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Psychology in Website Design: 6 Crucial Principles to Apply

It’s a common problem that designers often need help finding a gap between their design and how users use it. That’s why, understanding the psychology of design is important.

Donald a Norman said,

“Design is an act of communication, which means having a deep understanding of the person with whom the designer is communicating.”

Hence, as designers, we must add more value to our design through human emotions, behaviors, aspirations, and motivations to bridge that gap.

Psychology In Website Design Is Important

So, what’s the role of psychology in website design? Here are the two most important ones.

Psychology Allows Designers to Empathize with Users

Understanding the human psychology in our design lets us capture the behavioral thought process of people in our strategy – thus helping us to create a human-centered design.

In the end, this allows us to create a more flexible and universal design for any age, culture, or language.

Improve the Human Experience

The science of human behavior in the psychology of design gives the designer a better understanding of our target audience. 

6 Principles of Psychology in Design

Human psychology might be complicated to understand and learn. However, some principles are simple enough for you to use in designing your website. Here are six of them:

1.     Hick’s Law

As website designers, we need to make the design to be straightforward to make.

Do you have any memories of the old video games of 20 years ago and how enjoyable playing them was? The controls were simple enough to play in minutes—for instance, Super Mario with just left right as jump control.

However, today’s input controls on modern gaming consoles and PC games offer numerous options and combinations. It’s easy to say that the game designer doesn’t think about Hick’s Law in this part of their game.

Hick’s Law, also known as the Hick-Hyman law, was named after the British as well as American psychology experts William Edmund Hick and Ray Hyman. The law describes the duration it takes for an individual to make an informed choice will increase when there are a higher amount of choices.

Thus, give fewer and/or clearer options for our users to pick from.

2.     Gestalt Principles

Gestalt principles require the understanding of how the brain functions and then utilizing the human brain’s natural tendencies. Using this principle, we can create a more effortless and seamless experience for our users. As a result, it will make our users feel at ease on a website, no matter the case of their first visit.

The Gestalt laws are easy to integrate into almost any design. They can make a plan appear random or as if it’s fighting for attention from one with a seamless, natural interface directing users to the direction you’d like them to perform.

3.     Jakob’s Law

Jakob’s Law states,

“Users spend most of their time browsing other websites. This means that users would prefer your website to operate like all other sites they are familiar with.”

It talks about patterns in design. These are patterns that we can see on various websites and applications. For example, Google and Yahoo! include their search bar within a vast expanse of white.

Designers of user interfaces and experiences generally adhere to design patterns. This is why we’d expect our ‘send message’ icons to appear on the right-bottom of our screens, based on the screen size.

Common design patterns resulted in less time spent learning. Users can quickly get familiar with sites that look like the ones they’ve been to. In contrast, using different design styles meant more difficult learning curves.

4.     Color Psychology

Many factors make a site look great. One website may draw you in with gorgeous pictures; Another can make your jaw drop because of the way it uses fonts.

However, the use of color can transform a site into a living thing. Additionally, there’s much more to using color in websites than what is apparent to the naked eye.

We may not be aware that the colors utilized on any website are also designed to trigger certain emotions, reactions, and attitudes of the visitors who visit their pages. It’s what the psychology of color is telling us.


Do you have any questions about why most or all of the signs for sales you’ve seen are red?

Red is a hue that creates an urgency, which is why it makes sense. Red is an attractive color and may cause hearts to race, primarily if it’s employed in marketing materials that boast huge discounts, but only for a brief period.

For marketing and companies that run sales or give out tempting offers regularly, there’s no better hue to create an atmosphere of urgency than red. Look at the work that Kmart is up to on its Homepage.


Blue is frequently thought to be a sign of calmness. In reality, some believe blue has a positive effect on heart rate and blood pressure.

In business, blue is usually associated with color psychology, security, stability, trust, intelligence, and trust. Many companies, Facebook and Twitter included, utilize blue to help them display any or all of these qualities to the world.


Yellow is a popular color for websites looking to convey the feeling of joy, happiness, and optimism. The color yellow gives all of that quickly. Since yellow is the color of sunshine, some even claim that a color like yellow makes people look younger.


Another color that brings out a sense of fun is orange. It’s the color you’ll get when you combine yellow with red. Since it contains red, orange is also a great choice when creating the impression of urgency, particularly in call-to-action buttons.

5.     Visceral Reactions

The visceral reaction is an automatic bodily response to an experience or stimulus. Without going into too much detail, the neurotransmitters (chemical neurotransmitters within our brains) determine our emotions and prompt an emotional response.

Simply saying, visceral reaction is the first impression our audience sees on our website. This is really important since they will jump right off if we make an awful impression with our website design.

6.     Miller’s Law

Miller’s Law is an excellent illustration of a psychological idea applied to UX. It was first introduced in the well-known 1956 paper.

A lot of web designers compose lengthy lists of items, such as on online stores – making it difficult for customers to choose. Not following Miller’s Law is risky because it could significantly increase your website’s bounce rate.

According to this law, organizing information in categories at most 7 is recommended. Hence, in any part of our website, if there are any choices to be made, make it less than 7 options.


Web Design Psychology is a crucial field connecting two complex areas of study: psychology and design. Combining these two disciplines creates a more rounded, flexible web design centered on the human possible.

The essence of web design psychology is understanding how different elements on a website can affect users’ thoughts, emotions, and behavior. Understanding these elements helps make web pages that are visually pleasing and user-friendly.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Q: Why do we need to use psychology in website design?

The most successful websites typically blend design and psychological aspects to make compelling websites. They are designed to appeal to users’ feelings, guiding their actions and behaviors.

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