Whether you have landed directly on this blog or if it was following on from “The Importance of Good Web Design (Part 1)” – you should find the topics discussed helpful to gain a deeper understanding of web psychology.
Previously, we covered a brief history of the web, how design has evolved over the years and some common mistakes that are encountered.
In this article, we will weigh up the importance of visual design and usability. The correct balance of the two will determine the success or failure of your website.
It is all well and good to have a site that looks fancy, but if your web site is attractive and the user cannot navigate easily, needless to say, this will not positively impact the user experience or your business.
Entering the mind of the user
So, the first question you can ask yourself is “What am I trying to achieve”? By answering this question, you can remain mindful of what you want the user to act upon and in which order.
Colours should be used effectively across the website to guide the user and emotionally trigger the responses you desire. Obviously, you will have to ensure you are not in danger of violating the brand guidelines but you can use the following to indicate what certain colours represent:
Red – The hottest and most dynamic colour: activating, stimulating, passionate, exciting, powerful and expanding.
Orange – Not as overwhelming as red, orange is a balanced colour that is vibrant and energetic while being friendly and inviting.
Yellow – The brightest and most energising of warm colours: happy, stimulating and expansive.
Green – This cool and secondary colour is calming, balancing and rejuvenating.
Blue – Represents dependability, trustworthiness and security.
Purple – Nobility, abundance, dignity but can also stand for creativity and imagination.
Brown – A stable colour, brown can be associated with experience and comfort.
Black – Power, elegance and modernity.
Grey – Neutrality and calm.
White – Clarity, cleanliness, hope and openness.
Definition: Web Usability
The ease of use of a website. Some broad goals of usability are the presentation of information and choices in a clear and concise way, a lack of ambiguity and the placement of important items in appropriate areas.
When colours are used in conjunction with usability it makes a magical combination in the web world. A satisfying user experience will inevitably allow your online performance to elevate.
During the evolution of the internet, users have gradually become accustomed to particular layouts and positioning of common web elements, for example:
- Company logo is in the top-left corner and links back to the homepage
- Navigation is in the same place on each page and adjacent to the content
- “User Login” button is always situated on top-right of page
- “Contact us” tab always at the end of the menu bar
- The “Site links” are expected to be in the footer for a full overview of the site
If your goal is to get visitors to perform an action (e.g. fill in a contact form) you must apply this philosophy to the structure and design of the site – lure the user to the end-goal!
Ultimately, you want the user to be able to find exactly what they are looking for: whether it’s a product you are selling or information you are providing.
After all, Google is trying to improve the user experience for all web browsing. So, if you focus on the visitor, Google will focus on you.