Author Archives: Harris Satchel

Applying psychology in web design


Web designing becomes more effective when web designers educate themselves about psychology. Understanding how people react to the design of a website helps designers create attractive websites. However, a web designer does not need to spend endless hours studying psychology. Knowing only few basic psychology principles are sufficient for designers to create attractive websites. Although there are numerous relevant psychological principles, but the following ones can assist in developing high quality and eye catching websites.

Matching Patterns

While looking at an object, a colour or a diagram, human mind quickly forms a series of images, which might be related to it. Hence web designers should use matching patterns while designing a website to attract the audience.

Facial expressions

People exchange numerous messages amongst themselves through facial expressions. Human images really attract people and create a powerful impact on them. Hence website designers may add images of people in happy or jolly mood so that they may send a positive message to their audience.

Social influence

When designing a website, designers must ensure that they are able to create social influence on their viewers. Interactive websites create social influence on people. Web designers may make a comment section for those viewers who want to provide their feedback on the website or ask them to fill forms or be part of their surveys. People are more likely to visit those websites that have engaging content.

Using Images or videos to explain a concept

Most users prefer watching videos or images instead of reading material to understand a concept. People find videos and photos more interesting than the written content. Hence, web designers must add more images or videos on their websites and less written content, so that viewers do not get bored.

Sharing interesting and concise information

People visit only those websites that have interesting and concise information. Therefore, web designers should make the content as much interesting and concise as possible. They may also add interesting facts and statistical data on their websites to impress their audience.

‘Selective Disregard’

Human beings see thousands of visuals every day. However, it is impossible for them to remember all these visuals. Hence, they only remember those visuals that they are able to relate to. This phenomenon is called selective disregard. Web designers should enlarge or highlight the important text on a website so that the audience take instant notice of such items and then take a decision.

‘Hick’s Law’

Hick’s law simply states that the more options people are given, the harder it becomes for them to make a decision. Therefore, websites with too many options might confuse viewers and discourage them to explore the website. Web designers should display minimum options on the website so that viewers may easily navigate through it.

Analysis of cost and benefit

Even after centuries of evolution, humans still exhibit the same behaviour as their ancestors. Subconsciously, people are evaluating the potential benefit of the energy they invest while performing a task. If a website requires individuals to perform tasks that are time consuming then they are likely to abandon the process.

Visceral Reflexes

Visceral reflexes are part of our genetic makeup. Our brain quickly reacts to the stimuli exhibiting food, danger, reproduction or shelter. Therefore, web designers should use those colours, images or content that triggers visceral reflexes in human brain.

Although, web designers need advanced skills to develop a high-quality website, but they must also understand the psychology of their audience.  Once web designers will develop a good understanding of the human behaviour, they will be able to make powerful websites, which will inspire their audience.

Image Credit: Mu robin

Related Links

High On Line: Applying Psychology to Web Design – Schedule
10 facts about the brain that will help you design better …
The psychology of design explained – Features – Digital Arts
The Psychology of Web Design | Webdesigner Depot

How to design better contact forms

Contact forms are integral part of any website and it is only in your best interest if you try to create contact forms that are well-designed. Contact forms are the best and most convenient way that your customers can contact you or leave their suggestions. The more your visitors use your contact form, the better it is for your business. One way of getting them to use it is by designing it well. Here are some tips as to how you can do that:

design better contact forms

Make your contact forms personal

Visitors who contact you would want to have personal interaction with your or your customer cares services team. Make sure that how you respond to the enquiries on the contact form are done by humans and nota automated robots. This will give your visitors an impression that you are thoughtful and truly interested to be of their assistance. Try to design the contact form in such a way that it’s inviting people to contact you. Some contact forms do look quite intimidating. Make people want to get in touch with you.

Make the contact forms fun

How your contact form looks is a very important factor that will decide whether people will make use of it or not. You have to give significant consideration into choosing the right layout, template and colours that would go in on your contact form. You do not want it to look too boring nor do you want it to look too cluttered and all over the place. Using an HTML contact form generator might help. Try to make your contact form as close to yours or your business’s personality as possible so people would feel encouraged to contact you. Remember that keeping the colours of your contact form too dark might make it difficult for people to read it.

design better contact forms

Try not to ask for too much unnecessary information

Most of us have encountered this kind of contact form at some point or the other. Forms that seem to ask so many questions that gets too frustrating. More often than not, the website does not even provide a reason as to why they require that much information from you. It is therefore ideal that you only ask for the most relevant information from the people who are filling the form. Here is a sample simple email form that asks just enough information. If you need to ask anything that you think might look unnecessary to the visitors, give an explanation as to why you need them to provide the information for you.

Keep the contact form simple and easy to fill

Lastly and just as important a point as the rest, keep your contact forms simple and easy to use. People do not have much time on their hands to navigate through complex contact forms. Keep it straightforward and avoid asking for captcha codes if possible. The point is to convince your visitors that sending you their message through a contact form is a better idea than sending it via e-mail. So make it a simpler, more convenient process as a whole.

Image credits: elemisdesign , Ross George

How to Change Background Color in HTML

html background color When it comes to web design, looks are very important. The appearance of your website is determined to a large extent by the kind of background you use. The background is what the user will be seeing at all times and in order to have a good user experience, it has to be good. Well, in this tutorial, we take a look at how to change background color in HTML. This may come in very handy when you are designing a site to have appealing visuals and a friendly color scheme. There are different ways in which you can achieve this so without any further ado we will head on right to the tutorial.

For a start, it is important to note that there are different kinds of backgrounds on a website such as the body background and the content background. The body background is the one at the very back of the page and it can either be a color, pattern or an image. On the other hand, content background is the background of a block of text, images and other graphical elements on your web page.
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Making an email form for your website

Forms are essential for any website. It allows your visitors to reach you quickly. What happens with most websites is that they just setup a form and forget about it. The prospective customers visit and submit the form. However, because of wrongly setup form, they miss the email and end up losing a valued lead.

dreamweaver form
Here is an article on setting up and email form using DreamWeaver.
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How to run a small website

web design Setting up a small website for either personal or business purposes doesn’t have to be an exhaustive task. Instead, it can be a great way for you to promote your small business, or share information with the world about yourself and your interests. Whatever you intend your small website to be used for, there are a few things to remember before you can get it up and running. Here are some tips on how to run a small website.

The costs of running a small website

There can be two major costs: monetary charges and your time maintaining the website
The monetary charges for a small website is rather small. The charges involve the domain registration fee and a hosting service.

Domain registration with a service like godaddy costs less than $10 (USD) per year. Search for godaddy coupons before registering and you may be lucky to get the domain even a smaller fee.

Hosting with a shared hosting service will cost you less than $7 per month. Search around a bit deeper and you might get a great hosting service that costs less than $30 per year.
More info: Hosting reviews

After you have got the domain and the hosting, the next step is to get someone to design the website and to get your pages on your website. At the moment, the best way to setup a customizable website is to get wordpress installed on your website This way, it becomes easy for your to add your own content without the help of any HTML expert. Most hosting services have a one-click wordpress install feature. Contact your hosting service for any help

For customizing your website, go to and search for a wordpress customization expert. For a very small fee (less than $30) you can get your wordpress website up and running .

That means, for less than $70 you can have a small website up and running. The recurring cost is the domain and hosting charges which is less than $40 per year.

Now the process in detail:

1. Register a domain name

Your domain name will be the unique web address for your small website. You can use an website which specializes in domain services in order to register your new domain address. You will need to select a domain that is easy to remember and eye-catching, and don’t choose a name that could get confused with a competitor or a larger website. You will also need to choose a domain name that reflects the content of your website, as this can improve the search engine optimization of your website, placing it higher in the rankings of several search engines, and hopefully attracting more visitors to your site.

2. Find a hosting package

You will need to find a web hosting package that allows you to run a small website, preferably with email hosting as well so visitors can contact you if they need to. There are many different companies on the market which offer this service, with a number of different plans depending on your particular requirements and the features you need, such as the amount of bandwidth or storage, and whether you will need a secure SSL certification for your website. Think about the costs of running a small website. Many companies will allow you to pay on a monthly basis for hosting and sever costs, although the price will increase if you need to incorporate additional features into the design of your website.

3. Design your website

You will also need to design your website, and one way to do this is to use the services of a content management system, such as WordPress. This can have a number of advantages over a normal HTML site and will provide you with a number of different features, such as a wide range of design templates for the site and widgets you can incorporate into the interface of your website. You will need to decide on how information will be presented on your website. Will you be using large graphics or images? A navigation or menu bar? News items and blog posts? You will need to think about the layout of your website and the best way to utilize the features of a content management system.

4. Advertise your new website

twitter promotion
Once you have designed your website, you will need to attract visitors. You can email friends and family and ask them to spread the word, or make use of social network platforms, where you will be able to promote your website. If you are a small business and are offering an innovate product or are a charity with the aim of helping the local community, consider contacting your local newspaper and ask if they would be able to feature an article about your new endeavor.

photo credit: schoschie, brood_wich

How to Make div Based Layouts

There has been a lot of debate in the web design community regarding the use of tables and div based layouts. For a long time, web designers have opted to make use of tables in order to arrange content on their websites. There are a lot of advantages that come with using both of them but in this tutorial, we will try to see how you can use div based layouts in order to arrange your web content.

There is a lot of new things that come with div layouts and in the near future, we will see more use of this for responsive websites. As a matter of fact, one thing that sets div elements apart from tables for webpage layouts is the fact that you can have a responsive site made much easier with div layouts that using tables. With div elements, you are in more control over the arrangement of content on a website since each chunk of content inside a div can be rearranged in any manner you wish to. In case you are wondering what we are talking about, responsive web design is a new web design process where the content on a website is arranged automatically in order to scale to the dimensions of the device on which it is being viewed on.

With div layouts, you have more flexibility with css. Let us go right ahead and create a simple site that makes use of div elements for the layout. With a little bit of css, our site will look different across different devices that we access it from. Let us create the general container for our site.

The div based layout that we will build

div based website layout

HTML Part of the Layout

CSS Part of the layout

As you can see, just a little bit of css makes our website display well even on mobile devices. With the site displaying nicely, we will have a great user experience and our users will tend to spend more time on our site and interact more. The content that we place on the site will also be shown nicely and scale automatically in order to fit with the dimensions of the device on which it is being shown.

With the added number of people who are resorting to mobile devices such as smart phones and tablets to browse the internet, the use of responsive web design is becoming more of a requirement than just an option. This comes in very handy when you wish to create one website which will be accessed on different devices. DIV elements are definitely gaining popularity over traditional table based layouts and it is good that you know how to use these in your web projects. Though you can still use css on tables in order to make them responsive, you will be doing a lot of work and forcing the tables to behave like they are not tables. If you want to be safe in the future of web design, using div layouts is most definitely your best bet.

Download the sample template

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How to Write an HTML Redirect

The web is a very dynamic place. In some cases, you may need to change things around a bit in order to have a better structure in your website or to add some other things. This may need you to change the location of web pages from their original locations. In this case, you do not want the user to get lost inside your website when they try to visit pages that they had been to previously and even probably bookmarked.

For instance, you may move your files from one folder to another within the same site structure when you want to expand your site. If a signup page was originally on and you moved things around on your side and now the page is on, you will need to redirect the user appropriately so that they do not get lost even when they visit the previous page.

Now, in order to accomplish this, we can make use of the Meta Refresh tag in HTML. Meta refresh is a way in which you can tell the web browser to go to a different page.

Sample HTML Redirect Code:

It is important to note that this only works for single web pages in scenarios such as this one where we have moved a couple of pages and not for shifting an entire website.

How to add an image in an HTML page

In order to insert images in HTML, you need to make use of the <img> tag.
Tags in HTML are the statements enclosed in <> and </> For instance <strong> peter</strong> makes the word peter appear bold on the web page. You can even have audio and video embedded to your web page using tags.

Well, let us dive right into the code and see how we can insert the image into our web page.

relative reference: <img src="images/pic.jpg"/> 
absolute reference: <img src=""/>

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Finding a Good Domain Name

domain namesWhen running a business, today one of the most sure-fire ways to generate traffic and income for yourself is through the internet. Thriving with literally billions of users, we have the opportunity to reach people we never would usually with our message and make more money than normal marketing methods could normally achieve.

However, along with the idea of marketing online is finding the right way to get your message across. Naturally, one of the best ways to do that is by having a website of your own. Websites build authority and give your potential clients a chance to read about your business, its intentions and hopes for the future.

Along with building the website, however, you will need to find a relevant and good domain name. Domain names are the actual title of your webpage, where the URL goes. The URL is the bar on your internet browser, where the www part goes. To help with your general SEO efforts and also tie in your website nicely, it’s good to get a relevant domain name.

But how do you know what a good domain is and what is not?

Relevant to the Business

You want to find something that is extremely relevant to the business itself. If you can’t get your company name, perhaps it is taken or too long to tie in properly, then try and get one of your primary keywords in there. Primary keywords are the ones that you want to target the most as they get the most searches, so having the keyword tied up if you can do is a very powerful way to build some instant SEO and trust.

For example, if you were somebody who provides a Plastering service, and you are based in the Los Angeles area, you could go for This would cover both relevance and effectiveness.

Is it Easy to Remember?

One of the most important parts of the URL is also in the ease of which it can be remembered. Something catchy and something that peaks the interest is good, too. For example, if you provided a tax service, then something like could be something that you would pursue.

Building yourself up is possible even through your URL. When you hand out your business cards and your e-mail marketing campaigns, you want your URL to fit with the business philosophy, as well as something that rolls of the tongue. If you go for something long and hard to recall, it can be difficult for the user to remember what it actually was!

So keep your URL smart, catchy, relevant and to the point. But where do you go about finding the right inspiration?

Where to Search

One of the best ways to get started is to look at your competition, specifically those who are at the top. They must be doing something right, so why not try and find out what the secrets to that success is?

Try and put yourself in the customer’s shoes – what would you be searching for? What would catch your eye? Look for the keywords you would search for if you needed your own service or product. Look at who is doing well in the rankings and look at their domain name?

Unless you are in the most unique and tiny of niches, the URL will be relevant, catchy and interesting. Trying to think of your own spin on these URLs is important, and a good way to spin the name into something that you could use is to make use of the Google Keywords tool.

Type in the keyword your competitors URL would be, and find something which an equally impressive search volume which has its own tone to it. Using both of these methods will help you get some clarity.

Good Combinations & Creativity

If you are struggling still for a little bit of inspiration, another good way to find a dominant URL and domain name is to try some different combinations. For example – what does your service or product solve?

Let’s say you sell a product which will, in ten days, transform the user’s ability to work under pressure at work. You could go for something like you can put yourself in a much more dominant position if you try and answer the problem in the domain name.

Br providing a question or an answer by combining interesting keywords or thinking about how you would have to describe your product or service in a few years, you can come up with some really unique ideas.


GoDaddy and are two of the most dominant locations on the web for finding brilliant, already taken domain names that have two things going for them. They must be doing well as they are worth auctioning, and they will already have a history with search engines.

This means no more nonsense when it comes to trying to get yourself listed and higher up the search rankings – if the domain name was doing well before, it will have a positive rating to begin with, meaning that your efforts can be much easier to make a success of your website.

Not only will you find ripe domain names ready for transformation at these auctions, you will also find some brilliant inspiration. Remember – there are so many ways to go down the domain name route, you can really create a huge list in no time if you try and avoid the “What if?”

Domain names are a big part of your website – make sure you take the time and the patience to actually come up with some unique, relevant and engaging. It could hold massive rewards for your business further down the line.

(photo by ivanpw )