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Website Design Psychology

Majoring in business communications at university, and starting my own design and ad agency when I was still in high school, the psychology of advertising has always fascinated me. Stylegala’s Design Psychology is a brilliant essay on the thought process behind web page design – or what should be behind every web page design.

Okay, that may sound like histrionics, but the job of designing a website is an exercise in promoting a brand or idea in an appealing manner while also eliciting specific human emotions and behaviors. The designer must know how to accomplish these aims within a host of constraints, including those presented by the medium, the physical space, the client’s specifics, the relevant social environment, and the content and purpose of the site. In some cases this job is like pulling a rabbit out of a hat. In others, it is like pulling an elephant out of a thimble. Clearly a job for David Copperfield. See what I mean about the need for an artist-psychologist?

The points the author, Andy Rutledge, makes are exceptionally valid and well worth a read. We’ll be talking more about this over the next month or so, so stay tuned.


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  1. [...] Stylegala published a nice article by Andy Rutledge, Design Psychology. I think this is a useful and powerful article to read before you design a site. My favorite part is about the whitespace “I seldom have to work to convince a client to choose a design that I suggest, but often have to work to convince them not to fill up every inch of page real estate with content.” I’m an architect, but as a fellow designer believe me, it’s hard to not going futher than the focused purpose. I remember this “just because it can be done, doesn’t mean it have to be done”. But to stop the design process in the right time is a challenge for all designers, right? [via Lorelle] [...]

  2. [...] But to stop the design process in the right time is a challenge for all designers, right? [via Lorelle] • (25 November 2005 / ) ← Top 25 Irish Blogs Kineda Asian Idol Gallery [...]

  3. […] Website Design Psychology […]

  4. […] Website Design Psychology […]

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