How To Use Psychology In UX Web Design

A pleasant interface doesn’t ensure your success but knowing how the viewer sees and perceives the interface can greatly improve your chances. 

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    User experience in web design goes beyond visual design, incorporating psychological aspects meant to increase your viewer numbers. 

    A pleasant interface doesn’t ensure your success but knowing how the viewer sees and perceives the interface can greatly improve your chances. 

    Understanding consumer psychology allows you to create a streamlined experience where users will find it much easier to interact with your product.

    When you focus on looks and forget about the psychological aspect, your product stands a higher chance of failure. 

    Luckily, you can upgrade your website yourself by using certain design psychology principles, or you can ask for the professional services of reliable social media marketing companies to spiff up your website. 

    As soon as you understand the psychology of design, you’ll be able to create beautiful UX designs to benefit your prospective clients. 

    In this article, you can learn a bit about eight principles of UX design psychology and how you can increase conversion by using them.

    UX designer analyzing layouts in front of him when creating layout of website interface of new company

    What are The Principles of UX Design Psychology?

    1. The Principle of Least Effort

    This principle states that many users will base their decision on the least amount of energy spent. If someone has to learn a lot about a product or topic, they’re less likely to buy, use it or be interested in it. 

    That’s why it’s important when making the user interface and layout changes. When you change how your users interact with your website or the products you sell, you basically constrain them to learn something new. When you do that too many times, you risk losing users. 

    A few examples of integrating the principle of least effort into UX design is showing your users something instead of putting the information in a text. If you do choose text, make sure to be concise and meaningful. 

    Try not to clutter your page with unnecessary text. Or group your information based on topics. 

    2. The Principle of Socialization

    People are social creatures, and that translates to their behavior online, especially with the emergence of social media. 

    To make it easier for your users to find you on every platform, you can add buttons for social media. Users can engage with you on different social media platforms, and they can easily contact you when they need help. 

    You can use buttons for social sharing where users happy with your products or services can share them with other people, broadening your audience

    Use product ratings, testimonials, and reviews your users can check before making a purchase. Social validation can be a powerful weapon when used to your advantage. 

    3. The Principle of Perpetual Habit

    This principle is described as relying on memory when doing something.

    For example,

    You know how the check-in process works when you’re a frequent flyer. You first go to check-in, then leave your luggage, go through security checks, and so on. But if, for some reason, when you arrive at the airport and see you have to go through security first, then check-in, you’d get confused, maybe angry. 

    This principle applies to websites, too. That means you shouldn’t change too much too soon. Keep things familiar when it comes to your website. The side panel is usually on the left and the header is – well – at the start of the page, of course. 

    Layout and navigation should be kept simple so the user finds it easier to check it out. Keep essential pages close to the home page

    4. The Principle of Emotional Contagion

    Did you ever see how emotions are contagious?

    For example,

    When someone laughs, the people around them start laughing or at least smiling, too. If someone is crying, you get sad. Subconsciously, people borrow emotions and behavior from others. 

    You can use emotions in your UX design to increase conversion

    Focus on emotional stories, show emotional photos or videos, and show how happy your products or services make people and make them appealing to viewers. 

    5. The Principle of Identity

    People have this feeling of needing to belong, of having an identity. That’s part of the reason why people collect awards, stars, and medals that show how appreciated they are. They like to make friends, show up on leaderboards and personalize their devices. 

    Brand loyalty can also give people a sense of identity. Some prefer Apple products, while others would never buy their gadgets from brands other than Samsung, for example. 

    From a UX standpoint, you can focus on developing a strong company brand. That means using unique symbols, colors, and messages that can’t be mistaken for other brands. 

    Show your teams on your website, and share photos of the people working on your projects. Set a schedule of newsletters and emails to remind users you’re active. 

    Prove that you care about users. Give feedback and ask for user opinions. Include short forms that users can skip if they don’t feel like sharing, and entice them with some freebies on your website when they go through with it. 

    6. The Principle of Beauty

    People make a lot of choices based on looks. When they’re given the opportunity, they will choose to visit beautiful places, live in beautiful homes, and buy nice furniture or outfits to wear. “Beautiful” is frequently associated with “successful” or “expensive.” 

    You can definitely include beauty in your User interface design. Focus on a design system and try not to mix too many colors, fonts, or styles. 

    Go with the flow, more exactly with market trends. Make changes to your UX according to what modern-day users are used to seeing. 

    UX Design Psychology: Principle of Beauty: Team of creative designers working with modern devices and color swatch samples at design studio.

    7. Hick’s Law

    Hick’s law is a principle stemming from eCommerce design that makes an estimation. It says that the more choices a person has, the longer they will need to pick something. 

    When users have too many products to choose from, they may need to make more visits to your website before they decide to make a purchase. Because the experience can prove overwhelming, they can forfeit their desire to buy altogether. 

    That’s why you have to make sure your users don’t get overwhelmed on your website. Plus, you can consider Hick’s Law when building the checkout process, figuring out how many steps it takes to complete the sale or how many input fields it uses. 

    8. Von Restorff Effect

    This effect is explained by the fact that someone will remember only the object that is unique or stands out from a group. This principle in UX design psychology is important because it gives users clarity. 

    It is used when you want to promote an important call to action – you make the button bigger and choose a bold color. 

    You can also use the Von Restorff effect for a large number of pages or open tabs. You can highlight the ones currently being used at any given point in time to make it easier for users to understand where exactly on your website they are. 

    4 Tips to Increase Conversion for Your Small Business Using Psychology in UX Design

    1. Show Visitors Your Value Before Asking Them to Take Action

    Users are cynical when it comes to putting effort, time, or money into something. They consider the value they can get against the costs. Your job is to highlight benefits over costs. To do so, you can use the principle of reciprocation, which dictates that people trust you more and are happier to buy from you if you do something for their benefit. 

    Some good examples are giving new users guest access and delaying notification requests. Let them explore your website before asking them to log in. Try to ask your users where they visit from or other personal information only when it’s needed, not immediately after they click on your page. 

    2. Guide Users Instead of Flooding Them With Info

    Try to keep things simple when directing your users to take action. Reduce user stress when completing forms or following instructions by breaking things up into smaller pieces of information. Reveal info only when it’s necessary or useful for the user to know said things. 

    Guide your users through your pages to help them navigate your content and products. Splitting information into more than one page can help you get more traffic and, in the end, more conversions. 

    3. Keep Things Simple When it Comes to Interaction

    When users have to think too much, they get grumpy or tired. In UX, this translates to interaction costs, which designers should try to reduce or avoid as much as possible. 

    You can reduce interaction costs by making things visible on the page. That means icons, buttons, form fields, and key sections. When working with forms – when you’re asking your user to share info with you – work on the best UI controls for inputting information to shorten the time spent completing them. 

    4. Keep Your Interface Familiar

    You may want to make your website as unique as possible, but some things are better left unchanged. That means keeping familiar interactions… well, familiar! People handle change in small doses. 

    You’ll see most websites and apps use more or less the same layouts. Try to keep common design patterns active. That means navigation menus, search and chat bars

    When you want to do something different, choose certain things you can modernize. A single well-placed innovation can be a better way to go than changing too many things at once. 


    Once you understand the importance of psychology in UX design, you can make changes and implement new strategies meant to bring you closer to your business goals. 

    Applying the principles we talked about enables you to focus better on the psychology behind web design. 

    In the end, psychology applied to UX web design can improve conversion and bring your small business to another level. 

    Links & Resources

    Travis Dillard

    Travis Dillard is a business consultant and an organizational psychologist based in Arlington, Texas. Passionate about marketing, social networks, and business in general. In his spare time, he writes a lot about new business strategies and digital marketing for SeoTurnover.

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