How to Design a Website to Deliver an Emotional Impact

Website design, in theory, may seem straightforward enough. After all, there are so many websites out there that can serve as inspiration. But in practice, there are so many different aspects to consider that you may find yourself at a loss rather quickly. And since there are so many websites out there, how can you hope to be original?

Depending on the goal(s) you choose for your website, you’ll want to use different website elements to achieve them. In this post, we’ll be looking at some that you can utilise to deliver an emotional impact.

Let’s dive right in.

Start With Why

As Simon Sinek would put it, you should always start with your why, and identify why you want to, in our case, evoke a certain emotion.

What you are trying to achieve with the design of your website will depend on the industry and niche you are in. For example, the emotions that a charity will want to evoke will differ from those an ecommerce website will aim for. Yet their essential goal will be the same: to elicit an emotional response from the audience.

By identifying the reasoning behind your website design, you will be able to make much sounder decisions when it comes to elements such as colours, copy, and CTAs.

Choose the Right Colour Pallette

The first element you need to decide on that will help you provoke the emotions you are looking to spark is the colour scheme of the website.

There’s an entire field of science called colour psychology that examines the way humans react to different colours and hues, the combinations of colours, and the emotions they spark. Read up a bit on the subject in order to help you make the best possible choice.

However, also know that you don’t need to follow colour psychology rules to the letter. For instance, while it claims that brown is a colour that is not popular and should not be used for website design, Pitch uses shades of the colour to an excellent effect.

Another good example is Seventh Generation, who use the color green to highlight their commitment to the environment.

Choose the Right Images

Sticking to the visuals of your website, you should also consider the images you use. After all, images speak louder than words, and they will literally be the first thing a website visitor sees. If they are put off by your choice of image, they might not stick around to read your clever marketing copy.

Ideally, you always want to use original images, as opposed to purchasing stock photos. That way, you can tailor them to your own goals, as well as make sure no one else is using them online.

This will also allow you to tailor the images according to different needs, as well as to hone in on the exact visual that would best illustrate a certain point or topic.

Image design does not have to be all that expensive either. You can do actual photography, or you can hire someone to create neat illustrations for your products or services. Each night has actually used both photos and illustrations on their mattress reviews page to great effect. The combination helps break up any potential monotony and illustrates their posts perfectly.

Make a Point

A great way to evoke an emotional reaction is to provide a solution. After all, illustrating how a product or a service you offer will make your customers feel is one thing – showing them the actual solution is quite another.

Of course, not every website will be able to show direct results. Dentists, for example, have the option of doing before-and-after images, and thus showing what their skills can do to change someone’s smile. A personal trainer can also show before-and-after photos of their satisfied clients.

However, there is a way to do that even if you work in SaaS, for example. Heystack does a great job with the illustration they feature on their homepage, which shows you a clever before-and-after, too.

If you find you’re unable to make the most of this kind of visual, don’t fret. There are other ways you can tap into the emotions of your audience.

Copy That Tickles

Finally, we need to touch upon the copy you use on your website and how it can be your ultimate tool in evoking emotion.

Because, after all, your website is designed to deliver a message, and the most widely and most successfully used tool for this purpose is copy and content.

Having considered what you want your copy to achieve and which emotions you want to inspire, there are hundreds of ways to achieve your goal. However, what you should bear in mind first and foremost is never to go overboard. Copy that hints at emotions works better than copy that drags them out into the open very bluntly.

Coca-Cola does this well, for example, as does Share The Meal. Their copy is certainly highly emotive, and the emotion prompts you to take an action: grab a Coke or share your meal with a hungry child. What both websites have done really well is finding the right amount of emotion, happy or sad.

You may need to write several versions of a landing page before you find one that you are completely satisfied with, but that’s all just part of the process.

Final Thoughts

When designing your website to create an emotional impact, make sure you first and foremost consider your audience very carefully. Thoroughly consider their background – cultural, demographic, and otherwise.

After all, certain colours, images, or words will have different meanings for different people. You want to hit upon a solution that works for the largest segment of your desired audience.

There will likely be some trial and error involved, but after a couple of versions, you’ll have a website that truly appeals to your future customers.



Contact us at Grizzly to learn how we can help you with your website.


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