If you think about web design, you likely think of all the beautiful colors and images that go into a modern website. However, you may not realize how in-depth the design process is. The goal is to engage an audience and get it to perform some action (buy something, sign up for a list, etc.). This requires some psychology. Below is a quick primer on how psychological principles affect your users.

It’s a Three-Step Process

You can approach design in many different ways. However, at the core, it is always about understanding the answers to three major questions: why, how and what. Your first step in the design process should always be “why.”

Basically, this stage is about answering why a user would be interested in your product or service. More specifically, you may ask why they would be satisfied or dissatisfied with your offerings. If you can’t understand the thinking behind your customers’ actions, you are doing to have a hard time designing experiences that they like.

This is followed by answering how the user will interact with your product. You may ask how they will navigate the website or how they will get the information that they need. This step is primarily concerned with the process the user will go through. You can think of it like mapping out the experience before figuring out the specifics.

Finally, you need to think about what the user will see and do. This is where the most familiar aspects of design come into play such as color palette, writing, and animation. Fortunately, if you have figured out the why and how already, determining what your online experience should be will be relatively easy.

Focus on Strategy

Many people think about tools like HTML, WordPress and social media as being the most important skills in design. However, the reality is that the strategy is what really matters. That is why you start the three-step process at “why.” When you think about the strategy first, you are getting into the mindset of your users. That insight can guide you in the rest of your decision-making process.

Learn more about designing websites, products and more. Cultivating an audience isn’t easy. However, you can make the process less challenging by applying the right design mindset. The more you learn about the psychological principles behind the design, the easier it will be to engage your users. Developing a design mindset could help you make your business more successful. Get started today.