Aligning Digital Design And Psychology For A Better Customer Experience

Melissa Burns

When it comes to design, most websites are based on recognized layout patterns that work, colors that have broad appeal and feature placement that appears logical or familiar to the user. All this comes from a well-researched user study and a mix of marketing, design and behavioral psychology.

For better or worse, most startups, new designers, and younger digital professionals are a blank slate. There are some who slavishly follow design trends without understanding the underlying logic don’t get the meaning behind the design. Others, can take what has gone before and add their own spin, and there’s the rare genius who can rip up the rule book and successfully create something entirely new.

Whatever level a design team is at, having a firm grasp of how people work, aka psychology, is essential to getting website or app design right. That way, great work can emerge, rather than just mimicking what Apple or other currently cool websites do.

Get the basics right

A little marketing and psychology 101 can help anyone understand how website visitors or app users work, and what they expect to get from a visit.

The simple questions at this level are: What does your business aim to achieve with its app or website? And, how do you intend to get the user to do what you want? More advanced reading can show you how to get visitors to respond to a call to action.

The obvious answers are a bright and well-designed site with the key features and calls-to-action highly visible. Use of positive colors, in harmony with the brand identity, can make people feel welcome, typefaces vary from traditional to ultramodern, and each can have an impact, depending on the overall message.

New features like chatbots can increase the level of interaction and add to the level of engagement. Chatbots bring digital engagement like never before and can add personality to a business site in new ways, demonstrating why it can be essential to adopt new trends.

Stepping design up a notch

When it comes to the wider psychology of marketing, we see that rules can be tweaked, bent or broken to some degree of success. By telling a story, about a service or product, you engage the visitor—by turning the site or app into part of that story, people naturally want to be a part of it.

Whatever rules your site was built on, by using the basics of psychology it is possible to improve it to make it more attractive, engaging or interactive. Implementing various testing methods, you can prove to the business leaders that there’s return on investment to be had, and find what elements work or don’t.

While this industry claims to have thousands of thought leaders, the only ideas that matter during design are the clients and yours. But by using psychology, you can align any design to meet their needs and to attract and engage visitors.

There is no end point for design

A big part of a designer’s job is to get the eyes of the client and their customers and build the site or app to meet their expectations. From a logo to a color scheme, subtle changes can make a big difference.

The psychology of design is everywhere, from consumer products to industrial design and it follows that sites, apps, and digital services must also be built with that understanding in mind.

Whether building your brand from scratch or taking a fresh look at an old favorite, apply these rules and guides, and then create your own twist to make your site, app or service stand out.

For more on customer engagement, see 3 Ways To Ensure Your Customer Is Heard.


Melissa Burns

About Melissa Burns

Melissa Burns is an entrepreneur and independent journalist. She spends her time writing articles, overviews, and analyses about entrepreneurship, startups, business innovations, and technology. Follow her at @melissaaburns.