- Maureen Dillon 08.26.2015
We are all driven by emotion; this article in Psychology Today gives us an excellent idea of the extent to which emotions influence our buying decisions. People whose brains have experienced some sort of damages in the part that generates emotions find it very difficult, if not impossible, to make decisions. While we may believe that all our choices are rational, this is often not true. And all of us have experienced “loss of control”; in such cases, very rarely is our rational self able to impose its will on our emotional side.
The power of emotion should never be underestimated. While marketing their products, companies don't just talk about a product's specifications, they create a story. A story designed to make the user want to buy the product. Have you ever seen a toothpaste ad showing yellowing teeth as the end result? That is because yellow teeth do not make a consumer happy, pearly white teeth do. Consumers buy the happiness that they feel, not the toothpaste. Similarly, advertisements for different cell phone plans companies might emphasize the lost cost connection you can make to loved ones who live far away.
Just like conventional advertising, websites should also be designed to bring forth emotions in their users. Whether your business is a B2B or a B2C, emotions play a very important role, as this article highlights. But it is important that the right kind of emotions are evoked. Inciting a positive emotion will make a user remember your site and probably get back to you; incite a negative one or even a neutral one and you will lose your user forever.
This is the easy part - your users should not feel bored or frustrated. Give them a site that is either difficult to navigate, too cluttered, lacking in relevant content, or with ads taking up too much space, you have already lost. The first part of designing is always the site's structure and content; getting them right is half the battle.
What are the keys to a good design?
You can also use other components, like animation and infinite scrolling, while designing your site. Displaying your website in shades of just one color and using high resolution portraits can also help to invoke a sentiment in the user.
What is a Good Design?
The purpose of your website is to increase your customer base. But the modern internet user has very little attention span. So, your design should be able to spread your message very quickly; in other words, first impressions are very important. Consider the video ads on YouTube; users are allowed to skip ads after 5 seconds. On YouTube, five seconds is all the time that you get to hold on to your viewer. Your website is very similar.
Once you have the attention of the user, your website must fulfill its purpose. Sticking with the video ad theme, if a 3 minute ad manages to capture the user's attention in the first five seconds, it still has to hold the user's attention for the next 175. If your website user finds it not worth the time to look through your website, even if you provide a great first impression, you lose. If your website's message is contrary to its appearance, you lose. While good website design helps, it is equally important for the website to fulfill its purpose.
To conclude, emotions are powerful and play just as important a role as your product itself in attracting users to your website. A well-designed website invokes a positive emotion in its user at first glance, but that alone is not sufficient. The website must also not invoke a negative or non-positive emotion at any time and must provide content that the user seeks. Nothing incites anger, frustration, or boredom in a user like websites that are hard-to-use, difficult to navigate and have irrelevant content. A good website is not one that just looks good, but also one that provides the goods.