Psychology Of Web Design: The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly

Let me a paint a scenario for you. Your kid’s birthday is coming up and you need to buy the latest doll on the market. So you start Googling shops that carry this doll.

Now from here, one of three experiences may happen once you find a site of your liking.

1- Everything goes well and smooth. You found the doll right away and added it to cart. Checkout process is a breeze. Purchase confirmation and receipt promptly emailed with an anticipated ship date. This is the best transaction ever. Right?

2-Maybe not. You had trouble finding the doll.  Too many dolls on one page and none the right one. Couldn’t find the shopping cart. Went to checkout, put your address in but now the page timed out. You have to fill everything out again to check out.

3-Chances are if you’ve reached the third experience, you’ve thrown your keyboard across the room. You now need to call either the website company, your credit card company or both because you got extra add-ons in your cart that were accidentally purchased. You have no clue how this happened but you’re pretty pissed it did.

Each one of these experiences are caused by careful design decisions made by the company’s design team. Most companies will strive for Experience # 1. Companies that don’t know any better and just exist to sell a product and have an online presence will fall under Experience # 2. Experience # 3 are those you want to avoid unless you enjoy being tricked into getting things you never wanted or asked for.

No one ever thinks about how websites have a psychological effect on us. The colors we see correspond to the actions we make. For example, we all know that red means stop and green means go. Negative and Positive. Using red text on a form we tried to submit means we made an error. Using red means we are warning you. Just like green is a popular choice for telling someone that their action was completed and/or received.

Most people read in an “F” pattern online. They start out going left to right but then start skimming along the left side of the page, occasionally glancing to the content toward the right. Majority of people skim through web pages. Kind of like majority of people don’t read the fine print in the terms of service. No one does. Okay, maybe one person here and there but you get what I mean. And since most users skim, visitors will notice headers, bullet points, site navigation and bold text.

Website Thermal Map

Unfortunately, some companies take advantage and use what is called a “dark pattern.” There are actually 11 types of dark patterns. All of which designed to trick customers into committing actions opposite of what they want—whether they’re buying something or signing up.

example submit

Using a dark pattern is a fast way to tank your business if you are exposed for using this method. Clikz Digital will work with you to avoid these patterns. Our approach is for your website to be simple, clean and distraction free. We want to help your customers get from point A to point B easily. We want to make sure your site has successful conversion rates and we do that with a clear conscious when creating your website. As the old expression goes, you get more flies with honey than vinegar.