Want to learn how to make your website speak so that real humans can interact with it? Here’s our thoughts and comments.
How Does a Website Speak to a Human?
We all talk about “user experience” and “user interaction” design, and here at AndiSites we’ve been thinking a lot lately about how to make a website speak to the human brain. We use guides like Steve Krug’s brilliant Don’t Make Me Think and Smashing Magazine’s Psychology of Web Design to get inside the heads of our website users.
For example, we know that certain colors resonate with certain audiences; that whitespace is vital for helping the brain focus where you want it to; and that people scan text on websites rather than read it word-for-word.
We recently read and enjoyed Spence Lanoue’s post, “6 Psychological Triggers That Make UX Design Persuasive“. We have summarized it for you below, but please refer to his full article for specific research and examples.
- Reciprocation: If we do something for others, they’re more likely to want to do something for us. Give your users something useful for free before you ask them for anything, and make it personal. A free offer or free personalized advice can return manifold.
- Social Proof: When people aren’t sure what to do, they look to others to guide their actions. Show testimonials, reviews, and client logos on your website to demonstrate that others have worked with you successfully.
- Scarcity: People tend to want what they can’t have. Promote time sensitive deals, and highlight e-commerce products that are in short supply.
- Framing: People make comparisons when they’re making a decision. If you offer different pricing options, place them side-by-side so their features are easily compared. By making the website speak to user in a way that they understand, they’ll find it easier to make a decision.
- Salience: People’s attention is drawn to whatever is most relevant to them at that moment. Users are typically on a mission. Help them by making the big things easy to find, then provide additional information they might find useful.
- Contrast: People are more likely to remember the thing that stands out from everything else around it. Use a different (and consistent) color for calls to action. Bright colors draw attention, but they must be different from the rest of the palette and only used in those places where users are asked to do something (click, subscribe, complete a form, etc.).
For a site to be effective – and therefore make the website speak to actual humans – it must honor the way the users’ brains work.
Apply these psychological concepts, and you’re on your way to better conversion rates, higher engagement, and happier users.
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