The psychology behind UX Web Design

Published: September 2019

The thinking behind UX web design goes further than you might think – there’s a deeper process that looks at how we think and what effect that has on how we perceive and use a website.

UX web design aims to make a website visitor’s journey through your website as easy and as seamless as possible – but when an average website user’s time on site is at only six seconds, it is a huge challenge to make them stay. Tapping into how people tick is the key to keeping your audience engaged with your website.


Give website users a reason to engage

How many times have you tried to engage with a website, only to be blocked by sign up or login pages. Data is valuable, as is a website visitor’s time – so they are very unlikely to continue with their journey if you haven’t given them a good reason to hand over information. Get them hooked before you put barriers in their way to access content.


We’re lazy online

It sounds harsh, but it is true. Some of the most successful websites are designed so that we barely need to click or move our mouse, because we prefer to move as little as possible when browsing online. Infinity scrolling websites are designed that way for a reason – so we can access all content without having to do very much at all. Research shows that we are poorer at evaluating information after using any physical or mental energy – if you want potential customers to make a well-informed assessment of your business, the way to do that is to make sure they have exerted as little energy as possible to navigate your website.


The expectation factor

Does it seem like all websites look more or less the same? There’s a reason for that. As humans, we like to feel in control and for situations to unfold in a way we can predict. It makes us feel relaxed and safe. It may seem like a good idea to do something wild on your site to catch attention, but it’s likely to make your audience switch off. Unexpected sounds, flashing buttons and media with no pause or play options can be uncomfortable for viewers and they’ll leave. Clear menu navigation, smooth transitions and predictable layouts will make your customers happy.


Create useful notifications

App notifications are often incredibly irritating and many of us turn them off. It doesn’t have to be this way – you can create interesting and intriguing app notifications for your users if you just apply a bit of thought to their preferences. Using the data you have available on each of your app users can be crucial to creating a notification that is useful to them – for example, using their location, you can send them news that is specific to their area. Take a look at topics or products they’ve shown interest in in the past and use that data to create a notification they’ll enjoy. Think more about the customer’s needs instead of your own and they might just keep your notifications switched on.


We hate waiting

Nobody likes to wait for anything – but online we’re even more impatient. Your audience are likely to switch off if they need to wait more than a couple of seconds for a page to load, no matter the value that page is offering them. Web pages are now designed to be a streamlined as possible, with few pages to open, compressed images and fast loading speeds.


The UX Web Design F pattern

When we’re browsing a website, our eyes move in the shape of the letter F. We start at the top left hand corner, our eyes start to drift along to the right, then they move to create the rest of the F shape. Most websites are laid out to suit this pattern, with the most important information at the top of the page and call to actions or catchy headlines often put down the left hand side. It’s especially useful if your website is quite text heavy and you’ll see this layout used often in news sites or blogs.


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