Neuromarketing can make a contribution to website design in three powerful ways:
Eye tracking applied to website viewing has shown that gaze patterns are determined by two types of attention:
This dependence on goals means that web pages should not be thought of as having some objective level of “effectiveness.” Web page and website effectiveness can only be determined relative to the goals and expectations that viewers bring to the page.
Studies have shown that website frustration usually occurs when the viewer’s goals and expectations are impeded by the web page’s organization, task flow design, or goal-irrelevant clutter (usually advertising) around the page. These disruptions of goal pursuit can occur at the nonconscious level, and they can significantly impact the viewer’s attitudes and behavior, often without the viewer being aware of the real sources of his or her responses.
Although tasks and goals on websites are predominantly conscious in origin and pursuit, nonconscious processes continue to play an important role in website viewing. Website designers and online advertisers need to understand how low-attention processing, priming, and implicit memory all operate alongside conscious processes in order to design online experiences that maximize online effectiveness and web experience satisfaction.
This post is excerpted, with minor edits, from Neuromarketing for Dummies, Chapter 3, “Putting Neuromarketing to Work.”