What makes a website’s design genuinely effective? Is it the way it looks or the way that it works?
In truth, it is a little bit of both. Both the aesthetic and the functionality of a web page bear equal importance in the overall UX. Indeed, the way that a website makes a person feel has a profound impact on their behaviour. If a customer feels that your brand is trustworthy and has no issues interacting with your site, they are likely going to follow through with a purchase or desired action. However, if your website crashes and its design is unappealing, it could make the user feel unsafe and irritated, causing them to exit before taking further action.
This is why emotional design is the secret to a successful website. Every web page elicits an emotional response from its user, whether it be good or bad. However, a meaningful connection requires more than a sprinkling of emotional delighters.
Curious how to use design to create an emotional response? Here are four strategies to create a more emotionally-responsive website.
1. Contrast And Delight
The appearance of your website instantly communicates a lot about your brand to your visitors. Moreover, they are quick to make a judgement – nearly half of consumers base a brand’s credibility and trustworthiness solely on its website design. Furthermore, 38% of visitors will disengage from your website fairly quickly if they do not like the layout or design of it.
It is incredibly important to pay attention to how little changes in your page design and flow affect behaviours. Even changes to the colour, contrast, text font and use of white space can have an impact on the number of conversions or the engagement rate of your site.
Take Moz’s personal UX case study as an example. When they were redesigning their website, they conducted numerous A/B tests to determine how colour changes impacted their results. They found that when a CTA button was yellow, conversions jumped 187% higher than when it was green. Based on the psychological implications of colour, yellow tends to attract the eye and is associated with happiness, whereas green is seen as more stable and calmer. Therefore, using a yellow button meant that more customers were likely to click on it.
As you look for ways to create an emotional response through your UX, be sure to read up on various studies and reports of the psychological implications of colour, layout, and other design features. Conduct your own A/B tests and play around with these features to see which changes spark positive reactions.
2. Personality And Connection
While technology is continuing to make the UX more independent by requiring less assistance and interaction, that human touch is still incredibly important to users. When your website builds a connection with customers through its brand personality, it creates a sense of loyalty to the business that can be quite profitable.
According to Capgemini’s report, 81% of customers who are emotionally connected to a brand are more likely to advocate it to their social connections, and they typically spend more than the average consumer.
In a study conducted by Customer Thermometer, consumers reported that they engaged with businesses that made them feel cared for, unique, or confident. So, this connection is typically created because of how a brand makes that customer feel.
To build this type of connection, brands must develop their personality into its design. Determine your brand’s voice and personality and then see how it can be integrated into even the smallest details of your website. For instance, you can make your site more “human” by creating a conversational UX design that allows customers to interact the way that they want to. Using a voice-enabled AI assistant or a personable chatbot is one way to reflect your brand’s personality and voice quite literally through conversation. Your customers cannot build a connection unless there is something to connect with.
3. React And Reward
Whether it is a dog and a bone, a child and a piece of candy, or a customer and a special discount, all of us are highly motivated by reward. In fact, according to a study by HelloWorld, 64% of customers reported that they were more likely to purchase from brands that offered some reward program. However, the majority of these customers want these rewards to be customised to their specific needs and wants.
The great news is that customers are far more motivated to share their personal data if it provides them with significant benefits, such as personalised rewards. Indeed, 83% of online shoppers agreed that they would willingly share personal information if a brand used it for customisation purposes.
Personalization is a reactive design feature that adjusts the experience for each individual, creating truly unique and positive interactions every time. This can be utilised for things like personalised rewards or shopping recommendations. Interactive content is another way to gamify the UX for reactive experiences that are specified and controlled by the user.
4. Convenience And Efficiency
Things like slow loading speeds, difficulty navigating, and unhelpful searches are the top three reasons why customers report that a website has a negative UX. These factors frustrate customers so much that they are willing to pay more if a business offers a better site. According to a PwC report on CX, the majority of customers rated a website’s efficiency and convenience as factors that were not only necessary for a positive CX but also worth a higher price point.
Therefore, brands must stay aware of how every design change or alteration affects how efficiently visitors can interact with your content. If someone feels frustrated when trying to navigate your website, it is almost guaranteed that they will disengage. The best solution to this issue is to stick with simplicity: concise navigation tabs with search bars and clear CTA’s go a long way when it comes to efficiency and convenience.
As more and more consumers are using mobile devices for initial searches, the mobile UX should become imperative. This may require your design to be altered dramatically, depending on the site’s desktop layout. The truth is that the flow and convenience of your mobile display far outweigh how similarly it is designed to your website. In fact, it may require additional options, such as voice search, for a smoother UX.
The way that your website makes your customers feel will impact their actions and perception of your brand. Your site can significantly influence their experiences by controlling the emotional response through its design. Remember that every detail matters; the colour scheme and layout alone can determine whether or not a user will engage.
Be sure that your customers can connect emotionally too by integrating your brand personality throughout the overall experience. Make them feel unique and special by offering personalised experiences, such as interactive content or customised offers, and finally, focus on eliminating frustration by simplifying the process as much as possible.
Simply put, a beautiful webpage that is perfectly balanced, uses creative UI, and is nice to look at will create an immediate positive reaction. On the other hand, a cold, impersonal, or unattractive design that is confusing or complicated will stir up negative emotions and turn people away in droves.
Finding a balance between emotion and function is necessary for true user-centred design.
(Lead image: Depositphotos)
Want to learn more?
Are you interested in the intersection between UX and UI Design? The online courses on UI Design Patterns for Succesful Software and Design Thinking: The Beginner’s Guidecanteach you skills you need. If you take a course, you will earn an industry-recognized course certificate to advance your career. On the other hand, if you want to brush up on the basics of UX and Usability, try theonline course on User Experience (or another design topic). Good luck on your learning journey!