Psychology in web design: how to convert users into buyers

The success of any case depends on if we do it with heart. And this rule, of course, refers to creative areas of work, such as web design. Moreover, the creative approach applies to market relations as well. People always want to sell something to someone or to buy something from someone. This process began to develop in ancient times, so there’s nothing wrong with that. And now marketing continues conquering new peaks. Especially by using psychological techniques if relevant.


Web sites act as a powerful tool for direct sales. Appropriate psychological triggers impact the consumer’s choice in favour of action. Afterward, it leads to the rise in profitability on investments. That is why the website design can efficiently boost sales. Now it's high time to take a closer look at the specific methods and ways used to convert users into buyers.

The Coherence Effect

It means that users tend to recall the first and last elements in the series, rather than the middle. We can divide the effect of a consequent position into the primacy and recency effects. The primacy effect suggests that users tend to recall the first elements with greater precision. It happens because of the small amount of effort spent on perception. Hence, the first fragments of information are more important than the following.

In other words, people are apt to memorize elements at the end of the sequence as they are in short-term memory. So, it's pretty easy to control the users` behavior by placing elements or information in a particular order. The following steps help to create a better design to increase sales.

Table 1. The Coherence Effect in practice


The Isolation Effect

The Isolation Effect states that users remember the objects standing out from the overall mass. Imagine that there are 20 green apples and one red apple on the table. Generally, we people choose red, even if it is not as palatable as green. It is human nature to select unusual objects. It mentally isolates the same elements and extracts one different from the others. This principle works everywhere: from the selection of items on the shelf to the control in the interface.

In interface design, the isolation effect appears in its own way. On the whole, we use it to highlight the Call to Action. If you place 3-4 buttons in several columns, users won`t know which one opens the pop-up item. In this case, the conversion will be much lower. The conversion is higher if the CTA differs from other objects. So, what are the main elements of the Isolation Effect?

Table 2. The Isolation Effect in practice


The Paradox of Choice

The Paradox of Choice confirms that too many choices usually lead to indecision, hence lower sales. An online user who faces lots of options can't choose any. The enormous number of options creates many problems. Visiting the website, a user bumps into complex routes on the way towards the goods, information messages, and pop-up items. Such complicated paths prevent clients from surfing a particular resource.

A great number of options can cause anxiety about making a wrong decision. At the moment of hesitation, many users refuse. This is the simplest element in human psychology. The fear of making a wrong choice makes the customers give up on the choice forever. To save the clients from possible decision-making fatigue, here is the following advice.

Table 3. The Paradox of Choice in practice


Another negotiation tactic affirms that remembering and thinking about unfinished tasks over and over again. The waiter remembers the unfilled orders better. Still, after everyone paid, he could no longer remember the details of the orders. A task already started creates tensions specific to the deal. As a result, it improves cognitive access to any relevant information.

Furthermore, the unfinished task creates compulsive thoughts aimed at getting back to the problem and finishing the interrupted action. In other words, if a task is not completed, the person wants to complete it anyway. For instance, when you want to watch the first or second season of the series, but in the end, you’ve watched the whole. That is why you should motivate target customers to complete the task. That’s how to do it.

Table 4. The Zeigarnik Effect in practice



Knowledge in psychology helps to make digital projects focusing on people rather than products. Companies understand the way to motivate people to use the product and successfully use efficient tools of engagement. Above methods make the users buy the products or services and encourage them to visit a well-organized website again and again.

To increase conversions, expand income channels, and retain the clients you can:

Use the methods mentioned above.

Rely additionally on other psychological rules.

Use other websites as a source of inspiration.

The decision is up to you.

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