design provokes emotions and impressions. For example, blue generally means stable and reliable. But, what if the brand color is yellow? One doesn’t want a preposterous color combination. One should not get so fixated on the meaning of a color that the opportunity to stand out or drive conversions is lost. Also, some color palettes can go in and out of style.Websites today are often elegant and systematic using transparent overlays and bold accent colors. But, a few years ago, everyone wanted a more rich and earthy palette. When picking a color palette for a website, it’s profitable to keep a few factors in mind:
Branding – generally your brand will compromise of one or two main colors and a number of supporting colors. One should definitely start with a brand journal that illustrates and guides colors, fonts, and styles of the website.
Industry –the IT sector? Blue seems to match. A “green” business? A lot of greens and/or earthly shades. International? Reds, oranges, and other garish shades. It doesn’t mean that one has to follow the conventional way. It's always better to be unique and understand the product and user before making a few smart decisions.
Competition –is the competitor using is the question. It varies from person to person, perhaps one wants to do something similar or stand out and take a risk; portraying something completely different. It’s important to keep in mind to work within color palettes within an Industry.Whatever colors chosen, one must have done a thorough check on the market. Colors have a dominating effect on people and can evoke very strong positive and negative thoughts.
The Composition of Your Website’s Design
The basic elements of composition are very often ignored. But, they make a huge difference in the performance of a website. The alignment of information on a web page can have an immense effect on an impression. Some fundamentals of composition that have an effect on one’s web design include:
Contrast – by using complementary colors or light/dark shades to draw attention to the important elements of a web page. A light element against a dark background will be more visible than one on a slightly darker background.
Balance – symmetry helps in getting the users attention on a particular place or object. The human brain creates balance unconsciously. So the users is brought to attention by setting something slightly off balance.
Spatial arrangement – elements like the rule of thirds, leading lines, foreground/background are all great ways to lead the eye to where you want it to go.
Mood boards are a useful way to plot the use of these features before getting too far into the design project.
Does Your Website Have an Attitude?
The images, tone and colors used in a website can bring forward a certain kind of attitude. But, before one starts throwing an attitude around, one has to know their true identity, who they are! It is advised that one sits back and thinks about:
- What is the attitude of the website/product?
- How do users perceive the website/product?
One of the worst things one can do is lead with an attitude that simply does not match the brand’s voice and stature. Instead of forcing something, it’s always better to be natural. Matching the color, image and voice with one’s stature. When something needs to be highlighted it can always be changed. Being authentic will always win over a fake identity. By matching one’s culture to the audience’s need, a perfect attitude is created. A website should always be an extension of a company:
Voice – the content used and call to action.
Brand – the color, image and design styles used to match one’s brand.
Core Values – the design should stir feelings/ impressions that matches the product’s value.
Before designing a site, one should have an opportunity to explain the “attitude” to the designer. It’s so much more than just design or layout. If the designer knows the attitude, that attitude should show in the web design. A website is the hub of marketing. One should not compromise on design because it’s the first impression an organization makes.