Web Design

The Psychology of Web Design & Influencing Consumer Choices

29 July 2022

Web development is a crowded market that provides a wide range of choices for consumers. This means that it’s no longer good enough for a business to have a website that solely works as a “face” on the web. As the market becomes more competitive, it’s necessary for a business website to become a direct tool for selling, leaving nothing to luck. 

That’s where psychology in design is coming to the fore. When using psychological triggers, it’s possible to influence a customer’s choice. You can guide users on to the next step to take the next desired action or path. This can lead to increase revenues for businesses. 

In this article, we’ll take a look at several ways psychology in web design can be used to drive sales. 

Navigation Menu: Restructure

We all understand the navigation structure of a website is essential. The most important links in a nav menu are at the beginning and the end. Placing important links in these areas helps get more clicks on information that you’d like to emphasize. 

You can use this tactic on the “about us” service or product pages, customer support, and other pages. 

Optimize Page Content

If you’re designing a landing page, then it’s best to order the content according to the serial position concept. This means using the first section of the page for key ideas, which may be a business benefit, and then ending with a CTA (call to action). 

The Von Restorff Effect

The Von Restorff Effect is also called the “isolation effect” and works to help make something stand out. This method uses different methods to draw a user’s attention through the use of size, color, light, image, animation, circumstances, words, or sound. This is the perfect way to make things stand out to site visitors. You can use the following methods for this effect: 

Emphasize things you’d like to sell first: using the Von Restorff Effect you can draw users’ attention to specific products and services. This may include new items, the most expensive, or those that are best-sellers. 

Emphasize CTA buttons: the goal is to get a user to take a specific action when on your website. This may mean pressing CTA buttons such as “learn more,” “buy now,” “contact us,” and more. To grab a user’s attention, make CTA buttons easier to see by: 

  • Using contrasting color and/or size
  • Increasing the amount of space around the CTA button
  • Fading/blurring background images

The Zeigarnik Effect

This is another persuasive tool that web designers use. The reason is that when a task is left incomplete, they tend to stay with the person. They think about these uncompleted tasks over and over again. 

For this reason, it’s essential to provide users with motivation to finish the task. This can be used to help them finish an online purchase, create a profile, completing the signup process, and more. You can do this through the use of the following: 

  • Progress bar
  • Provide users incentives to complete the task
  • Warn users about irreversible changes
  • And more

The Serial Position Effect

This tactic uses a method called the serial position effect. This is a user’s tendency to remember the first and last items in a series rather than those in the middle. The serial effect can be further subcategorized into the primacy effect and the recency effect. 

With the primacy effect, users have a tendency to recall the first items in a series with higher accuracy. The reason for this is the small amount of process effort that’s used to recall the item. This is very similar to anchoring bias. The primacy effect says that the first pieces of information are more important than the following information. 

It’s due to users’ short memory that they tend to focus on the first and last items in a series. So, as a web developer, you can control user behavior by placing information in a specific order. Here are some examples of how to use the serial position effect: 

Start with the most expensive item: this attracts the user’s attention to the most expensive product or service. With this method, it’s essential not to set the price too high for the first item. That’s because online shoppers are experienced and are smart. They will understand that the lower-priced items are next on the list. For this reason, it’s a good idea to keep prices realistic. 

Outline major benefits: place major benefits in the beginning. This may be something like free delivery, a free trial, or even a shout-out. Just make sure these are memorable and will stay in the minds of users as they navigate the site. 

The Choice Paradox

The choice paradox says that too many options may lead to indecision, which can lower sales. In order words, if a site user has too many choices, they feel overwhelmed. They may leave the site, abandon their shopping cart, and more due to feeling overwhelmed by too many options. 

To keep this from happening, you can help users avoid decision fatigue using the following methods: 

  • Limit the number of CTA buttons
  • Using pagination or the “load more” button, rather than displaying an infinite number of items. This puts users in control of how much they see at any specific time
  • Reduce the number of default products on the home page
  • Use smart filters to reduce the number of items displayed at one time

Summing It Up

As a web developer or designer, you have the ability to help site users take specific actions and make the site more enjoyable. In order words, you have the power to make visitors want to visit the site repeatedly. To this end, you can use the psychology tactics in this article, as well as apply others. 

Always remember that the goal is to help your site users achieve their goals. When site users feel fulfilled and satisfied, conversion rates will increase. It will even be possible to add more revenue channels and keep churn rates down.

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