Web design is about more than just functionality and attractiveness. When people look at your website it evokes feelings in them about your brand. This should always be taken into account when building your site.
There has been a lot of research carried out over the years regarding how designers can create visuals that will have a positive effect on the viewer, looking at how different design elements can affect the mood of the viewer leading to a positive or negative association with the brand.
Here we examine four elements which can have a large impact on the psychological state of your website visitors.
Content is the main driver for your website. It’s what draws people in and if you are not careful, the thing that can send then away.
Webpages used to be crammed full of information which made it difficult for users to find what they were looking for. Nowadays it is seen as a bad thing to overcram pages and instead we have edited, organised information so that the balance has been struck between the information required and not overwhelming people.
Your content needs to be clean, concise and professional to be sure that you are meeting the expectations of your site visitors.
White space is important on your pages, a visual resting place for visitors who are being bombarded with a lot of information.
Minimalism is very ‘in’ design-wise so white space is a major player for sites who want to keep up with the latest trends.
Psychologically, if there is too much going on when a visitor comes to a page it can make them feel uneasy.
If you design your pages to be pleasing to the eye, utilising space both efficiently but also beautifully, then visitors will be more inclined to stay on your site.
Colours are often decided as a brand and then are used throughout the site. However, the way they are used can affect how a visitor feel.
Neutral colours usually make up the bulk. When a company has red and yellow branding, it would be too much to have these as a background colour on a website. The neutrals act in the same way as white space.
Colours that are cool are considered more professional (blues, greens, purples) but can be unfriendly whereas warm colours are more creative and energetic but can be stressful.
Typography has come on in leaps and bound since the days of 15 safe web fonts. Now CSS3 allows thousands of fonts to be used across the web.
Serif fonts such as Times New Roman are associated with professional, serious writing where sans-serif such as Helvetica is seen as clean and more modern, less formal.
Kerning, or the space between the letters, must be considered as well as leading, the space between the lines to allow for satisfying visuals and ease of reading.
Understanding the basics of design and psychology will help you to make sure your visitors are left with happy feelings when they come to your site.