Many business owners think of design as something artists conjure up out of their creative depths -- that coming up with the right color scheme, choosing the best font and lining up the best graphics are things that can only be inspired by creative minds.
While there is a bit of inspired creativity that goes into web design, there’s a lot more science involved than you might think. Here are a few scientifically proven ways to get better results from your website.
1. The Sore Thumb
The scientific name for this is the Von Restorff Effect, but we all know it as “standing out like a sore thumb.” The idea is whatever stands out as obviously different is the one most likely to be noticed or remembered.
On your web pages, there is usually one main idea you want to stand out. Whether it’s a “try me now” button or another call-to-action, make it leap out from the page with different colors, fonts, or other effects.
2. The Gut Reaction
Creating an emotional connection with your audience is essential if you want them to stick around. Scientists call an immediate emotional response a visceral one, but we know it as a gut reaction.
In your design, use images that call up a positive emotional response that is connected with your offerings. For example, if you’re promoting your day spa, use imagery with soothing colors, relaxed people and things associated with tranquility like sunsets and beaches.
3. Color Me Thoughtful
If you’ve ever heard the term “seeing red” to describe someone who is really angry, then you already know colors can produce an emotional reaction from your readers.
Scientists have researched which colors are connected with different moods. For example, blue is associated with strength and trustworthiness--it’s no accident that blue is the most common color for corporate environments.
When it comes to making people feel energetic, passionate, optimistic and even hungry, red and yellow are the colors of choice. Think about the common color schemes used at most fast-food establishments and you’ll see what red and yellow can do.
Green is almost always associated with positive feelings and a natural, organic vibe. Skin care companies and high-end food establishments love the emotions that green makes you feel.
4. The Power of Processing
Visual information is processed much faster than words on a page. In fact, one study found visuals are processed 60,000 times faster!
Intuitively, you might know this already when you use a chart or diagram to explain complex thoughts or to dissect a huge pile of numbers. The scientific name for this process is dual-coding, but we just say a picture is worth a thousand words.
To get the best results from our human processors, pair visual information with verbal explanations. That way, your audience can have the fast, immediate impact of the visual aid and then dive into the text for a more robust explanation.
5. Make the Most of Every Interaction
There will always be a place in website design for people who are inherently creative and are inspired to build awesome designs. On the other hand, using science to make the most out of every customer interaction--even if it seems to go against the idea of creative outlets--just makes good business sense.