The Human Brain Craves Order
- familiar web design patterns (e.g hamburger menu, account registration, continuous stroll, FAQ, breadcrumbs etc.)
- your contact information where he's used to find it, based on his previous experiences
- the call to action button, as well, where he'd normally find it
- the logo on top, as he's used to seeing it an so on...
- Google, that guides our searches based on our browsing history and past searches
- Amazon, that guides us in our future selections based on our previous purchases
Still, The Human Brain Can “Digest” a Certain Dose of Surprise
- You've already asked yourself why you're breaking up the standard pattern
- You're confident that your new one is better (and not just different)
- You're sure that it's intuitive enough for your user (that it triggers surprise and not just frustration)
The Human Brain Craves... Trustworthiness
- Familiar design elements (e.g. menu at the top)
- Visible page headings and titles
- Detailed contact information at the bottom of the website
- Consistency in design (e.g using the colors in your logo throughout the entire website, even if just for links or for small icons)
- Placing your logo throughout your website (thus reinforcing branding and... building a sense of recall in your user's brain)
- “Less is more”, when it comes to content and... only easy-to-digest, perfectly structured content is king (“concise” is the golden word in the... user-centered online world)
The Human Brain Reacts to Colors
- Red: it conveys a state of emergency (e.g. Chinese restaurants using red to urge their future customers to... satisfy heir hunger) and alert (see it CNN's news alerts or where it's used to point out sales mark downs)
- Green: you won't find a more... easily to be processed color than green, nor one conveying the same state of optimism. In a few words: when it doubt... go for green! Being easily associated with nature, it's heavily used for beauty products websites.
- Blue: it makes the best choice when the main emotion you want to convey to your target audience is... trust. Rely on calm, cool shades of blue when you want to build a website on a solid foundation of trustworthiness, when you want to gain loyalty from your users (giants like Facebook and Twitter have and also lots of banks are using it on their websites). So, blue is trust and openness!
- Purple: go with the “royal” color if it's a message of... high-brow type of brand/services/products that you want to convey to your users. Many beauty and retail websites are “painted in purple” for this color's calming and soothing effect on the users.
- White: what's more inviting than white? It helps you put together a clean, pure design, one showcasing certain elements of your work and where do you add that there's much fuss about the almighty “white space”. What does it mean? It means that you should design with these necessary white spaces in mind (spaces on the website with no text or imagery), some “breaths of fresh air” for your user's eyes.
- Black: it's strong and powerful, but on the other hand... emotionless. Used mostly for luxury products retailers, it can help you trigger the right emotions that you want to if... used wisely (balance is key, after all, no matter what colors you choose)
- Grey: so modern and professional, yet lacking personality, some might say.
- Pink: when you say “pink” you automatically say “feminine”, “fun” and “youthful”. So, you pretty much got the picture which should be your target market when you use lively or soft shades of pink!
How Does User Psychology Dictate Layout, Typography and Content?
- Serif fonts: the ones conveying professionalism, traditionalism and importance (used on educational websites, newspaper websites...)
- San serif fonts: preferred by... modern brands, on the cutting edge side (e.g. Google and Apple)
- Also, balanced spacing is key (put enough space between your letters/paragraphs so that your text doesn't look too dense and so that it shouldn't convey a certain flightiness, either)
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