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February 8, 2013

Psychology, Marketing, & Web Design

Author: Kristen Bachmeier

Psychology is the study of the mind. Marketing is the study/practice of selling to consumers. Web design is creating an aesthetically pleasing website online. How can these things intertwine?

It may look like these terms were just stuffed together to create a blog post title, however, these terms are interlinked in ways that many don’t understand.

Consumer Psychology

Take a moment to think about who buys stuff and who uses websites – yes, they are consumers, but they are people. That being said, it’s important to take human emotions and thought processes into account. Knowing what to offer consumers and HOW to offer it to them comes from studying the psychology of the buying process and the ways people make decisions.

What to Know About People & Web Design

When attending the Conversion Conference last fall, I was fortunate enough to see Susan M. Weinschenk, Ph.D. in Psychology and author, present on some of the things designers (and marketers) should know about people to reach them with an effective message and a relevant product or service.

#1: People like to do as little as possible.

When this was pointed out, I got to thinking about how little I like to do when it comes to buying a product or visiting a website. If I feel that it takes too long or is difficult to do, I become frustrated and move onto the next (and hopefully easier) website. It’s important to keep processes easy and smooth for your target consumer.

#2: People can remember and deal with only 3-4 things at a time.

If a user shows up to your website and is bombarded with many calls-to-action, it’s likely that the user will take no action. For example, if your goals are for visitors to purchase, sign up for a newsletter, AND follow you on Facebook, it’s possible that they will ignore it altogether and leave. Stick with one call-to-action that matches your goal and target consumer, and run with it.

#3: People have mental models.

I found this one to be the most interesting – people typically have an idea of how something is supposed to work in their heads without even realizing it. A great example is locating a sign in button on a website. As a website user, I expect to find that button on the upper right-hand corner somewhere. Why do I think this? I’m not sure, but it’s a mental model that designers have to face.

This blog post merely scratches the surface of what web designers and marketers need to know about people. Needs and preferences are ever-evolving for consumers, and it all comes down to knowing WHO your target market is and what your target market NEEDS.

Kristen Bachmeier

Kristen Bachmeier is Atilus' Director of Operations and helps to oversee all client accounts and day-to-day operations. Kristen also has a background in digital marketing, and has been working in the digital marketing space since 2012.

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