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7 Reasons Why Websites Should Be Attractive

Attractive is a relative term. According to the Cambridge English Dictionary, the word attractive means “very pleasing in sound or appearance” or “causing interest or pleasure.” What one person defines as attractive on a website may be entirely different for another. For example, one person may adore my feminine, boho-esque style, while another may be put off by it. However, despite it being tricky to conclusively judge what makes a website attractive from a stylistic perspective, it is vital that websites be attractive.

The reason websites should be attractive is that it helps attract people, build trust, and influence purchasing behavior by connecting with people’s emotions through visual cues. Attractive websites result in lower bounce rates and higher engagement and positively impact visitor retention.

Many studies have highlighted that poorly designed websites have higher bounce rates than well-designed sites with high usability. But let’s explore why this might be. Why does an attractive website get more attention than a boring one?

First Impressions Count

People will judge it based on its appearance within the first five seconds of landing on your website. Interestingly, the website’s layout determines how a user perceives a website in the first five seconds. Sites with a strong focus on one color family, e.g., yellow, blue, or red, are described as aesthetic. Websites featuring large images are also perceived as very aesthetic. On the other hand, websites with an even amount of images and text are deemed less aesthetic but, in the longer term, are more memorable.

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Sparks Curiosity

In website design, we call the first section people see before they scroll “above the fold.” Once you’ve grabbed someone’s attention in that top section, you now have a chance to draw them further down the page. How the viewer feels the rest of the page flows is crucial to wanting to continue learning more.

Websites with simpler designs also tend to evoke more positive feelings from the viewers, and people take more time to process the information on the page than on highly complex pages. It may be that simpler designs take less time for people’s brains to determine what’s going on. This means it’s easier to jump into spending energy processing the information rather than figuring out what’s happening and where they should go.

From a design perspective, this may look like having very clear:

  • page organization,
  • informative, easy-to-read headings and text,
  • uniform call-to-action buttons,
  • relevant images,
  • straightforward page navigation,
  • sufficient white space between elements
  • purpose.
Read More About This: How to Make a Website Attractive: 7 Key Elements to Include

Builds Trust

Building trust is vital to converting website visitors into paying customers. On websites, many of the factors that help build trust are visual cues. I’m sure you will have encountered outdated websites or sites that were difficult to use or filled with too many ads, and a feeling of “abort, this is spam” came across you.

Trust is a complex issue to break down. However, a study exploring the factors contributing to trust on mobile e-commerce websites found that the design aesthetics significantly impacted customer trust. Aspects that helped enhance trust were ease of use, perceived usefulness, and customization.

Jerrett Digital Skincare brand Header Mockup

Encourages Repeat Visitors

Getting repeat visits can be tricky in today’s culture of “google it,” however there are some design features that encourage repeat visitors. Firstly, having an aesthetic website is more memorable as it leaves a stronger impression. Secondly, attracting people with regularly updated, great content that’s interesting and usable is an effective tactic for giving people a reason to return.

Makes an Emotional Connection

People are driven by emotion, and they want to be heard. Therefore, emotions are the best ways to connect with people. Design aesthetics (such as font, imagery, and color choices) with the end user in mind helps make emotional connections, which in turn helps convert them into customers and repeat visitors.

For example, if a brand has a chic aesthetic that is shared by its core demographic, it makes sense that having branding and a website design that reflects this will help make users feel included. If that same brand decided to mix up its visuals and go for a bold, colorful pop-art aesthetic, their followers may not relate to this as much and feel disconnected to the brand when they visit their site, bounce, and look for something that aligns more closely with their style.

Ensures Effective Communication

One of the most important things a website does is communicate effectively with the viewer. Design is driven by communication. Font styles, colors, and imagery send messages; a picture is worth a thousand words after all. For example, a yoga website with no images of yoga may confuse the user into wondering if they’re in the right place.

Additionally, when accessible font choices are used that people find pleasing to look at, they will be more engaged with the content and spend more time reading it. Using the appropriate heading tags isn’t just to include the best Search Engine Optimization (SEO) practices; it’s also visually pleasing to the eye. Attractive websites utilize H1, H2, H3, and body hierarchy sizes appropriately, drawing the viewer’s eye to key points and encouraging further reading.

Pairing effective imagery, colors, text, and animation together can help grab the viewer’s eye and draw them in to learn more. Therefore, websites should be attractive, not merely for looks; aesthetics play an important role in whether or not the user takes the information in and whether or not they take it seriously.

Influence Purchasing Behavior

As discussed under building trust, website aesthetics significantly impact the likelihood someone will buy. You can test this for yourself when exploring websites to purchase from and noticing how you feel about them when you browse. Search for a specific product you want to buy, then browse the first few results.

Pick two or three websites with the same or similar prices. Next, note which sites you were more compelled to purchase from. Which website were you most compelled to purchase from? Why? What did you like about the website? What website are you least likely to purchase from? Why? What didn’t attract you to it?

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Nature Images and Purchasing Power

Interestingly, websites that feature nature imagery are also perceived as more trustworthy and affect people’s likelihood of purchasing. As someone who comes from a background in ecology, this makes sense. Despite evolving less naturalistic living environments, at our core, we belong outdoors. Being outside or seeing trees and nature scenes alters our hormones, so we are more relaxed, and it has even been found to decrease recovery times in hospitals.

Read More About How Nature Benefits Us in The Nature Fix: Why Nature Makes us Happier, Healthier, and More Creative

Regardless of your website style, it is clear that a well-designed, visually pleasing website helps draw in visitors, grab their attention, build trust and ultimately help convert them into paying customers. Now that you understand why you should create an attractive website, discover the key elements vital in making an attractive website here.

Aug 9, 2022

Website Design

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