Technology has replaced human jobs in various sectors. But we are logical beings, and our intervention plays an essential role in the digital world, especially in website design.
A website can be a business’s most powerful selling platform; therefore, you should find a reputable web design and development expert.
After all, only a human can walk a mile in another human shoe to understand someone else’s behaviour and reactions. Incorporating the client’s ideas and concepts in website design helps improve online engagement and marketing. However, a person’s behaviour is not limited to online activity. It encompasses behavioural science that closely studies human emotions and decisions.
This makes the study of marketing psychology and people’s behaviour necessary in designing a website. It helps understand the perceptions and actions of website visitors and creates an engaging website. All this... just with a click of a button!
What is Website Design?
While “website designer” is the common term for someone who handles digital design, it falls short in clarity with growing technology. In simple words, it is an umbrella term that includes UI, UX, IA, and much more. It deals with but is not limited to design principles, as it also touches on business and marketing techniques.
Web designers should be as informed about business concepts as they must understand colour and typography. Further, a well-versed human psychology designer has a clear upper hand with the current shift towards emotion-triggering content.
How to Design a Human-Centric Website?
Like any critical project, a human behavioural-based website design should include some essential elements that will improve its marketing value in the long run. Designers must avoid making multiple, faulty prototypes of the same design!
1. Identify the Target Audience
Conduct in-depth research that identifies the number of viewers and collects user data like age, sex, occupation, etc. By pinpointing the audience, it gets easier to put their requirements first.
Further, decoding complex information like their preferences, goals, values, and problems helps design a website that caters to its customers and effectively promotes the brand.
2. Use Complementing Visuals
An image can make any written matter more readable. Think about how kindergarteners had books with tons of pictures to grab their attention. Similarly, if coloured images accompany a website, it attracts more viewers than a web design devoid of ideas.
Additionally, a relevant image can boost the viewing rate by 94%. But that does not mean a web designer can carelessly use any image for its sake. If the design does not include suitable pictures, the website loses the effect it’s trying to create in the first place. Ultimately, viewers will get confused and lose trust.
3. Know Colour Psychology
A web designer must learn the basics of colour psychology as it helps tap into a person’s behaviour and emotions. As discussed earlier, using various visual methods to trigger emotions helps understand each user’s effect and consequent action.
For example, cool colours like blue and green depict reliability and freshness. On the other hand, red and black evoke passion and sophistication. But with specific combinations and shades, the same colours can trigger fear and dread.
In addition, the bright colours and cheerful models evoke a sense of joy and belonging in the potential customers who will be more likely to buy the products in this clothing line. You can also use emotionally charged symbols – take mascots, for example – on your website to encourage users to interact with the interface and spend more time on your page.
Keeping in mind the age group and interest of the users, website designers can pick the right colour combos for a website.
4. Tell a Story
Besides visually attracting users, a website needs to have compelling content that can make users pause, read and spend more time on it. The written matter should project your brand’s personality from the header title to the concluding line.
Depending on your brand or product and target audience, pick a formal, user-friendly, or even sarcastic tone! The choice of words, phrases, colours, and designs should be coherent and portray the same emotion throughout.
5. Pick a Constant
Why do you think content creators on an Instagram stick to one theme or aesthetic for their feed? First, it is visually appealing, and second, the viewers get an idea of what the brand or public figure is trying to portray at one glance.
A website design should pick one emotion, brand, and colour palette. A significant blunder web designers might make incorporating too much to broaden the market.
A perfect balance between these factors will grab the users’ attention, portray the right vibe, and make a lasting impact.
How to Study Human Behaviour?
Creating a website design based on human behaviour may not have a straightforward, quantitative approach. Thus, it is best to group users according to their archetypes to get a better idea.
Studying the archetypes involves research on users and their action in a particular situation to help designers understand their point of view. So, hopping into their shoes won’t be much of a problem!
Further, studying archetypes provide an almost practical learning experience of human behavioural insights. In the long run, a human-centric web design will understand the users’ needs and provide a solution that fully satisfies them.
While the website is still in the initial stages, it is essential to conduct market research to understand the behavioural patterns of your potential clients. Designers can take the analysis further by adding questions between the profile setup. Allowing customer reviews is also helpful in understanding their reactions and producing better products and services.
Have you noticed how Google keeps showing you advertisements of that dress you admired a week ago on Amazon? Or how the Explore feed on Instagram shows posts that match your aesthetic? That’s all because of the information such websites gather from their users’ online activity. Believe it or not- your devices know your job designation, relationship status, and much more about your lifestyle.
Moreover, while personas help learn the primary group of users, archetypes paint a clearer picture of a person’s thinking.
Designing a website without expecting change is a considerable risk. The world is dynamic, especially online. Trends and preferences are bound to change, and this logic must be applied to web design to be prepared for unpredictable circumstances.
Your visitors subconsciously assess your website using what is called the attractiveness bias theory. In layman’s terms, this means that visitors will typically prefer a website with a good-looking design. Their first impression of your website, whether good or bad, influences the likelihood of them visiting again.
Usually, when a user acts or thinks differently from what they would, the change is caused by cognitive bias. Human psychology consists of many cognitive biases that create complex behavioural patterns when coupled with archetypes.
Hence, a designer’s job is to create a website, blog, or post strategy to recognise deviations and operate accordingly. Here are some major bias groups that must be considered to improve the design of web pages.
1. Herd Mentality
Also known as the Bandwagon Effect, users resort to this behaviour when they want a sense of belonging. A prime example of using this human tendency as a marketing technique is a shopping website that shows the sales of a particular product.
The actions of a group of users influence the rest’s actions, thereby boosting the value of a website.
2. Status Quo Bias
Clients with a status quo bias are not easy to influence. They need a solid reason to change the way they think and behave. However, once they feel convinced to try something out of their comfort zone, they help achieve the long-term goals of a website or brand.
3. Hyperbolic Discounting
Offers like “Buy 3, Get 3 Free” are common marketing strategies used by brands and shopping websites. Another example is suggesting add-ons to a user’s purchase at a discounted price.
Now, before adding a product to the cart, no one expects to buy anything else. With hyperbolic discounting, most users succumb to the temptation to buy something new or miss out on a steal-worthy deal! By falling for this “FOMO” or “fear of missing out”.
However, the ultimate decision of the user depends on various factors like the reason for their purchase and their budget.
4. Availability Heuristic
Availability heuristic or availability bias creates a simple shortcut in the user’s thinking that thrives on immediate memory. When a user can recall one product or brand compared to its competitors, it’s assumed as more important and makes a choice accordingly.
Those in this biased group use the latest news to influence their opinions.
5. Loss Aversion
Another bias group that triggers FOMO (fear of missing out), loss aversion, promotes a brand or product by devising an urgent call for action. Examples include limited trial periods, limited pieces of a particular product, etc.
Why Design a Website based on People’s Behaviour?
As humans, we feel various emotions throughout our life. Not a single day goes by that we don’t feel a mixture of emotions. Why do you think certain movies do better than the rest, so much that it wins an Oscar? While it may not be the case, most movies do well when they trigger a rollercoaster of emotions in the audience. Think Disney and Studio Ghibli!
Psychology and emotions play a massive role in increasing traffic regarding website design. Here’s how studying people’s behaviour is vital in creating a successful website.
1. Human-to-human Interaction
People feel a sense of security and reliability when they are sure it’s not just a machine or a bot they interact with. After all, a human can understand another of its species better than a machine.
2. Benefits for Humans
A website design catering to people’s behaviour is bound to perform better than that which considers only search engine optimisation algorithms. Ultimately, a human will read a post, buy a product and click a button on your website.
3. Influences Opinions
As mentioned before, striking the perfect blend of colours, images, and text while designing a website helps influence the decisions of potential customers. Emotions of fear, sympathy and desire are a means of improving your digital marketing campaign.
4. Builds a Rapport
Online users rely heavily on website design to judge a brand or product. With great UX, your website can trigger and use human emotions and behaviour. This may sound like a typical antagonist move, but minor amendments like changing the button’s colour can improve its clickability rate.
Research on a person’s behaviour and bias helps build legitimacy and gain users’ trust regarding website design. As a result, users will stay on your site longer and eventually interact less with competitors.
5. Makes an Impression
The online community is full of opportunities to go viral overnight. Especially with the attention span of humans decreasing to just 8 seconds, the first impression is, in fact, the last impression.
A website has just a few seconds to understand user psychology and increase engagement and interactivity. By creating a human-centric website, your brand will appeal to the user’s emotions and make a lasting impression. So, a web design based on user behaviour positively influences the audience, making your products and services easier to remember.
Hence, incorporating UI and UX will significantly increase customisation, improve navigation, and lower user bounce rates.
Deciding How To Build Your Website
Today a website designer’s profile requires much more than providing relevant and aesthetic visuals and texts. From making the overall design compatible with different devices to using high-quality images, a designer must wear various hats to get the website up and running.
With the advancement in technology and the growing demands of digital consumers, the importance of behavioural research in web design is at an all-time high. Since our behaviour patterns are subject to change, this design field is vast and complex.
However, every cloud has a silver lining. A website design and web development that applies the various principles of user behaviour will significantly increase viewer engagement and overall sales. What else can a brand ask for?