Book Review: Neuro Web Design

Neuro Web Design


Susan M. Weischenk

My Rating

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At the time of purchasing Neuro Web Design I was looking to add some style to my web design skills. Being a confident programmer does not mean those fancy web applications are going to look befitting of their technical qualities. So, to ensure my web creations look as good as they are constructed, I set myself a plan of accumulating a web design repertoire worthy of my software construction expertise.

Neuro Web Design was the first part of this adventure. It was first because it was the most compelling book I came across; the internet and psychology are two very alluring topics to me. They draw me in and make me want to understand them deeper – no matter how much I learn I just want more. So my rationale for choosing the book was simply that I find both topics enthralling and felt it would be an excellent way to start my web design journey.

The aim of this book is to show you how your mind works when you are browsing pages on the internet, in order for you to create web sites that are optimised for human viewing. To achieve this goal there is a high proportion of pure psychology involved. And for me, this was a super plus point. Just learning that my brain has three distinct parts and the function of each was an invaluable life experience.

I also applaud the structure of the chapters in the book. The structure of each chapter goes like this: lots of psychological theory, which leaves you wondering what the hell this has got to do with web design, at the start; then, at the end of the chapter the preceding theory is web design-contextualised and perfectly exemplified. After the first few chapters I was trying to guess where the theory was leading and how it relates to web design. Being compelled in such a way no doubt ensured I memorised a lot more of the book than I would have otherwise.

Not everyone is a hobbyist web developer/designer like yours truly. Some people even have the audacity to make money from online businesses! And for those people, there is a strong emphasis on the commercial aspect of a web site contained in the book. Many of the examples revolve around ensuring your customers are sub-consciously deceived into spending all their money at your online outlet! ha-ha – not quite. But it does explain, in their (research derived) terms, how to maximise certain aspects of a commercial web site geared up to sell products or services, for potential customers. I would share a tip or two, but I think you should read the book to gain the full benefits.

Don’t be concerned if you too are a hobbyist. Whilst a lot of the examples do stress how to produce effective designs for profit-making purposes, most of the examples can be applied elsewhere. One such example would be how to encourage people to sign up to your site; another would be how to lure your users into exploring the site further.

My review of this book has now reached its conclusion. But before we cut to the advert breaks let me just condone the purchase of this book for any wanting to design web sites. Whether you make sexy designs or usable web sites, if you don’t know how the human mind works when it engages with your designs then you’re missing a trick a two. Also, I would recommend this book to just about anyone. There is enough psychology to teach you things about yourself that you can immediately put to use – like to understand some of the tricks web sites use to get your money!

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