5 Psychological Design Tactics that Make Brains Tick and Visitors Click

Design is everything when it comes to the first impressions that your customers have when landing on your website. Everything from the colour schemes, to the design of the buttons they press, even the pictures that you use. This is why we must understand what people want from a psychological perspective to ensure that we give them a lasting impression which will lead to repeat business.


Design With Humans In Mind

Many brands and businesses tend to try and design the most stunning websites using everything that they think looks good, but when the customer sees it, they hate it. Why? Because the business has not taken into account the fact that the design should be around what the customer wants to see and experience.

For example, take a look at the website Craigslist. It does not have all of the bells and whistles of stunning design that most would think, but that is not its purpose. All customers need to do is either post an ad or find an ad – thats it. The same applies to Reddit. These websites work extremely well because they include only what is functional and most necessary for the customer. Simplicity is a very powerful tool when you are trying to differentiate from your competition.


Using Colour To Influence Emotions

There has been a lot of argument and debate over the Colour Theory – that is, certain colours will invoke certain moods and emotions, which ultimately will influence the decisions that people make when exposed to them.

However, there has been some very promising studies which found that:

Red: Increases heart rate, creates sense of urgency, often associated with sales.

Blue: Creates the sensation of trust and security, often associated with banks.

Green: Often associated with wealth, easiest colour for the eye to process.


Hick’s Law Of Keeping It Simple

We all know the pain of standing in the supermarket trying to decide which item to pick when there are 50 more of similar quality and price and end up giving up in frustration and not purchasing anything. The same will happen to your customers if you present them with too many options on your website. Too many links, too many products, too many pictures and they will probably end up leaving too and not purchase anything from you. Have a look at the highly successful sites such as Twitter and Facebook. How easy are they to use? Very easy!

Here’s an example of Shopify in 2010. Note how cluttered it looks.

Now have a look at Shopify today. Much better.

We Live In A Mobile World

It may not be long now, given the very fast advancement of mobile technology, that desktops and laptops will be made obsolete. This is why you must ensure that you employ the same effort and factors of simplicity into your mobile website design.


We Trust Happy People

We have all heard that a smile is contagious. Not only this, but emotions too can affect the moods of others quite powerfully. A study showed that we have cells in our brain whose only purpose is to respond when we see another human face. We can use this to our advantage in the photos that we choose to incorporate on our website. Think engagement with eyes facing the customer, or a happy person pointing at them. Or look at this website which has a strong call to action on its main page:




Integral to our design process should be understanding the basic human mind. By incorporating the above psychological tactics, we can ensure that we are doing the best that we can to engage with our customers.