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Do you need a psychology degree to design websites

Do you need a psychology degree to design websites?

Do you need a psychology degree to design websites

Do you need a psychology degree to design websites?

To design a good website it helps to have knowledge of how minds work. You may not necessarily need a psychology degree, but a basic understanding of how web design elements affect the brain is useful.


Human beings have a tendency to be irritable, stressed and anxious if they feel overwhelmed. Website visitors are generally looking for a specific piece of information when they come to a website. If they are faced with 10,000 words of content, they may find it difficult to find exactly the information that they want.

There is a balance between providing enough information to satisfy the user’s need, and having too much information. If visitors can easily find the content they want they will be happy.

By breaking large content into short paragraphs with headlines that signal the content of each section, the visitor can quickly scan the page to find the information they need. A visitor that feels calm is likely to have a favourable impression of a business.


If every part of the website is filled with text, images and graphics it will look chaotic and messy. Lots of flashing gif images will add to the confusion.

Space is a valuable part of web design. It is a place for viewers to rest their eyes. Whitespace is a good way to deliver an enjoyable visitor experience. Minimalist style web designs that feature lots of space can impart a sense of calm relaxation.

Clarity and not confusion it what visitors want to feel. Have you heard the phrase less is more? With web design, that is very much true.


Many website colours may be dictated by a business’s visual brand or identity, but often the designer has a free choice of colours. There have been many books written about the psychological effect of colour which warrant study. Here’s a rough guide to colour psychology:

Cool colours such as blues, greens and purples are considered professional and feel relaxed.

Warmer colours such as yellows, reds and oranges are soothing and warm, but colours that are too strong can feel negative.

Greys are modern, slick and clean but can feel cold and uninviting if done to excess.

Blacks are professional and clean looking, but too much can feel overpowering.

Neutral colours like white feel positive, but some visitors may find them dull.

The psychological effect of title

Positive feelings can be conveyed by a combination of colour types. For example, blues and greens with touches of yellow or orange can invoke positive feelings.


There are two basic font types, serif and sans serif. Serif fonts, such as Times New Roman, are associated with seriousness, scholarly and professional. The New York Times uses serif fonts.

Sans serif fonts are modern and often associated with upmarket values. Technology sites tend to feature sans serif fonts.

Kerning, or the space between the letters, is also important. Lots of white space between letters makes the content easier to read. Space between paragraphs is also important. Too little space and the content may seem busy and cluttered.

Human psychology is a fascinating subject. Advertisers in the 1950s discovered the power of psychology in designing adverts that persuaded people to purchase products. In a digital age, psychology is equally important to affect how people feel when viewing website designs.

There’s a lot more to designing a website that just picking some pictures and writing some text!

Darren Jamieson

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