Web Design Psychology: Improve User Experience while playing with Psychology


web-design-psychology-for-improved-user-experienceThis post will cover

Why use psychology for designing websites?

What is user experience in this case then?

Tell me how to play with psychology to improve user experience !

  • First and Last concept
  • Be Lazy Concept
  • Remember the odds Concept
  • Hick’s Concept
  • More, The Illusion concept
  • Speak Easy Concept
  • Humor Concept

Psychology plays a vital role in our life. Every action we make is our choice which subconsciously is driven by human psychology.

Alike other activities, while visiting a website, the left hemisphere and right hemisphere work simultaneously and stimulate certain emotions subconsciously, which results in visitor interaction with different elements on a website.


Why use psychology for designing websites?

In the same way, Psychology, which is the science of behavior and mind , tells you researched and executed tips to understand human behavior upon certain stimulus.

By using psychology principles in web design and development, the user experience can be improved.


What is user experience in this case then?

For web design, the user experience is triggering the right emotions and attitude while they are on a website.

How well is the user flow across the website; is a first time visitor properly navigating its way according to a search query; are visitors from sales funnel successfully signing up; is website easily navigable on a mobile device (part of Mobile UX); user engagement-signup, download, subscribe, comment… All these come under user experience for a website.


Tell me how to play with psychology to improve user experience!

A website consists of different elements which altogether develop a type of website. For example, if there are recent products, new products header text with grid format images and flashing buy now button, it’s an e-commerce website.

How psychology plays is it uses certain principles for different elements and modify those elements for improving user experience across the website.

Along with that it enhances usability and improves productivity for a website.


First and Last concept

We never have thought it that way but do you know our brain inclines us to best remember the first and last items in the series. It is called as Serial position effect.

It is the reason most of the websites use CTA buttons and add highly relevant information above the fold.

Let’s take an example of our own website which offers social sharing plugins for most of the cms.


Every required information is displayed at the top. We offer free Social Share buttons and you can get it by clicking on CTA buttons which say “Get Free Share Buttons”.

Our visitors now know social9 and where to visit back to get free sharing buttons for their site.

We have an informative footer too.




Be Lazy Concept

It is a human nature to adapt to simplified things first rather than going complex. It’s a concept based on Conjective load. Conjunctive load is the total amount of mental effort being used in working memory.

It is the amount of thought (mental effort) you need to put in order to make a decision or complete a task.

Make lazy concept suggests to decrease the time taken and mental efforts by giving them quick options to choose from.

Let’s take a basic example of social login. Most of the websites today are enabled with social login. Visitors/users previously had to fill up form to signup, create a secure credential and remember it too; that’s tiring.

By using social login, visitors can use their preferred social provider to sign-up and sign-in. It reduces visitor’s mental efforts from remembering multiple secure credentials to just one.



Remember the odds Concept

It makes use of the isolation effect. Isolation effect says when multiple homogenous stimuli are present, the stimulus that differs is most likely to be remembered.

Basically, you will likely to remember the things which stand out from other elements.

This is the reason CTA button on websites are colored in odd color, which makes them stand out at first glance. For more on colors and psychology behind them, read this post on color psychology for websites.


Most loved Influencer and Entrepreneur Neil Patel uses this concept at his website neilpatel.com. With a charming smile and white environment, a CTA button is placed to attract focus.

Not only CTA’s, you can use it for popup boxes, dashboards, landing pages etc.


Hick’s Concept

According to Hick’s concept, the time taken in making a decision is directly proportional to the options provided. More be the conjunctive load, more be the chances of visitors to change their mind. One of my colleges suggested me to buy Flowerbomb perfume. After doing a quick search, I first landed here.


Confused right? Same was my situation at that moment. A lot of option means more confusion. I don’t know why there were similar products with different pricing and a poor add to cart button (should have been an elegant color than green).

After hitting back, it was another website. CTA in Pink (girly color but a poor choice paring it blue), cross sales at the bottom (totally not confusing), and everything above the fold. A Perfectly implemented Hick’s concept.  



More, The Illusion concept

We become biased to things which are categorized.

It means we start to get biased with things which are organized in a group, with equal chances of picking up. We feel that groups with more elements are more likely to give outcome, compared to a group with few elements.


For testing this concept, I asked my colleague Mirian to choose the best WordPress hosting for me, irrespective of cost because the company will be paying for it.

I gave her three options Godaddy, Hostgator and Siteground. She has very least knowledge about hosting, so she was the one to test it on.


Here are the results:

In Godaddy she choose the Ultimate plan.



In Hostgator, she choose the business plan (was obvious).



In Siteground, she chose Grow Big, because she does not know the meaning of Geeky WordPress Features (neither me, should have elaborated it to make things understand better.)


If we look at the success rate of this concept, it is a 100% win. My test parrot know about the basics related to hosting like bandwidth, space, SSL certificates, email marketing, un-metered keyword.

Considering them as null, it’s a cent percentile win.


Speak Easy Concept

People find it easy to correlate and interact with elements named in a simple manner. To give web elements a personal touch most of the web designers humanize website content.

A contact us/ consultation CTA is renamed to humanize the interaction.





Definitely second CTA will perform better, which is asking clearly and in an understandable way for a consultation appointment.


Humor Concept

It is based on Humor effect.

Humorous objects are more easily remembered than non-humorous ones. Its effectiveness depends upon the distinctiveness of humor, increased cognitive processing time to understand the humor or the emotional arousal caused by the humor.

Add some piece of humor in content as well as vector/stock images. Hostgator mascot modified for a blog post.

Hostgator uses its mascot on most of the places of its website in a friendly and humorous way.    



That’s all for web design psychology for improving user experience and increase the productivity of a website.

If you have any doubts or discussion to start, please comment below.


Carol is a content writer at Social9 who loves blogging about social media, technology and marketing.

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