How To Use Customer Psychology To Engineer A Better Website
Have you ever wondered why some websites draw you in and make you want to buy what they’re offering, while other sites leave you with a feeling of wanting more? Much of this has to do with the psychology behind the website.

A lot of designers and business owners build websites according to their specifications, instead of taking the time to strategically build a website that’s engineered for their ideal customer. In an increasingly crowded web space it’s more crucial than ever that your website be clear and on point.

By implementing some basic human psychology principles you’ll be on your way towards creating a website that not only looks good, but converts as well.


Why Implement Psychology Based Design?

By taking the psychology into account you’ll be creating a better experience for your visitors, which will make them more likely to take whatever action you’re nudging them towards: buying what you’re offering, sharing your work, signing up for your newsletter, etc.

Trust is the backbone of any interaction on the web. Without trust you’ll have a very hard time making any sales, or having any kind of success with your website. Trust is a hard thing to build, especially in the online space.

By using design psychology you’ll be able to make your website seem more trustworthy, which will help to bring your visitor into a state of ease. Face it, people at ease are more likely to be receptive to what you’re offering.


Understanding User Website Behavior

The moment a person lands on any website there are certain elements they expect to be there, regardless of the style of site you’re using. If your visitors are confused the moment they land on your website there’s a good chance they’re going to leave.

When a person is exploring your website they expect to see your purpose clearly stated, and some form of navigation to get around your website. Beyond these two elements you’ll need to have certain reinforcements that will act as a support system for your site’s purpose.

These elements can be things like color schemes, font style and use or non-use of images. Your website needs to be communicating on a cohesive level in order to provide your visitors with the best experience possible.

In order to build an effective website you’ll need to understand the way a user scans your website, as well as the intent behind each page. Most readers tend to read in a ‘Z’ pattern across your website, so you’ll want to place the most important elements of your website across those lines.
Make sure you have purposeful pages. There shouldn’t be a single page on your site that doesn’t serve a purpose. When a user lands on any page of your website the reason for that page being there should jump out at them.

Lastly, you need to realize the web is a crowded space and most people will land on your website with a frazzled state of mind. By using intentional white space throughout your website you’ll be allowing your viewer to breathe more deeply and relax a bit.

All of these pieces together will help you craft a better user experience.


Incorporating Psychology Based Design

Now that you have a basic understanding of the power of using psychology to build a better website, it’s time to dive into a few techniques to get you started:


1. Step Into Your User’s Head

Knowing who your actual users or visitors are going to be is the crucial first step in the process. By taking time to map out and understand who your unique visitor is, you’ll be able to build a website based on how they use the web, as well as incorporate some useful emotional triggers into your site.

2. Plan Your Entire Site

Creating a sitemap for your site will help you to determine the purpose for each page. The best way to do this is to create a list of every element you want to have on your site, then break it down page by page. This will also help to ensure you don’t miss anything.

3. Decipher Your Brand

There are certain brand elements you’ll want to include in your design. It can be helpful to make a list of these elements as well, because you don’t want to diminish the overall impact of your brand.
The most common elements include: your site’s logo, your overall color scheme, and sitewide typography. These elements will essentially knit together the rest of your site.

4. Continually Test

Once you have all your elements picked out, your website copy written, and your site built out, it’s important you continually test different elements. This will help to show you what your users like, and what elements are turning them off.


After consistent testing you’ll be left with a stronger site than you could ever have built in the first place.

By implementing some of the basics of customer psychology you’ll have a site that’s literally built to serve your customers. After all wouldn’t you rather have a site that works for you, instead of against you?


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Kevin Wood writes about technology and human potential. You can find him at his virtual homes Wooden Writing and Counter Culturist.