How To Win Clicks and Influence Users: The Psychology of Web Design
- How People See:
- People are drawn to faces
- People use peripheral vision more than central vision to get gist of what they’re looking at
- People consider things that are closer together to ‘go’ together
- How People Process Information:
- People understand and remember information best in story form
- People process information better in smaller chunks
- People feel overwhelmed when information isn’t categorized
- How People Make Decisions:
- People are very influenced by others’ opinions
- People are more likely to take action if they don’t have to go through another person
- People respond best to a personal connection
We recognize and react to faces faster than anything else. Designers sometimes use this to direct users’ eyes to a specific area of a page. For example, if you place an image of a person whose gaze is directed toward a phone number, it’s more likely that users’ eyes will be drawn to that area.
We use our peripheral vision to understand what’s going on, and we use central vision to get more details. When looking at a computer screen, users decide what a page is about and if it’s relevant based on a quick peripheral glance. So when thinking about your own website, it’s important to look beyond specific details and think about the visual impression each page is giving as a whole.
Designers use this to create links between images and text or to organize information into categories.
Use your website as a platform to tell the story of who you are as a business rather than just what you do.
For example, instead of a long, overwhelming list of your services on your homepage, put service categories (i.e. transmission repair, tires, brake repair, etc.) That way, your customers can quickly find the specific service that they need and click to learn more about it.
To avoid this, designers create categories out of the information on your website. Whether it’s a services section, a ‘why choose us’ call out, or contact information, it should be clearly categorized and easy to distinguish.
Ratings and reviews are a great way to influence user behavior on your website, especially if they’re feeling uncertain. In general, the more information you give about who wrote the review and where it’s from, the more influential it will be.
Having an online schedule form on your website that’s easy to access is a great way to give users the autonomy to make an appointment on their own.
Lastly, people are more likely to schedule an appointment and be happier with their service if they feel a personal connection with your business. Your website is a great tool for creating such a connection via photos of your shop, customer reviews, information about your community involvement, etc.
Weinschenk, Susan. 100 Things Every Designer Needs to Know about People. Berkeley, CA: New Riders, 2011. Print.