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The Psychology of Design: Landing Page Design Tips

Design is an incredibly broad topic, but a very specific niche. Design involves more psychology and ethics than one would think. There is bad design, design that hijacks attention, and empowering design. Ideally, the latter is what we should strive to achieve when we design our own landing pages and websites. Empowering design is design that seeks to provide the consumer with exactly what he or she wants, riding harmoniously with his or her best interest rather than limiting the consumer to options that will only benefit us.

To create empowering design, we’ve got to first study bad design. Design is considered ‘bad’ when it neglects human psychology and common sense for the sole purpose of only looking out for the company’s (or designer’s) best interest.

We’re all familiar with obviously bad designs. These include the type of designs that tell us that the designer doesn’t know which information is the most important, offering too many options that aren’t related and don’t contribute to the readers’ valuable time.

On the contrary, hijacking design works much better in gaining traffic in the short run—although there are questions of ethics that follow because it doesn’t supply the user with what he or she really wants. An example of a hijacking design is Facebook’s autoplay feature. Rather than allowing the user to choose to watch the next video, autoplay selects it for them and plays it after a short countdown. This keeps the user engaged on the social platform for much longer, fulfilling the company’s best interest, but whether or not it fulfills the best interest of the user is questionable.

Landing Page Tips: Engage and Empower

To create design that is both engaging and empowering, the user’s interest has to come first—which means that the menu of choices has got to truly be relevant to their needs, and the cost of each choice (via disclaimers and compliance practices) has got to be clear and upfront.

To create empowering designs, one must take into consideration common sense and human psychology without exploiting it. Creating a helpful hierarchy of content will give your page more flow and help direct your users to know where to start reading and what the call to action is. The call to action should always pass the squint test, making it easy for users to navigate exactly where it is even when they’re squinting. The rest of the content should not compete with the call to action, but it should supplement it.

Landing Page Tips: Be Relatable

People are also more able to relate to human expressions, so using images of humans who are either staring directly at the user or clearly expressing a certain emotion will help convey a more relatable message. As with the rule above, images should not compete with the content, but rather add to the overall flow of the page and increase user satisfaction.

Images could also be used to create mental models of the message you want to convey. Mental models help consumers digest information better by portraying relatable, real-life examples of how the product or service would be applied. We learn best when we could compare new information with familiar information.

Landing Page Tips: Don’t Overwhelm

In addition to images, take advantage of white space and use it to direct people’s attention to the core of your message. White space shouldn’t be feared. When used with purpose, it creates an extremely focused and elegant design—much like Apple’s website.

Landing Page Tips: Less is More

When it comes to design, one should always remember Hick’s Law, which dictates that the more options are offered, the longer customers will take to pick their choice. A popular study revealed that excessive options also exhaust the consumer, lowering the chances of making a sale. Create a menu that reflects what your audience would be looking for, and refrain from adding other unnecessary tabs or headlines that will distract from the overall message.

In conclusion, to create engaging and empowering design, the best method is to focus on the consumer’s needs and convenience. Design that fulfills the consumers’ best interest will most likely sustain quality traffic over time.

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