Hooked: How to engage your website audience in one second or less

You have less than one second to make the right impression. Almost immediately after landing on your website users will make an uninformed, mostly subconscious judgment about what type of organization they’re interacting with. This initial judgment will largely be influenced by layout, design, and visual tone. It will not only influence the rest of […]

Read More

Does your website need to be beautiful?

When I first started designing websites in the 1990s, I focused most of my attention on creating striking visuals. In my defense, I was typically designing gaming website with only the occasional local business… but my goal was always to design a site that looked “cool.” In the early 2000s I stumbled across a website […]

Read More

Fight or Flight: Which Emotion Does Your Website Evoke?

Are you a logical individual? Do you carefully consider all options before making a decision? Are opinions shaped primarily through facts and reasoning? If you answered yes to these questions, you’d be wrong. We are all emotional beings, and our emotions are the root cause of our thoughts and behaviors. Our logical, conscious thoughts simply […]

Read More

10 Design Principles to Reduce Cognitive Load

If you’re not familiar with cognitive load and how it impacts interface design, it’s worth reviewing our previous blog post. If you’re already convinced cognitive load is important, the next step is addressing it. Reducing cognitive load is accomplished by reducing or offloading mental effort (which are similar but different concepts.) Reducing mental effort is […]

Read More

The Three Levels of Emotional Design

To design positive emotional experiences you must understand human emotion. The subject of emotions is complex largely because everything we do is either influenced by, or directly caused by, emotion. Factor in the range and capacity different individuals have for emotion, add in the fact most emotions occur subconsciously, and round this out with the […]

Read More

What is cognitive load and why does it matter in web and interface design?

Successful design manages cognitive load. Cognitive load is a technical term for “mental effort,” more specifically it’s the total amount of mental effort required for a given task. Completing any task requires some level of mental effort. This includes learning new information, analyzing stimuli, and working with short and long-term memory. Mental energy which has […]

Read More

Emotional Design Model – Designing Enjoyable Interactions

The vast range of design styles should be an indicator of just how different personal preferences can be. A style characterized by high gloss and polish may be loved by one group and hated by another. The design could be viscerally appealing and behaviorally enjoyable and still result in this outcome. Remember logic assigns meaning […]

Read More

Emotional Web Design

If you have designed a site that addressed five of the six layers of design you have surpassed most sites on the web. Even great designers will fail to address the first five layers in a design. Stopping here however, would ignore one of the fundamental aspects of being human, having emotions. Emotion is the […]

Read More

50 Point Conversion Optimization Checklist

An optimized website can convert ten times as many users as a non-conversions optimized site. The amount of information on conversion optimization is vast, a quick Google search reveals over 578 million results on “Conversion Optimization.” With so much information on the subject available, it can be difficult to identify where to start or what […]

Read More

Psychology of Beautiful Web Design

If you’re a frequent reader of this blog you might have noticed I can be critical of visual design. The underlying implication that visuals received a disproportionate amount of attention during the initial stages of page layout and construction. A qualification is now in order: Visuals don’t make a design great, but they’re an essential […]

Read More