Psychology of Website Design

The design of a website, more times than not, and the layout of a website can either make it or break it. How you use the psychology of website design, when designing your site is up to you.  If you use it at all, but it’s worth considering.

First Impressions: Everyone knows that old saying ‘The first impression is a lasting impression’, and the same can be applied to the layout & design of any web page. Think about it, if you went to a website that was unfamiliar to you and there was a whole lot 0f moving widgets, banners, and other distracting graphics on the homepage, each from different categories, wouldn’t you start to feel confused, or overwhelmed as to what the site/web page owner wanted you to take away from all that chaos? Annoyed and frustrated you may barely skim over the page, and then hit the back button never to return again.

So what was the problem? Well, although the media that was featured on the homepage may have been some really good stuff, it was TOO MUCH! That’s where a lot of new website owners and some old ones, make their biggest mistake. They get so anxious to show all of what they have to offer to the world all at once, and they forget that a stressful situation, created by an overflow of content whether relevant or irrelevant, will run people away from their site, like an over the top sales person. A lot of net surfers turn to the internet to get away from the stress and anxiety of their daily lives.  So wouldn’t it make more sense to conclude that heaping all your valuable content together into your visitors’ lap, as one big take it or leave lump, will drive your conversion rate down instead of up?

Who? What? When? Where? And Why?: These are the questions pondered by visitors that arrive on a site that doesn’t have an issue with too much content, but too little! When visitors are brought to your site by organic traffic via search engine, press release, etc… they have no idea who you are or what your angle is, you have to show them by means of your web page or website.  So it’s up to you to explain yourself, your goal, or purpose for the website, in the quickest and most simple way possible.

Never would you want to over stimulate your visitors or potential customers, causing them to be confused and uncertain with too many widgets or advertisement banners, but you wouldn’t want to have so little that to the point it seems like your site or business is under-qualified either.  All you need on your homepage are the basics, introduction; some photos; and your slogan. Having some white space on your homepage can be a good thing, how you arrange these elements on your web page is the psychology part of things.

Color has Been Underestimated: Color scheme, an underestimated part of website design, could be your key to success. Did you know that different colors can invoke different emotional reactions? Yeah it’s true, if you do the research, certain colors can change the mood of  just about anything. Take Green for instance, it has a strong emotional link to the feeling of safety and relaxation. Red, is a very emotionally intense color, depending on the amount of usage and the shade, it can either invoke a feeling of caution or quick impulse (like the quick impulse you exhibit when you gamble or make a bet) or a feeling of distress, as if danger were lurking somewhere nearby. Orange is not as intense as red, but still it can hold its own, so-to-speak, when attention is up for grabs. It invokes a sense of urgency without stressing the person viewing it, but the wrong shade of orange can invoke a sense of caution (think of traffic cones and warning signs). Yellow, invokes a feeling of warm, pleasant, and cheerful feelings. Purple, has been around for centuries used to identify royalty or high rank, ergo invoking a sense of dignity or importance. Blue, invokes a sense of stability & can sometimes symbolize wisdom, confidence, and trust. Last, but not least Black, usually it’s associated with something negative, but it can also invoke a feeling of depth or perspective, think of art inspired of an abyss or a black hole.

Now that you’re in the know, it’s time to put this knowledge to good use. Applying the above color guidelines, can really make-or-break your own site. Here’s how:

  • Red and orange, are great colors for links, buy now and subscribe buttons, or just to draw attention to a specific thing on a web page.
  • Green and yellow, are good colors for relaxation and harmony so they would be great to use on headings or subheadings. (Too dull of a shade of yellow can read as caution.)
  • Blue and purple, are great colors for backgrounds because they carry a sense of stability, wisdom, confidence, and dignity.
  • Black, should be combined with some other intense color in order to pull it off as something mysterious and clever that would entreat visitors to dig deeper into your site (although curiosity did kill the cat, LOL:D) rather than something negative.

All in all, simple is the best way to go for sites that host some form of media or widgets, and don’t be afraid to categorize corresponding media on other pages and then post a link menu on the homepage connected to each different web page. Remember, less is more and that doing too much on your homepage will make potential customers or subscribers stare at your site like a deer in headlights then run away when the come to. Too little and they will feel the way Patrick Star would look if he were asked to add 2+2.

* I found the color definitions on

Cool sites for online merchants: