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Dale Carnegie’s book How to Win Friends & Influence People was first published back in 1936. If a book is considered a classic when it withstands the test of time, this one is definitely a classic. If all so-called “influencers” followed its advice today, they would be much more successful in what they do.

Carnegie explained that if you understand people’s psychology, you can influence their decisions. The tips from this book are applicable to everyone who wants to make a product successful. Web designers will benefit from it, too.

When you’re wondering how to design a website, it’s exactly what you expect: tips on how to make it influential. You need to learn something about design psychology. The foundational element of successful design is creating a brand that people like. You want to win friends through it, and influence the decisions that your visitors make.

Tips: How to Make an Influential Website

1. Make Speed an Absolute Priority

Trust is a principal element of influence. People have to trust you in order to follow your guidelines and advice. A trustworthy website is safe and purposeful. It has to deliver the right information upon request, and it must do it as effectively as possible.

This is where we come to the point of creating a fast and reliable website. That will influence the decisions of your potential buyers. It’s no secret that slow, sluggish websites are related to high bounce rates.

The first thing you should do is check the site’s speed. You can use this SEO analyzer by Sitechecker to do that. If you notice that your site could use some improvement in that aspect, there are a few things you can do:

  • Enable caching
  • Change the hosting plan or provider
  • Minify CSS and JavaScript by getting rid of extra line breaks, extra spaces, block delimiters, and comments in the code
  • Use a WordPress plugin to optimize the images

Test the speed after each adjustment you make.

2. Use Colors to Evoke Emotion

“Know the value of charm” – that’s one of the most important tips in Carnegie’s book. If we translate it into website design tips, we should talk about the charm of your site. The colors and fonts contribute a lot! They can help you express the brand’s character. Even more important: they evoke emotions for the viewers.

Have you heard of color psychology? It’s not an exact science, but it has a widespread implementation in marketing techniques. These are the general rules to remember:

  • Brown conveys trust, honesty, and stability. If you look at the OMstars website, you’ll notice that it uses light brown, with the intention to awaken those emotions in the visitor.

  • Red is the color of power, passion, and energy. It’s the dominant color on the website of Virgin Airlines.

  • Yellow is the color of happiness and joy. That’s why you’ll see it on many sites with children and parents as their target audience. Seussville is a nice example of that. It combines yellow with red – two very energetic colors.
3. Use a Clever Layout

You want to arrange the elements on a page in a way that they drive the attention towards the main thing that should be noticed.

One study showed that if you feature a person looking in the direction of the message that you want visitors to see, they are more likely to notice it. So if you feature a person looking in the direction of the order form, you’ll drive the visitor’s attention to it.

There are tons of elements of good design and perfect layouts. You can read more here. Be prepared to invest a lot of time in research, and do some A/B testing as you experiment with different methods.

4. Implement Hick’s Law in Your Design

If you studied marketing psychology, you probably heard about Hick’s Law. This would be the easiest way to explain it: if you have two displays of jam varieties with the same price, people are more likely to make a quick purchase from the display that shows fewer varieties. They will be attracted by the bigger selection, but it will take them way more time to sample and decide. By the end of the day, they may delay the purchase.

Have you noticed how some people get confused in huge stores with countless clothing items? They cannot make up their mind, so they often leave the store without picking up an item.

You can implement the same principle in website page development. If you have a massive offer, you have to categorize it very well, offering a few products with clearly defined purpose. Each page of your website should feature a single product. You can offer recommendations based on that product, but don’t confuse the viewer by offering something too similar.

5. Benefit from Emotional Triggers

Dale Carnegie offered several tips on how you can trigger positive emotions in people:

  • Don’t complain or criticize
    You want to drive your visitors towards positive solutions. Let’s say you’re selling anti-acne products. You won’t approach them in this style: “What were you doing with those chemicals that ruined your skin? Why haven’t you done your research? You’re responsible for the way your skin looks right now.”That would make your visitors feel bad, and they would probably bounce off.“We’ve all made mistakes with our skin in the past. But finally, you can start using gentle products that do good without any harm!”That’s more like it.
  • Be genuinely interested in others
    In other words – what is your audience like? Would they like to share some of their impressions and issues? Always try to connect with them through the website. A simple contact form is an important element of engagement design.
  • Let them make the final decision
    You want to recommend an action for your audience, but they should never feel forced into doing something. They don’t like salesy practices. Your website should deliver facts. The ultimate decision is up to them.

Always Have Your Audience to Mind

Web design is an incredibly complex matter. Every single element will influence the visitor in a different way. That’s why it’s important to test the results after each change that you make. Also, it’s important to make these changes gradually. If you change multiple elements at once, it will be difficult to figure out which one affected the performance.

The above-listed tips are a great start!

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Credits: Special thanks to Kate PETERS for sharing this useful article with us. Kate Peterson is a digital marketer, graphic designer, and content developer. She’s currently developing a beginners’ digital marketing course that aims to provide a comprehensive online marketing methodology.  In her free time, Kate is contributing to various social causes through various non-profit movements.

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2 Responses

  1. Dawson
    | Reply

    This is a helpful guide. Cheers!

  2. Gerard
    | Reply

    So beautifully presented. I now can’t wait to get down to doing the web site that I always thought was way out of my range. Can’t wait to show you the results. Thank you. And I didn’t spend a dollar on mind-boggling courses.

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