Nick Brown 14 December 2018

General

Psychology of A Modern UX Design

Many people think that design is just about art, about creativity, and talent. And while this is definitely true, it is not all that a modern UX design consists of. There is a lot of psychology behind this stuff, a lot of thinking about what other people think, how they react, how do they feel. You want to elicit an emotion from your readers and customers, a feeling that will get them to stay on your page, and to have them keep coming back.

An interesting approach to design is to think of it as a form of communication. In fact, it can be argued that it is as much a feature of communication as words are. You can look at it as the difference between exchanging words, and looking at body language. Both are important, and both create a story, an idea, and image. And utilizing this insight will move your design to the next level. Don’t think of it as something clinical and cold, but rather, as a combination of the best of both worlds, all moved into one.

You want a visceral reaction

And any good SEO and marketing company will tell you that you need to spruce up all of your search engine optimization features. The GWM SEO company, for example, is a proponent of thorough and detailed SEO analysis and implementation. But, once people reach your website, that is where the real UX design comes in.

Namely, you want a reaction. Once you see a websites page, you want to actually stay there. If it makes you nauseous or just hurts your eyes, it’s pretty much a guarantee that someone messed up. And yet, there are websites that actually feel soothing, that make you want to read more. This is, of course, part of the design, but it is also part of our reptilian brains.

Namely, for whatever reason, we will have a gut reaction to certain shapes and colors. You want to create a good, positive impression on your visitors as soon as possible. At the same time, it’s a balancing act between not having too much clutter and nonsense – i.e. make it pretty, but readable. The third issue that complicates things is that the UX design would have to be tied somewhat with the line of work you are in. A restaurant website can have wonderful HD images of food in the background, but this would look rather odd for an animal conservation website.

Use color theory to your advantage

Of course, there are many tools to get your marketing to the next level, thousands of useful tools, gadgets, and apps. But, a simple thing as color can get you very powerful results. Namely, the psychology behind colors has been researched and examined for a long time, and the results are very real. Colors influence the way we view the world itself. So, for example, red is all about passion, but also aggression. It is quite intense and focuses on passion, anger, love, strength. Orange is energetic, it gets people excited, but it is also warm and subdued. Green represents someone being, well, green (i.e. inexperienced). However, it also evokes feelings of nature and of renewal. Then we have yellow, which is the color of the sun. It stands for sunlight, for joy, and happiness. Yellow makes people feel all warm and fuzzy. Blue is calm, but also cold. It can present something as a professional, but also as cold. And deeper shades can be seen as melancholy and sad. White varies greatly. On one hand, it is pure, and innocent, and clean. On the other, it gives off medical, cold vibes. Black is complex as well. On one hand, it is often associated with death and sadness. On the other, it’s powerful and strong.

And of course, intensity matters a lot. Neon versions of these colors can be quite aggressive and eye-catching, while darker shades are soothing and sleepy. It’s all up to you to decide how and why you want to utilize these colors. It greatly depends on the company, and what it wants.

For example, a biomedical company would want things like metallic blue and white, signifying control and cleanliness. On the other hand, you want lots of green or yellow for a wellness spa. An interesting point is that even if two companies are involved in the same line of work, their wishes may differ. A law firm dealing with serious contracts, specializing in, for example, the old industry, would want something powerful and clear – white and gray, or metallic blue and red. On the other hand, a local father and son law firm that helps with workplace injuries may go with something warmer, like green and brown, or orange and black.

Be simple

If you can, use people’s short attention spans to your advantage. In fact, you don’t really have a choice anyway. It’s pretty much a well-known fact that the more options people have at their disposal, the more time they will take to actually make a decision. Also known as paralysis by analysis, people will procrastinate on making a decision by thinking about and analyzing the choice they have in front of them. This can be applied to anything, from shopping, business opportunities, and to, of course, design.

The point here is to make things simple for your users. First of all, a cluttered and overfilled page will just hurt their eyes, and make it much more difficult for them to actually find what they want. They will then get annoyed, which will influence their later decision making regarding your website, or may just outright go somewhere else.

Now, of course, if you can, you could still keep all these choices while still make things simple. A good website set up can guide people to where they want to go, while still having certain options be available to them. Setting up an infographic may speed things up, showing them all the information you believe is important, while still giving them room to breathe.

Reading patterns

There are certain patterns that show exactly how people read and skim through a website. The so-called the F pattern is an interesting representation of the short attention spans of our times (something we touched upon briefly already). However, you should keep this in mind when posting content.

Namely, these patterns represent how our eyes move when “scanning” a page. So, a visitor will just read the first line of the page, and one more bellow when talking about the F design. As far as the rest of the page is concerned, they will just read a couple of words for every subsequent line of text, and that’s it. This means any keywords, patterns, and eye-grabbing information should be placed in a manner that corresponds to the F pattern.

Conclusion

You need every tool at your disposal to stand out with your UX design, and one of the best in psychology. Figuring out how people think and react will bring you a world of good, it will get you more visitors, and higher retention. And the best part is, it will not make your designs colder, but quite the opposite, it will enhance and guide the artistic side easily.

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