Monday, May 24, 2010

Psychology of Web Design: Not At All Bad as an Introduction

"The Psychology of Web Design"
Webdesigner Depot (undated)

"Designers often don't take the time they should to learn about how basic psychological principles can effect the experience their visitors have on the sites they build.

"Psychological principles are either looked upon as unnecessary, or too complicated. But the truth is that they're neither.

"There aren't that many concepts associated with basic design psychology, and most are relatively straight-forward and easy to learn.

"They're also mainly easy to implement, though some take a bit more care and planning than others.

"Read on to learn more and please leave your feedback and comments at the end of this post...."

The post is fairly short, with a good content-to-fluff ratio. It's even got subheads, to help you skim through:

The Purpose of Psychology-Based Design Making visitors happy.

Building Trust I wish more executives would read this. Which is another topic.

Familiarity and Recognizable Patterns Remember the first-time visitor.

Branding Consistency This is more for business websites - but anybody can benefit by thinking about these sorts of self-identifying elements

Psychological Triggers It'd be nice if the writer said what some of them were: But there is that resource list at the end.

Images to Reinforce Concepts Resist the impulse to put that photo of your pet aardvark on the page about pliers and wrenches.

Color Psychology Here, the writer gives examples. Without explaining that the 'psychology of color' given works - for Euro-Americans and many other Western cultures. Other parts of the world, not so much.

Reading Patterns Same thing. There's a famous (infamous, actually) account of an advertising firm that designed a magazine ad for an Arabian-language magazine.

They used a proven, successful, ad for the product, had someone translate the text, and were surprised at the results. Their client sold fertilizer for plants. The ad was mostly three photos: 'before,' showing a wilted, nearly-dead, plant in a pot; 'product,' the fertilizer being applied to the soil; 'after,' showing a wonderfully vibrant, green, healthy plant.

Just one problem: the agency kept the photos in their original position, "before" to the left and "after" to the right. That's fine for European languages, which are read left-to-write. Arabic, among other languages, is read right-to-left. What that expensive ad showed was the product nearly killing a previously-healthy plant.

That said, the "Z" pattern really does hold - for English-speaking readers.

Focus of Each Page Graphic arts 101, introduction. There's enough there to tell you what you need to think about.

Breathing Room You can break this rule - but I wouldn't suggest it unless you really know what you're doing.

Steps for Incorporating Design Psychology More detail than usual for this post. Pretty good advice, actually.

Bottom line? This isn't a 'must-read' post. There aren't many of that sort, in my opinion. But this is a 'worth reading' post: There are more of this sort, but they're rare enough to be worth highlighting. The resource list at the bottom goes a long way to making this post worth the time it'll take to go through it.
A tip of the hat to LogotypeTV, on Twitter, for the heads-up on this article.


best seo said...

This is not a bad idea to make website psychology based, as it will make visitors happier.

Brian, aka Aluwir, aka Norski said...

best seo,

It's all in the details, of course: making sure that what's done resonates with visitors. Or making an educated guess, anyway.

Website Design Calgary said...

Good Article......

Brian, aka Aluwir, aka Norski said...

Website Design Calgary / AGUA E Solutions,

Is the "article" the one I micro-reviewed? Or my micro-review? Either way, thanks.

Website Designing India said...

I read this post. It looks interesting. Please keep posting.

Brian, aka Aluwir, aka Norski said...

Website Designing India,

Thanks. I do, about three times a day - although not often on this topic.

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