How Your Website Design Can Affect Human Emotions

Have you ever visited a website where it was impossible to locate the desired information you wanted? It's annoying -- isn't it? From hard-to-read fonts to misplaced/dark graphics, a poorly designed website will sink your business's conversion rate in less than fifteen seconds.

Overview: Learn how design principles explain why people gravitate to some websites over others. 

Though you may like to think that the quality of your service/product will speak for itself, the reality is that people will never make it far enough to discover the quality of the product if the product is represented by a poorly-designed website. So, good design is good business.  

Emotional web designs make your users stay on your website longer, actively explore, and interact with your posted projects pro-actively. We as humans are always busy defending our choices as rational, when in truth, we make decisions based on emotions. Psychologically, the more we suppress our emotions, the more we eventually need catharsis. In the words of Maya Angelou: “People will forget what you said, but people will never forget how you made them feel.”  

Begin With a Concept:

Before you start hunting potential customers, you need a concept for your website. Begin your website with a brainstorming session with clear outlines and realistic goals that complement your business objectives. For instance, if you’re selling the services of a personal injury lawyer, you may end up designing your website with a neutral but aesthetically pleasing color.

In designing a website concept, consider these four factors:

  • The message you want to convey

  • The design and colors that will highlight your message

  • Your corporate image

  • What to avoid to ensure you don’t present a negative image of your brand/service

In addition to these features, add a slight touch of humor to keep the tone of your content light and entertaining. When users visit a website for the first time, they should feel welcomed.

Related Reading: Using animation to create an emotional connection with your audience

 Brand Image: 

Your website reflects your brand image and everything it stands for. Your brand image is the first thing people set their eyes on, so it’s how they build their first impression. Take the example of Coca-Cola’s home page. Their trademark shade of red appears throughout the page, and several eye-catching photos accompany links to information on the company’s socially-conscious activities. As we scroll down the page, we’re motivated to learn more about the company.  

Related Reading: The importance of web design for your audience

Use Visual Elements to Trigger Emotions:

While you’re trying to trigger the emotions of your users, remember that emotions can be both positive and negative. The reaction to such elements can also be different between men and women. It depends highly upon what you’re trying to sell.

Be sure that you understand what emotions you want your brand to convey. Brainstorm. Ask yourself questions. If you’re part of a team, share your ideas with your teammates and take their feedback. Humans are visual creatures — we process visual information 60,000 times faster than text.

Because of the way humans perceive visual stimulation, specific colors, layouts, shapes, and patterns can trigger an emotional response. So it’s no surprise that digital marketers make wise use of these same techniques to get into our subconscious and influence what we buy.  

Emotions and Web Design:

Learning how to build an emotional connection with your customers brings you advantages, builds fresh leads, and boosts your sales. The more a user feels connected with your website, the greater the chance of conversion.

Donald Norman, in his book “Emotional Design,” states how users opt for objects that are aesthetically pleasing as they leave an impact on them — “attractive things work better.” He continues to explain how attractive products trigger our creativity and expand our mental processes. So when your sales aren’t going as expected, despite having everything in order from a business standpoint, don’t forget to look at your website design.

Build an Image People Relate With:

Norman explains in his book that we try to relate to everything we see based on our perception of ourselves. This constant urge for emotional connection with others builds a desire to see faces everywhere. Since we make decisions based on things we see on the internet, seeing a friendly human face automatically triggers emotions, and we empathize with the face. When we perceive human presence, we feel connected and understood.

The Tone of Voice and Emotional Relativity:

The tone of voice you use on your website is an essential emotional relativity factor. How you communicate with your users says a lot about your relationship with them. Since you aren’t there physically to communicate with them, they read the words — and your tone of voice reveals how you think of them and what you want them to think of you.

On the website, your tone of voice determines your impression — so if you’re wrapping up a serious message in a humorous manner, your users will not take it seriously. You can’t be taken seriously if you’re constantly making funnies while running a cancer fund. The balance of tone is everything.

Related Reading: What tone of voice should you adopt on your website?

The Three Levels of Emotions and Web Design: 

Donald Norman, director of the design lab at UC San Diego and author of many books, developed the concept of emotional design. According to him, there are three types of cognitive responses of users to product design.

Visceral: A user’s immediate and direct response to seeing a well-photographed project.

Behavioral: The subconscious evaluation of design to help them reach their decision.

Reflective: The mindful review of usability and value.

 In Summary: 

When looking closely, we realize how minute things significantly impact the outlook of our website and how there’s so much in addition to content and graphics that allows a website to generate revenues and increase viewership. Satisfying your users isn’t an easy task to handle, which is why we’re always helping people to reach their goals – especially their WordPress goals.

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