Why Good Web Design Is Emotional
For all of its ubiquity in the human experience, modern science still struggles to define emotion. But really, is that the job of science? We can get a better grasp of what emotion is by reading the Bible or the work of great poets. What we do know for sure is that our feelings play a large (and often dominant) role in decision-making.
Website design, because of its heavy reliance on technical acumen, has often lacked the emotional content that is an intrinsic part of more mature visual mediums. Web designers tend to focus on the technical aspects of design, rather than making it more human. That is a mistake. If web design is to appeal to people, it must take on the very human qualities that make people likable and appealing.
Why You Need Web Design With a Heart
How does this make you feel? That is, perhaps, the single most important question we can ask of a website that is tasked with marketing to your potential customers. People do not dig into the code of a website they enjoy to see how it was programmed. They don't marvel at its technical framework, as impressive as that may be. Rather, they respond to images, colors, and memorable copy. These are the elements of a website that possess emotional content. What makes the most memorable impression is that which touches human feelings.
Emotions can trigger a powerful bond between a customer and a product or business. When your business website can touch the heart, it is much more likely to generate a sale or desired response. Feelings matter in business!
For nearly two decades, I have focused on creating websites with an emotional core, a heart. Why? Because this is what motivates potential online customers. Rather than try to impress viewers with gadgetry (although that does have its audience), we can reach a much broader audience through emotion.
What Emotions Should Good Web Design Convey?
There are certain emotions that are appropriate for nearly all business-to-consumer websites. Let's start with kindness. Does your website feel friendly, warmhearted, and considerate? Kindness can be expressed in the images and color used in the web design. Does your website feel welcoming or intimidating? If a website is purely a technical exercise it can quickly alienate potential customers. Make it welcoming and inviting and it will encourage viewers to linger and respond in a positive way.
There is a related quality that can best be summed up in the word hospitable. In other words, the website makes you feel 'right at home'. How can this be achieved? By keeping things simple and familiar. The website navigation and menu should conform to familiar standards. The layout of pages should be in accord with what is considered appropriate and in good taste. If your website has a complex or cluttered look, it confuses users. Keep it simple.
Fundamentally, the same qualities that we find appealing in fellow humans should be evident in emotional website design. In business, we prefer to work with people we like. Is the personality of your business website likable? After all, it too is seeking to establish a business relationship!
Is Your Mobile Website Emotional?
Smartphones are the device most likely to be used by consumers to visit your website. In fact, more than half of all online searches worldwide are made on smartphones. The tiny screens of smartphones present a real challenge when creating emotional web design experiences. However, it is not a daunting one. The key is doing more with less.
As in cooking, simple recipes made with a few fresh ingredients can make for memorable meals. When designing for mobile, we must ensure that the few visual ingredients used are carefully chosen to communicate the right emotional message. Anything that lacks clear emotional value should be avoided. Say more with less.
In closing, motivating business-to-consumer websites are always emotional. They are likable, hospitable, and mirror human feelings through skillful web design! Let me help you to touch the hearts of potential customers online. Contact Don Peterson for a free website evaluation and discussion of your online marketing goals.