Episode 93: Your Brain on a Website

How can you use psychology to design a website so people are likely to buy products from you? Or design a website so people are likely to donate money to your cause? In this episode Dr. Susan Weinschenk discusses some of these ideas from her book Neuro Web Design. Ever thought you could apply brain science to web design? Find out how in this episode of The Psych Files.


Resources for this Podcast

  • Here is Susan Weinschenk’s blog where you’ll find lots of more information about her and her work.
  • Dr. Weinschenk also has a website devoted to her book Neuro Web Design.
  • Dr. Weinschenk mentioned in the interview a very interesting site called Kiva. Here’s a little information about the site from their homepage, "Kiva lets you lend to a specific entrepreneur in the developing world – empowering them to lift themselves out of poverty."
  • Related episode: In episode 31, Lemon Slices and a New Face on Mars! Gestalt Principles at Work, I talked about how Gestalt principles are used in designing web sites.
  • Dr. Weinschenk’s book:

  • Related: an interview with Web Psychologist Nathalie Nahai on the power of online influence.
  • Other books mentioned during this episode:

The Science of Mental Illness
Image compliments of Best Masters in Psychology Degrees

Comments

  1. Joshua Guedalia says:

    Just wanted to say how much I enjoyed this post, and I have linked to this in a post on my site, http://www.two-tribes.com/blog/2009/06/04/use-their-brain-website-design/. Thanks.

  2. Michael says:

    Joshua,

    Glad you liked the podcast and thanks so much for linking to my site. I love that image of the brain that you have for your episode. Where did you get that from? Very eye-catching image.

    Michael

  3. Hi Michael

    Started studying Psychology this year after 22 years (54 yrs old) of Employment Law. Thanks for great listening stuff and other articles. This is so neat as I now hear, study and see things in a different light or should I say “perfect” light. Youtube and your site my daily jump now.

  4. Emanuel: thanks for comment. Employment law – yup that sounds quite different from my field. Glad you’re enjoying the podcast.

  5. Jim Davies says:

    I love your podcast.

    I was a little ticked off at your guest for this one. On the one hand she tells us our instincts should not be considered irrational, and that we should often trust them. On the other hand she has written a book that tells web developers strategies that get people to do things based on those vey biases in our instincts.

    I highly recommend Keith Stanovich’s book The Robot’s Rebellion, especially the chapter on how evolutionary psychology goes too far. He argues very persuasively that people in our contemporary world know strategies that take advantage of our set of autonomous systems for their own profit. Maybe it’s good to trust your instincts when you choose a mate, or something else that resembles the decisions made in our evolutionary environment, but if you go with your gut when choosing an insurance plan you will often pick the one best for your employer or the insurance company, not you. When two choices are offered by an organization that has something to gain with one choice over another, that is when it is time to overcome blind spot bias and be rational.

  6. Keith – glad you’re enjoying the podcast. I am familiar with Stanovich’s “How to Think Straight About Psychology” – which is a great book – but I had no idea he had written so many other books (a quick search on Amazon turned them all up). Looks like I’ve got some catching up to do. Appreciate the heads-up.

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