Sure, it is important to have a nice logo, and have a pretty website. But, are your design choices beneficial or detrimental to your efforts?
Weirdly, even if your blog looks like a million dollars, it might be the look that just doesn’t suit you, your message, or your audience. That’s why professional designers cost so much, and why you can often hear their complaints on nightmare clients that want to guide the design process themselves.
In affiliate marketing, or any kind of marketing for that matter, if you want to monetize your work, two things are important:
Simply put, how many people see what you’re offering, and how many take you up on your offer is dictated by a number of factors, not the least of which is how appealing does your offer look, literally. This is something I recently covered in my previous article on how to create a successful affiliate blog.
The psychology behind the color and other design choices
It has long been known that we, as visual beings, respond to certain visual cues in a certain way. That is why red has been traditionally considered an aggressive color, why blue is considered calming. Now, this is quite a bit more complicated, and how experience the color depends largely on context.
For example, that same red that is considered aggressive, or hot, can also be seen as youthful, passionate, and bold. That’s why companies that want to seem full of energy, or cater to young audience use it. McDonalds, Lego, Coca Cola use it. ESPN also, as sports is also associated with passion and energy.
On the other hand, blue is identified with reliability, strength, and trust, green with tranquility, growth, and health. To further understand how important color selection is, consider the following:
Blue is considered to diminish appetite – you don’t see many fast-food brands use blue. Likewise, green is considered to increase productivity and many energy drinks use it in their design.
On the other hand, shapes and fonts play a major role, too. There have been actual studies that have shown that we prefer rounded design to angular one, as we perceive angles to be a threat on a subconscious level (they are sharp, after all), and rounded, smooth lines give us a better sense of the “whole” which has a soothing effect.
Of course, this doesn’t mean that angular and geometric design should never be used – if used properly, the angular geometry can leave an impression of cleanliness, order, and no-nonsense approach. For example, this guide from Designhill shows how various fonts can be used to your benefit, both angular and smooth.
In addition, creating a good user interface is a science unto itself. All the pretty colors are of no use to you, if your audience is frustrated because they are never able to find what they’re looking for.
Poor loading times, hang-ups, counterintuitive layout, and broken pages can lead to an amount of frustration that no amount of pretty can fix.
How to figure out what works for you
While there are numerous studies in this field and some sound scientific principles, this isn’t an exact science, and web design is still a mix of applied psychological principles along with the intuitive “feel” of the designer (usually, mostly focused on the latter, since most successful designers rely on the intuitive understating of how human psyche reacts to the visual stimuli).
Still, there are certain simple steps you can take here to help you in your design choices:
- Get to know your audience. If you know who your blog is aimed at, it can help you understand what emotions you want to evoke, or what kind of stimuli works best. This is best done by engaging your audience to write comments, creating surveys, and listening to social media feedback.
- Take a look at successful blogs in your niche. Try to figure out what works and why.
- Design your blog around the basic principles, thinking of your layout, color scheme, shapes, and so on and what psychological effect they have.
- The least popular, but always necessary step:
Test. Play around with your blog and design, and see what works best. Get feedback from your audience, it is invaluable. When you test, make sure to create a methodology and stick with it. You can’t change 5 things at the same time and expect to make sense out of the results. You always have to change one, or two variables at the time, so you can understand what effect they have on the success of your blog.
Too often overlooked, design of your blog is of incredible importance, and even the littlest of tweaks could see your traffic numbers grow. While your content is still the most important aspect of your website, do not overlook the importance of how you present it, and what kind of impression you leave.