3 Types of Design for Your Business’s Website

A set of rainbow colored pencils against a white background.

How do you feel when you go on your favorite store’s website? Is it easy to navigate? Does it remind you of being in your favorite store, or how it feels when you receive your order from them? Whether you have a good or bad time on the site, you more likely than not have an opinion on it. That is due in part to emotional design, which draws on emotions. Humans are complex, and we feel many different emotions. These different emotions include the websites we use and the sweaters or cars we buy.

In this article, we’ll dive into the three types of emotional design–behavioral design, reflective design, and visceral design–and how they relate to web design.

Behavioral Design

When you’re on a website, do you ever think about your journey to get there? And if you buy something from that website, do you ever think about how long it took you to buy it (did you research it for a while, was it an impulse buy, etc.)? Once you’re on the site, how do you find what you’re looking for? Do you read as much information as you can on the site before buying the product/using the service/etc?

All of that ties into behavioral design. Behavioral design is one of three aspects of emotional design. It’s about how the user interacts with the site, and the number of mistakes that they make while on the site, and how the user experience is on the site.

There are several ways this ties into your business’s website, most importantly through user experience (UX) design.

User interaction with your businesses’ site

So how does this tie into your website you might ask? Let’s look at the negative and positive user experience, or interactions, that could be affecting your users.

Good user experience examples:

  • Clean explanation of what your business can do to help solve a pain point they are trying to address
  • Seeing a review or case study of a product/service from a peer
  • Seamless flow from home page to conversion – knowing what a user will need next and ensuring its available

Here are a few example of bad user experience:

  • Website takes too long to load
  • Not really clear about what your business does – how can it help them?
  • Having to hunt for what they are trying to do – Biggest mistake is burying things in a navigation like a Contact Page

Reflective Design

Reflective design, which is what happens after you purchase or look at something and start to reflect on it, is important to think about visiting websites, which goes back to the visiting your favorite website example from above. Did you like it? Why did you like it? What did you like about it?

You want people to like your website so that they’ll keep coming back. So, how do you achieve reflective design on your business’s website?

One way to do so is through human-focused design. This keeps your user at the top of mind as they visit your site, even if they don’t realize it, and this can happen any number of ways.

A good start is to take a look at the flow of your website. Having the user at the forefront means they should be able to find what they need with ease. This includes the navigation, as well as any relevant buttons, pages, and forms (such as a contact form).

Ask yourself these questions for a better Reflective Design on your website

  • What does a user need to see as soon as they land on my website?
  • How do I want someone to feel when they are on my website?
  • What are the steps a user needs to take to convert?
  • Would a user share my website with anyone else?

Visceral Design

Simply put, visceral design wants to tug at your heartstrings. What’s the visceral emotion when you visit a site? What emotion do you want people to feel when they look at your website?

When you look at the packaging for a company you like, how does it make you feel? Is it comfort, or awe? Something else? That’s because of visceral design, which wants to tug at your (the user’s) emotions. Also, that is why some companies do a rebrand every once in a while.

Visuals elements that affect your site’s Visceral Design

  • Colors – if your brand’s colors are more vibrant and loud but your overall brand is more soft then trying to tie the colors to action items and use hues elsewhere. See example below.
  • Fonts – An average user won’t be able to tell you that the fonts make a difference but they do, trust us. This is why Google switched their logo several users ago to a San Serif to make it more modern
  • Imagery – are you using real people in your photos or illustrations? Real people give a user something to connect to, while illustrations can sometimes be cold, but allow us to tell a story visually.

Burger King Rebrand

Let’s look at Burger King, who did a logo redesign recently. The old logo was red, yellow, and blue, which was designed when the brand was going through a rough time. It seemed to work for them for a long time.

Until 2021, however, when Burger King did a logo redesign that plays on visceral design. It feels nostalgic for its customers, and plays on a nostalgic group of colors (yellow, red, brown, and orange), and “all the branding was redesigned in colors inspired by the whopper,” according to Business Insider.


These are three important elements of design, but they aren’t the only things you’ll need to know to get started. One of the hardest parts of design is understanding why your users act the way that they do on your site, and focusing on these three elements of design will help you better understand your users, but no matter what area of design you’re looking into, make sure that you do your research. Thanks for reading!

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