Designing A Website Based On Human Behaviour

With the growing demand for UI and UX designing, enhancing your website for better human understanding is important. Read this guide to find out all you must know.

Photo of Brodey Sheppard
Brodey Sheppard

Technology has replaced human jobs in various sectors. But we are logical beings, and our intervention plays an important role in the digital world, especially in website designing.

A website can be a businesses most powerful selling platform, and therefore you should find a reputable web design and development expert.

Designing Websites On 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 clients’ ideas and concepts in website designing helps a huge deal in improving online engagement and marketing. However, human 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 human behaviour necessary in designing a website. It helps understand the users’ perceptions and actions, and consequently, 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 the digital designing aspect, with growing technology, it falls short in clarity. In simple words, it is an umbrella term that includes UI, UX, IA, and much more. It deals with but is not limited to, designing principles, as it touches business and marketing techniques as well.

A web designer should be as informed about business concepts as they must understand colour and typography. Further, with the current shift towards emotion-triggering content, a designer who is well-versed with human psychology has a clear upper hand.

How to Design a Human-centric Website?

Like any important project, a human behavioural-based website design should include some basic elements that will improve its marketing value in the long run. Here’s what designers must keep in mind to avoid making multiple, faulty prototypes of the same design!

1. Identify the Target Audience

Conduct in-depth research that not just identifies the number of viewers but also collects user data like age, sex, occupation, etc. By being able to pinpoint 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.

What To Know About Target Marketing Infographic

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 images.

Additionally, using a relevant image can boost the viewing rate of a website by 94%. But that does not mean that web designers can carelessly use any image just for the sake of it. 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

Web designers must learn the basics of colour psychology as it helps tap into human behaviour and emotions. As discussed earlier, using various visual methods to trigger emotions helps in understanding the effect on each user and their consequent action.

For example, cool colours like blue and green depict reliability and freshness. On the other hand, colours like red and black evoke passion and sophistication. But with specific combinations and shades, the same colours can trigger fear and dread.

Meaning Of Colours In Brands

Keeping in mind the age group and interest of the users, website designers are able to 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. Right from the header title to the concluding line, the written matter should project the personality of your brand.

Depending on your brand or product and target audience, pick a tone- formal, friendly, or even sarcastic! 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 Instagram stick to one theme or aesthetic for their feed? First, it is visually appealing, and secondly, 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, one brand, and one colour palette. Incorporating too much with the aim of broadening the market is a major blunder web designers might make.

Only 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 clear, quantitative approach. Thus, to get a better idea, it is best to group users according to their archetypes.

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 needs of the users and provide a solution that fully satisfies them.

Better 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 research further by adding questions in 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 were admiring 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 are helpful in learning the basic 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 huge 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.

Usually, when a user acts or thinks differently from what he/ she would, the change is caused by cognitive bias. Human psychology consists of a vast number of cognitive biases that, when coupled with archetypes, create complex behavioural patterns.

Hence, it is the job of a designer to strategise and create a website, blog, or post that can recognise deviations and operate accordingly. Here are some major bias groups that must be considered to improve the design of a web page.

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 influences the actions of the rest, 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 really 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.

What Is Hyperbolic Discounting

Now, before adding a product to the cart, no one expects to buy anything else along with it. With hyperbolic discounting, most users succumb to the temptation of buying something now, or else they’ll miss out on a steal-worthy deal! By falling for this “FOMO” or “fear of missing out”, customers often resort to impulse shopping.

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 as compared to its competitors, it’s assumed as more important and makes a choice accordingly.

Those who fall under this bias group use the latest news to influence their opinions.

5. Loss Aversion

Another bias group based on triggering 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 and so on.

How Cta Is Ignored By Marketers

Why Design a Website based on Human 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 all the time, most movies do well when they trigger a rollercoaster of emotions among the audience. Think Disney and Studio Ghibli!

When it comes to website design, psychology and emotions play a huge role in increasing traffic. Here’s how studying human behaviour is important 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 are interacting with. After all, a human can understand another of its species better than a machine.

2. Benefits Humans

A website design catering to human behaviour is bound to perform better than that which considers only considers the algorithms of search engine optimisation. In the end, a human is going to 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 human emotions and behaviour and use it to its advantage. This may sound like a typical antagonist move, but seemingly minor amendments like changing the colour of a button can improve its clickability rate.

When it comes to website design, research on human behaviour and bias helps build legitimacy and gains the trust of its users. 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 human behaviour creates a positive influence on 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 just providing relevant and aesthetic visuals and texts. From making the overall design compatible on different devices to the usage of high-quality images, a designer has to put on 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 field of designing is rather vast and complex.

However, every cloud has a silver lining. A website design that applies the various principles of human behaviour will be able to increase viewer engagement and overall sales significantly. What else can a brand ask for?

Photo of Brodey Sheppard

Brodey Sheppard

Brodey is the CEO of sitecentre and a data-analyst in the SEO, Paid advertising space who uses machine learning and AI to advance sitecentre as an industry-leading digital marketing agency across Australia.

Find them on their website: sitecentre, Facebook and LinkedIn.

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