Users’ reactions to website designs: A neuroimaging study based on evolutionary psychology with a focus on color and button shape
Nissen, Anika
Riedl, René
Schütte, Reinhard
Beiträge in referierten Zeitschriften
erschienen in:
Computers in Human Behavior, Vol. 155. {Link}

Website design decisions consider visual stimuli that have a significant impact on user behavior. We use evolutionary psychology as a theoretical lens for studying the effects of color and shapes on e-commerce websites. Referring to their evolutionary meaning, we derive hypotheses that are tested in a neuroimaging experiment utilizing functional near-infrared spectroscopy (fNIRS). The self-report results reveal significantly more pleasure, arousal, less distrust, and positive attitude toward colored versus uncolored websites. Neural results reveal a deactivation in the right dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (dlPFC) when comparing colored versus uncolored websites. Further, a significant deactivation in the left medial PFC areas and the left dlPFC is identified for the blue website. These results signify a cognitive relief for the use of color on websites in general, and for the use of blue in particular. For button shape, significant increases in the dorsomedial PFC, as well as in the right medial PFC areas, were identified for rounded shapes. These results signify users’ preference toward interaction with rounded rather than sharp button shapes on websites. Altogether, the present study shows that neural mechanisms indicate how the meaning of website elements is still derived from their evolutionary meaning, and that users are not necessarily aware of this.

Lehrstuhl Smolnik | 10.05.2024