Post originally published June 28th, 2018. Updated for May 26th, 2020.
When we look at something long enough, we tend not to notice the little things. Once you develop a website that works well, it becomes difficult to see how it can improve. A grasp of the psychology of web design helps break you out of dated website strategy — giving you a way to look at your site with fresh eyes.
When to Look at Your Website Anew
When a website stops working for you, or especially your audience, it’s time for a redesign. Even if your website works fine, the following are great reasons to give its design a closer look:
- You want to increase traffic
- Your SEO needs a boost
- New tech leaves your site lacking great bells and whistles
- Certain content is hard to find
- Your website’s bounce rates are too high
Changes in your industry also lead to changes on your website. You need to keep up with the competition. This means redesigning your site around an innovative product or cutting-edge keywords. Look at transitions in your methods of developing, marketing and communicating about your product and adjust your site accordingly.
Even a well-running website needs to change every two to three years. A redesign with your audience in mind (not simply your personal preferences) keeps visitors happy. And, happy guests engage rather than bounce. The longer you keep visitors on your page — over 30 seconds proves to be the sweet spot — the greater the chance of conversion.
How to Look at Your Site With Fresh Eyes
The psychology of web design relies on an understanding of your customers. How do people interact with your site? If your analytics indicate strong leads and conversions, you may not consider any site changes. However, a redesign may boost these numbers.
Try these psychological tricks to help you take a fresh look at your website, and find overlooked design flaws.
Whether writers get stuck or business leaders hit a roadblock, stepping away for a few moments brings fresh energy and a renewed perspective to the task or problem at hand. When reviewing your website, take a break. Get up, look away from the screen, and go for a short walk outside.
When you return, you may find the data reveals something you didn’t notice before.
Read Another Industry
Reading outside your niche expands your mind in uncharted directions. In the context of site redesign, browse the websites and landing pages of other industries. The mental change of pace brings a new perspective when you return to review your site.
You may also be inspired by innovative web designs not seen in your industry. Less mouse movement and clicking for visitors means more follow-through. Other sites may reveal ideas for building a greater presence around CTA buttons and ways to make your site simpler for guests.
Switch Up the Font
Changing the typeface on your content gives it a new look. Printing out a web page generates different thinking than viewing it on a screen. Try these techniques to view your site as a first-time visitor and gain a new perspective.
A new “look” often reveals issues in the text your eyes miss due to familiarity. Typos stand out. Wordiness or unnecessary information becomes apparent. Web visitors respond to clear, concise information. Plus, the font itself sends a message to your readers.
View it on Another Device
In a similar way, looking at your website on different devices allows you to see elements needing change. It also gives you a view of what works and what does not for your site visitors. They use different devices — you should experience how your site works across them.
An important change revealed by this evaluation lies with function. Audiences get irritated and leave when sites fail to work smoothly on the device they use. Checking your site on different devices reveals gaps in technology that you can close to keep guests happy and engaged.
A change in location lends fresh eyes to any project. Visit your website in the chatter of a coffee shop, the quiet of the backyard and the professional buzz at the office. Switching up your environment offers distance and a fresh take on what you see.
Color and white space send a message to your audience. They cause your visitors to click the CTA or go to a competitor’s site. Different locations allow you to experience the “feel” of your site and identify needed changes.
Use the “Fresh Eyes” of a Friend
If you don’t feel like you can look at your site with fresh eyes, ask someone else! You’ll gain a lot of valuable information from people that don’t normally browse your website. This could be a family member or a friend or anyone you trust. They can give you insight into what your site is doing right and what it lacks.
When to Align Your Site With the Psychology of Web Design
Remember, while you want to like and enjoy your website, the main goal is to have a great website for your customers.
- Does it clearly express the benefits of completing the sales funnel?
- Is it simple to follow and require little mouse movement and few clicks?
- Does your font, color and white space send the message you intend?
- Is it functional and easy to use across devices?
Answering “no” to these questions means a redesign may be in order. We can help! Reach out to us today for a consultation.
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