How The Human Touch Enhances Your Website Design
We are not machines. We are sentient, living creatures with feelings. However, it must be said that most web design seen online feels like it was made by machines. It lacks soul, emotion, and feeling, what some would call collectively, the human touch. The web designer who understands the power of the human touch uses images and colors to visualize emotions.
The power to visualize emotion gives your website the instant ability to communicate to the widest possible audience. While the spoken and written language of your audience may vary, visual emotions such as a smile or laughter are universally understood. Visual emotion gives your web design a power of communication that transcends its technical environment.
Is your website hospitable, friendly, or warm? Is there a hint of mystery, a touch of humor, or a burst of passion? These human qualities can be expressed visually in your website design. When done skillfully, your website takes on a personality and presence that can be shaped to compliment your product, service or mission.
Evoke Positive Emotions
When I interview new web design clients regarding their aesthetic preferences, there are two questions I always raise: What emotional values do you want your website to possess? What emotional traits do you want to avoid? This helps me to define what emotions or feelings I need to visualize as I design the website.
What emotional values do you want your website to possess?
Generally, we want to evoke positive emotions in those who visit our website. Like a pleasant and memorable face-to-face meeting, visiting a website can be an enjoyable encounter. If your website inspires positive emotions, it gives you a compelling edge over websites that feel more machine-like in design.
Approachable Web Design
Often technology is a source of frustration to many because of its complexity. It all feels a bit intimidating and unyielding. It has a steep learning curve. An effective website design is the exact opposite (or should be). It should feel familiar, simple, and approachable. One dictionary defines approachable as: easy to meet or deal with. When your website is 'easy to deal with' it encourages viewers to linger, and inspires loyalty.
Approachable web design does not have a dense or cutting edge interface. Rather, it meets the needs of he widest possible audience by keeping things predictable and familiar. If a user has to spend time figuring out how your website works before they use it, most likely they will give up and move on to another website. Good web design is above all usable.
Attractive Web Design
While opinions about what is considered beautiful may vary by culture, the appeal of beauty is universal. We like things that are pleasant to look at. Pretty images trigger positive emotions. The popularity of cat pictures online is a testament to the universal appeal of pretty images. Business websites should have an appealing, attractive presence. The use of color and images that enhance your products, service or mission can inspire or motivate viewers.
The single most abiding principle of my website design for nearly two decades has been 'the human touch.' It is the fastest and most universal way to communicate with consumers online. Any business that wants to reach consumers online needs the human touch! -Don Peterson