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The role of dopamine in web design

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Here at Pumpkin Web Design Manchester, we are Manchester’s leading web design experts. We work with companies and businesses across Manchester, and the surrounding area, including Wigan and Southport, to provide web design solutions that can help businesses grow. As a result, we have produced this guide to everything you should know about the role of dopamine in web design.

What is dopamine?

Dopamine is a chemical produced by several parts of the brain, with a complex role that shapes a range of human behaviours. In particular, this chemical is linked to human motivation and want. Dopamine is often released by the brain when we discover something new and interesting. In addition, it is often referred to as the reward chemical, as dopamine is also released in anticipation of something we know we will enjoy, like our favourite takeaway, or the first glass of wine. Once dopamine has been released from one activity, it will be released again just before we repeat the activity. For this reason, dopamine is often also associated with addictions and risky behaviours such as gambling. So, how does this relate to web design?

What is the role of dopamine in web design?

In terms of web design, understanding dopamine and it’s effect on the average Joe can help to create a better user experience, and a more successful website all round. This can involve rewarding user behaviour in a number of different ways, including:

  • Visual interest- Once your website users load your landing page, they should be greeted with stunning imagery. This should involve high quality visual design, an easy to understand layout and navigation system, as well as small details like textures and shading. This initial visual impression will act as a reward for choosing your website from the search engine results page, and the high quality, small and subtle visual details can release dopamine through the discovery of something new and interesting. However, to keep your potential customers or clients on your website long enough to convert, this initial interest needs to be upheld through all interactions.
  • Micro-rewards-To keep your website users interested and motivated, your website will need to reward every action your potential customers or clients take, from scrolling down, to clicking the call to action button. And by offering these rewards, you can keep your website users motivated to interact with your content, and to become return customers. Micro-rewards here are key to success, and you could consider:
    • Micro-animations- small animated effects when a website user clicks a button or link. This can be as simple as changing the colour of the text or the button, to animating a small, on the spot, movement.
    • Progress bars- seeing the progress made when details are entered to a form can be a great motivator for your potential customers or clients to continue entering the details needed to make a payment.
  • Tangible rewards- Another option is to offer a real reward in terms of a discount code. This can be advertised on the above the fold content of your landing page for an initial reward, or it can be used to tempt potential customers or clients to sign up to your newsletter or mailing list. Either way, this can trigger dopamine, attaching positive feelings to your company.

For more information or for professional web design support, get in touch with the experts today, here at Pumpkin Web Design Manchester.