The way a user feels when they visit your website is in your hands, or rather, in your designer’s hands. Web design not only requires creativity and a good eye, but it also relies on understanding design psychology and how your target market works. This shouldn’t be overlooked when putting a website design together. On average, you have 3 seconds to make an impression – and you want it to be good.
To understand the psychology of how a user views your website you first must understand how web design elements affect mood, attitude and the experience the visitor has on your website. Every website should look a little different if every website looked the same the internet would become a very boring place.
Creating a website with a great look and feel is important, but you must also ensure that users instantly know and can recognise your brand. There are 4 main ways to achieve this through design:
When websites first began, it was very common to see pages and pages crammed with content, images and flashing banners. These pages were hard to read and often caused a great deal of stress, anxiety and overall frustrated feelings for the user.
Web design helps to lead users to the information they need quickly and easily without overwhelming them. Content should be laid out in an easily accessible and logical place for the user to find. It should also be concise and easy to read.
The way a web page is organised can and does affect how a user feels. The organisation of content on a web page should take into consideration the amount of space it takes up both on the site and on the page.
White space is also important in page design, it gives a visual resting place for the visitors. If every inch of the website was filled with words and graphics it would look chaotic and cheap.
Keeping things well organised using adequate white space tells visitors you know what is important on a page.
A website’s colour is generally dictated by the company’s brand identity. However, the colour used on a website has an effect on how the user feels. Most brand guidelines will feature a more neutral colour that complements the primary colour palette, these neutral colours should dominate the design of a website.
The use of neutral colour acts in a similar way to white space, it provides the user with a resting space for the eyes. A website designed by purely using the brand primary colour, such as blue or purple, would be extremely overwhelming and appear very dated.
Using primary colours as accent colours throughout a site and in particular, the colour itself has an effect on how the user feels. Cooler colours like blues and green feel professional and inviting. Warmer colours like reds and oranges are soothing and warm but can induce a feeling of stress and anger if used too heavily. This strength can be dictated by the strength of hue and saturation of the colours.
Thanks to technological advances such as CSS3, we don’t just have a handful of web safe fonts to play with, there are now thousands of typefaces that can be used on web designs.
Each typeface should be used in different situations. Serif fonts such as Times New Roman are associated with professionalism and seriousness, whilst fonts in the sans-serif family (like Helvetica) are more modern and less formal. Sans-serif fonts are normally used heavily within website designs.
It’s not just the font used that’s important, but the way the font is presented on the page should also be considered. Both the leading (space between the lines) and kerning (space between the letters) should be thought about and adapted to the design, the brand and the industry. Larger leading is much easier to read that smaller leading.
If you don’t think your web design is ticking all the right boxes and isn’t converting the way you’d like it to. Get in touch with OWB today on 0121 7666571.