By Riya Sander
Website design has become easy given the many themes, templates and layouts available on the internet today. Designers only need to customize the templates to create the desired feel for the target audience. However, the growing population of tech-savvy end users puts tremendous pressure on designers to not only develops great websites but those that have an impact.
Websites should be aesthetically appealing and build interaction with the user. Designers can achieve this by blending colors and images and taking advantage of the psychology of the user. The next discussion elaborates on this subject further.
How is Psychology Used in Web Design?
Web design color combinations are the most important features when developing a website as they evoke emotion from the user. Usually, when you view a color, the eyes send a message to the hypothalamus region of the brain, causing the pituitary gland to release hormones that lead to changes in moods. As a result, a color may evoke a positive, negative or a mixture of feelings. A study by Kissmetrics shows that it takes only 90 seconds only for a visitor to form an opinion about the website by looking at the color.
Designers are often guided by the organization’s existing logo or brand when choosing the colors for the site. Most company logos blend in neutral colors and bold ones; it’s up to the designer to determine those that will take dominance. Colors have different meanings and evoke varying emotions:
- Red denotes energy, passion, vibrancy and prompts action
- Blue suggests openness, intelligence and serenity
- Green is associated with health and the environment
- White denotes purity, modernity and calmness
- Black is conventional, classy and suggests formality and excellence
Most visual identities comprise neutral colors like whites, blacks and greys and bold colors such as blue, green and yellow. The secret lies in the overall color scheme; not the impact of one color. It also depends on the tint (lightness), shade (darkness) of the color and the hue (type) used. For example, if you want to create an engaging and creative site, a combination of greens and blues with a white background and touches of orange or yellow help convey positive feelings to the visitors. Here are a few tips to help designers when choosing the color scheme for a website:
- Triadic: It is a 12-step color wheel where designers can select three colors located 120 degrees away from each other. It is the most balanced method of choosing vibrant and complementary colors.
- Analogous: the technique focuses on complementary colors only. So, designers should decide how they want the colors to impact the user.
- Compounding: This concept uses four colors- two complementary types (across the wheel) and two contrasting pairs.
The fonts used on the website also convey lots of feelings and emotions to the visitor. Thanks to modern technology, there are thousands of typefaces to choose from. Typefaces are designed for use during specific situations and applications. Serif fonts, for example, are commonly used in Newspapers as they are associated with professionalism, seriousness, scholarly and tradition. San-serif fonts such as Helvetica are more informal, clean and create a modern feeling. Modern designers are inclined to use sans-serif fonts more than serif fonts because they make visitors feel up-to-date. The way the fonts are presented on the page is also essential. A designer should strike a balance between the kerning space (space between the letters) and the leading space (space between the lines). You also don’t want to create extremely tight paragraphs as they are uninviting and difficult to read. The page feels crowded, and the visitor feels as if you are screaming at them.
Images not only create visual breaks but also help visitors connect and interact with content. The designer may decide to use one type of image or a mixture. Here are different kinds and how designers should incorporate them in the design.
Typically, they should represent the business. A common mistake designers make is using generic images related to the company’s products or services. Such photos don’t connect with the visitor; on the contrary, pictures of people who represent your company’s prospects resonate with the visitor. The images and messages should work harmoniously especially those used on the home page.
They should be used to narrate a story about the company. Infographics, for example, offer lots of information in a rather exciting way to help the visitor to get the whole story from a single image.
The organization of content and the general use of space also affects how the visitor feels. Designers should factor in the amount of space taken up by content, images and balance out the white space. White space provides a resting place for the visitor and is created on the margins. Another aspect that should matter when deciding on how to create a site includes how well you organize the content to create a feeling of professionalism, optimism and good vibes for each visitor. If every space on the page is taken up by graphics, words and other features, it feels chaotic and may make the visitor feel uneasy.
The Bottom Line
Undoubtedly, color, imagery, typography and space affect the overall impact of a website. What professional web designers should keep in mind is that designing a great website does not require grand overhauls. Instead, the focus is towards creating simple, futuristic and functional designs that interact with potential customers.
Riya is an inspired writer, passionate about traveling, lifestyle and encouraging startups. With spending her years working in marketing communication, Riya is delighted to work with aspiring small business owners. She works as a freelance content marketer for Orange Digital, a web design company in Brisbane. She understands the importance of productivity at work and never stopped finding new ways to create her work productivity. Connect with Riya on twitter, @sanderriya.