The science behind aesthetics

How often do you click through a list of Google search results, going through them quickly saying to yourself “that’s not what I’m looking for”? You may then stop at a website and stay longer because it looks more like what you’re after.

According to a study by Google themselves, we make these decisions in between 1/20th and 1/50th of a second. That’s fast! So your website design has got to instantly look ‘right’. Google explains that there are two main factors contributing to this:

  • Prototypicality – it’s the way our brain recognises what the eyes see according to what it’s used to. If you saw a purple stripy cow, your brain would take a little longer to recognise which animal it was, because cows probably weren’t purple and stripy last time you saw one, or ever before! The more we see something that fits the catagorisation criteria our brain has given it, the more readily it can be recognised.
  • Visual complexity – our brain has to work harder to take in lots of information from one screen, and making your brain work too hard is off putting.

Google concludes that high prototypicality and low visual complexity result in what users consider an aesthetic website. Our brains are happy that it fits with what we’re used to and it isn’t too confusing to absorb.

What do you really need to include?

Now, there’s a lot of scope for good design within these parameters, but it lets us know that we shouldn’t go crazy with all the design features we can think of, attempting to squeeze them all into one site to make it good, because it won’t. So with the design approach taken care of, think of it from marketer’s point of view; what are you trying to achieve from your website? What’s your message?

It makes sense in this era of internet reliance, to have an online presence and to be able to be found online. Apart from your Granny, who uses the Yellow Pages any more? If you want a phone number for anything, you’re most likely to look online. So a good start is to have enough information about you to confirm to users that they’ve found the right website, and your contact details. That could be enough to get someone to pick up the phone or write an email to discuss potential buyers, sponsorship, owners, media features, you name it. This is what you’re trying to achieve and that could be as simple as you need.

We recommend this as a starting point for your build, no matter what part of the equine industry you’re from. All elements of your website should have a purpose, otherwise they’re just clutter and going against the aim of low visual complexity.

Elements of your website can then be added to strengthen your brand and create a connection with your users. Information and interesting content will increase customer interaction with your site, making it more likely to convert a visit to whatever you’re trying to achieve (a sale, contact, funding etc.).

All these elements can be placed with prototypicality in mind. This doesn’t mean all sites end up looking the same, it means that users of your website can easily find what they’re looking for, which in turn leaves them with a positive experience and actually portraying you as a person or business in a positive light. Your website becomes part of your brand and directly correlates user experience with attitude towards you. If a user becomes frustrated with your website, they ultimately think less off you.

Our Simple Sites

We’re passionate about designing websites that really work for you by combining eye-catching designs and functionality. Your website needs to be effective, not just pretty and fancy, because if no one can find it, doesn’t visit, and it doesn’t convert to a sale or contact etc. – then it’s not fit for purpose. If you are a small business, just starting up, don’t have a lot of content, don’t have the time to manage a complex website or you’re not ready for a large website just yet, then consider our new range of Simple Sites.

Take a look at top British dressage rider, Spencer Wilton’s website. Spencer simply wanted to have his sponsors featured, a small section of information about him and the all important contact details. His riding style is stylish and unfussy but effective, and his website perfectly reflects this. We actually worked harder to pare back this site, but our other Simple Sites wouldn’t have to be this minimalist.

Our Simple Sites are designed by fully concentrating on low visual complexity and high prototypicality whilst still featuring a platform that’s easy for you as a the website owner to update, includes email addresses, unlimited bandwidth, responsive designs for mobiles and tablets and many more because we consider these features essential for any website, no matter how big or small. It doesn’t matter if you’re Spencer Wilton or a local riding club.

They’re budget friendly and quick to create. So you can get those leads flooding in any day soon.

Get in touch with our design4equine team to have a chat and a free quote for a new or redesigned website.