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Web Design Psychology

What is Web Design Psychology?

Web design psychology is often applied through website elements such as color, spacing, page layout, typeface, and content. By designing from the visitor’s eye, web designers and developers can create a page that resonates with people’s feelings and prompts them to take desired actions. When a visitor comes to your website, they make judgements within microseconds about how the website makes them feel, how safe and legitimate it seems, and if the content and choices are clear and what they anticipated. By considering the psychological processes and impulses of your visitors, web designers can create a space that has a positive influence on your visitors that will keep them engaged with your content. The following are examples of design psychology principles and techniques that can be applied in web design:

Von Restorff effect/Isolation effect. When multiple similar objects are presented, the Von Restorff effect predicts that the one that differs from the rest is most likely to be remembered.

Mental modeling. Mental models are personal, internal representations of external reality that people use to interact with the world around them. They are constructed y individuals based on their unique life experiences, perceptions, and understandings of the world.

Serial position effect. The serial position effect is a psychological phenomenon associated with memory where items at the beginning (primacy) and items at the end (recency) of a list or string of information are more easily recalled than items in the middle.

Zeigarnik effect. The Ziegarnik effect is the tendency to experience intrusive thoughts about an objective that was once pursued and left incomplete. The Ziegarnik effect says that people remember uncompleted or interrupted tasks better than completed tasks.

Simon effect. The Simon effect refers to findings that reaction times are usually faster and more accurate when the stimulus occurs in the same relative location as the response, even if the stimulus location is irrelevant to the task.

Stroop effect. The Stroop effect refers to behaviors or skills for which direct interaction is no longer required, as the behavior or skill has been automatized.

Category size effect. When people respond faster when the item is a member of a small category.

Typicality effect. When people respond faster to usual or typical members of a category.

Picture superiority effect. The phenomenon in which pictures and images are more likely to be remembered than words.

Law of proximity. States that objects that are near or proximate to each other tend to be grouped together.  

Paradox of choice. States that too many options usually lead to indecision.