Designing A Website Based On Human Behaviour

Enhancing your website for better human understanding is critical with the growing demand for UI and UX design. Get all the details in this guide.

Brodey Sheppard

Brodey Sheppard — 12 minute read.

Meeting user expectations in web design becomes essential even as technology replaces human jobs in various sectors. But we are creatures influenced by human psychology, 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.

Designing Websites Human Behaviour

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 with sans-serif fonts 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 psychology website design 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!

How to Design a Website with Human-Centric Principles?

While “website designer” is the common term for someone who handles digital design, it falls short in clarity with growing technology. Simply put, it is an umbrella term including UI, UX, IA, and more. It deals with but is not limited to design principles, as it touches on the user experience and psychology of website design, business, and marketing techniques.

Web designers should be as informed about business concepts as they must understand colour schemes and sans serif typefaces. Further, a designer skilled in the psychology of how users process information and web design has a clear upper hand with the current shift towards emotion-triggering content.

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How to Design a Human-Centric Website?

Like any critical project, a human behavioural-based website design should include some essential elements that highlight the importance of user engagement and 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 with serif fonts like their preferences, goals, values, and problems helps design a website that caters to customers and effectively promotes the brand.

Target Marketing Infographic

2. Use Complementing Visuals

An image can make any written matter more readable. Think about how kindergarteners had books with tonnes of pictures to grab their attention. Similarly, if coloured images accompany a website, it attracts more viewers than a web design failing to capture users attention.

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 elements to trigger emotions helps understand each user’s effect and consequent action.

For example, different 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.

Meaning Colours Brands

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 take the desired action, follow the intended path, interact with the interface, and Spend more time on your web page.

Keeping in mind the age group and interests of the users, website designers can choose the ideal colour scheme 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, create user-friendly websites with a tone that can be formal, friendly, or even sarcastic! The choice of words, phrases, different colours, and designs should employ the Von Restorff effect and be coherent and portray the same emotion throughout.

5. Pick a Constant

Why do you think content creators on social media platforms like 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 designers can make is providing many options to broaden the market.

Designers who create balance with adequate strategic use of white space can draw attention to critical areas on your site, portray the right vibe, and make a lasting impact.

How to Study Human Behaviour?

Creating a website design based on human behaviour patterns may not have a straightforward, quantitative approach. Thus, grouping users according to their SEO analyst archetypes is the best way to get a better idea.

Studying the archetypes involves researching users and their actions 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 provides 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 results in complete user satisfaction.

Human Experience Graphic


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 setups. 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 on Amazon for that dress you admired a week ago? Or how does the Explore feed on Instagram show 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.

Human Persona Categories

Cognitive Bias

Designing a website without expecting change is a considerable risk. The world is dynamic, primarily 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 how users perceive 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. The psychology of web design consists of many cognitive biases that create complex behavioural patterns when coupled with archetypes.

Hence, a designer’s job in decision-making is to create a website, blog, or post strategy to help users navigate and minimise cognitive deviations 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 social proof as a human tendency as a marketing technique is a shopping website showing a particular product’s sales.

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 a website’s or brand’s long-term goals.

3. Hyperbolic Discounting

Offers like “Buy 3, Get 3 Free” are common marketing strategies brands and shopping websites use. Another example is suggesting add-ons to a user’s purchase at a discounted price.

Hyperbolic Discounting

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 establishes a sense of urgency in the user’s decision-making process that thrives on immediate memory. When a user can recall one product or brand compared to its competitors, it’s assumed to be more important and makes a choice accordingly.

Those in this biassed group use the latest news to influence their opinions.

5. Loss Aversion

Another bias group that triggers FOMO (fear of missing out) and loss aversion promotes a brand or product by establishing a strong visual hierarchy in a compelling call to action. Examples include limited trial periods, limited pieces of a particular product, etc.

Cta Marketers

Why Design a Website Based on People’s Behaviour?

As humans, we feel various emotions throughout our lives. 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 this may not be the case, most movies do well when they trigger a rollercoaster of different emotions in the audience. Think Disney and Studio Ghibli!

Psychology and emotions influence user behaviour to increase traffic regarding website design. Applying psychological principles is vital in creating a successful website design.

1. Human-to-human Interaction

People feel a sense of security and reliability that may lead to making a purchase when they are sure it’s genuine human interaction. 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, considering 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 good web design practices, your landing page can trigger and use human emotions and behaviour. This may sound like a typical antagonist move, but design elements like tweaking the button’s colour can enhance its desired actions.

Research on a person’s behaviour and bias helps build legitimacy and build trust with users 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 capture user attention, understand user psychology, and increase engagement and interactivity. By incorporating interactive elements such as interactive features into 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 likely to be remembered.

Hence, incorporating UI and UX will significantly enhance user engagement, increase customisation, and improve navigation while managing cognitive load to reduce user bounce rates.

Deciding How To Build Your Website

Today, a website designer’s profile requires more than providing relevant and aesthetic visuals and texts. From making the overall design compatible with different devices to using high-quality images that leverage web design psychology, 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 various principles to guide users of user behaviour will significantly increase ultimately increasing user engagement and overall sales. What else can a brand ask for?

Brodey Sheppard

Brodey Sheppard

Brodey is the CEO of sitecentre®, leading his distinguished Australian digital marketing agency using data analytics and Artificial Intelligence in SEO and Paid Advertising. His adept use of machine learning and AI has gained industry-wide recognition, Brodey has received several industry awards for SEO, Web Design and business, including the Young Small Business Champion Entrepreneur 2023 award. With 15 years under his belt, Brodey is amongst Australia’s most influential digital marketers.

Find them on their website: sitecentre®.

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