Mind Readers (Part 2)


“We are all more likely to buy something if we have had it recommended to us,” reveals psychologist Hannah Voss. “This is the basis of social proofing. Humans tend towards behaviours which are copied from others, as opposed to completely new behaviours.

“The reason for this can be explained through evolutionary psychology. In the past, trying out new behaviours, such as eating a new type of food, was dangerous as the outcome was unknown. It was much more sensible to wait until someone else had tried a new type of food and survived.

This copying behaviour is normally no longer a matter of life or death to us, but copying still prevails. To get the effect of social proofing on your website, display positive feedback that people have given about your product or company. This will alert new customers to the fact that they are not the first ones using the website, and thus increase likelihood of building customers.


There are many ‘stereotypes’ of what different colours symbolise, think red for aggression and white for purity. But how can the colours used on a website alter readers’ impressions of your company?

When people read websites, it is not just the bits they consciously take in which forms their impressions of the company being presented. They also respond unconsciously to things such as colour, which can invoke moods by subtle physiological changes. Use of colour when designing a website is very important.

Although it is easy to be sceptical about the effects colour can have on people, research has shown that colours can invoke different moods and emotions in people, through unconscious physiological reactions (including changes in heart rate and release of various hormones.)

Are the colours on your website putting customers in the right mood? That depends on what you’re trying to achieve. Bear in mind that colours have different meanings in different cultures. In the West, white is a symbol of innocence and purity, whereas in the East it is often the colour of mourning. Therefore when choosing the colour scheme for your website, take into account your target audience.”


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