The Psychology of Small Business Web Design

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Psychology, business, and web design are three fields that just don’t seem to go together. However, they all come together at times, especially when you are planning a small business website. By understanding the way certain aspects of design affect the human mind, you can have a website that is both more attractive and more effective for your target audience.

Basic design has a definite, measurable effect on the human psyche. However, before you have a website designed, you need to know exactly what you are trying to communicate. What exactly do you want to say to potential customers? In most cases, a small business website exists to convey your brand to customers, make them feel at ease with you, and inspire them to take action immediately—preferably, the type of action that brings in profit. While certain features may make for a more attractive web design, they must never interfere with the true purpose of your website: to serve as a marketing and business-boosting tool.

Making Psychology Work for You

Colors and lines are the most important and effective ways of using psychology to increase the success of your small business website. By using lines subtly, such as in the background and in images, to draw customers’ eyes to certain elements, you can control the order in which customers experience your website. Colors can be used to add emphasis, enhancing this effect, or to invoke emotion.

Negative space is also important in a website. Empty space gives a readable, uncrowded feeling, but too much of it is a waste and may even give the impression that you have nothing to say. A professional web designer will know what balance makes customers feel at ease while taking full advantage of every inch of space.

Not only can you use psychology to create different emotions and feelings in your audience, you can also use it to create a sense of priority in your site. Although every element and every word of your website is important, you want to create a clear sense of priority. Basic principles of psychology can be used to pull customers through your site in the order in which you want for them to experience it.

Testing the Waters

Once you have a website designed, you may want to test it to make sure it is effective. You can do this by putting together a focus group or even by having a few friends check out the website. Be sure to ask specific questions, such as where their eyes go first when they open your page and what links look the most attractive to them. If your webpage is not getting the desired effects, you can make slight modifications to ensure that customers react exactly as you want them to.

Creating a website is a lot of work—although much of this is done not by you, but by your web designer. You want to get the most out of every pixel and get maximum return from your investment. Knowing how to use psychology in your favor will ensure that your website is a valuable tool for years to come.