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The Impact of Website Design on User Perception and Brand Reputation

What is the impact of website design on user perception and brand reputation? There are three main effects of website design on user perception and brand reputation. Before that, let me define each one for better clarity.

What is website design?

Website design connotes both a process and an output. As a process, website design pertains to conceptualizing the look, feel, and functionality of a website. This involves defining the arrangement of content, the colors to be used, the typography involved, the images to be implemented, the branding elements needed to be incorporated, and the special features or effects found in a website.

While a website design as an output refers to the end product of such a process. This is how a website looks like when it is visited or accessed. In this regard, some define website design as the front-end aspect of building or creating a website. The back-end aspect entails implementing the design into an actual website. This aspect may require coding or computer programming or the use of website templates.

(Of course, here in My Codeless Website, I do website design free of computer programming through the aid of WordPress and its Divi Theme. I also do recommend award-winning website designers to help startups come out with professionally-designed websites suitable to their needs.)

There are several things one should consider in designing a website. Incorporating a company’s brand identity or branding–from domain name to content–into a website’s design gives it advantage online. This is on top of employing certain principles in design to ensure a great user experience online. It is also one of the steps I advised previously to make a website template unique.

Next, let’s talk about user perception.

What is user perception?

User perception is how a person sees a company based on how a company presents itself, communicates with the person, and engages with the person. Overall, user perception is the result of how a person experienced a company through the various channels of communication, in purchasing their products, availing their services, visiting their facilities, participating in their activities, and attending their events.

This term is often interchangeable with brand perception, which Marketing91 defines as the manner a customer feels about a company, its products, services, attributes, and brand. There is the need then for companies to discover how customers perceive them so as to know if it is aligned with how they want to be perceived. Doing so would help in better understanding customers and fix or patch any gaps in perception.

User or brand perception is, however, different from brand reputation. Let’s go into that next.

What is brand reputation?

Media Analysis expert CommSights Group defines brand reputation as the collective perception of various persons on a company’s identity. It is more of how the public sees a company that in turn becomes a deciding factor in engaging with that company.

Brand reputation can easily be affected by bad customer reviews and even news highlights. Maintaining good brand reputation then is essential to business growth, which should extend to a company’s website.

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What is the impact of website design on user perception and brand reputation?

A person’s perception is one of the psychological factors that largely affect how he or she responds to stimuli. In business, stimuli comes in the form of marketing paraphernalia, which are highly visual in nature and supported by compelling messaging.

The effectiveness of marketing campaigns are rooted on how a company has successfully touched on the emotions of consumers through their visuals and copy. In gist, how effectively they were able to connect with consumers through their brand.

Website design works in a very similar way. How? A website’s design affects consumer trust, their purchasing decision, and their brand loyalty. Let me elaborate each one.

1. Website design affects consumer trust

According to the 11th Nordic Conference on Human-Computer Interaction: Shaping Experiences, Shaping Society held on October 2020, companies with professionally-designed website impacts a user’s perception on a company. Positive impressions result to consumer trust that lead to the likelihood of purchasing from the said company.

A consumer’s perception about a company has a higher impact than their perception on the brand. This means that consumers will purchase more from a company that’s credible not because of what they say of their products but by how reliable and trustworthy they have been in the past.

This is especially seen in the trend over the last two years, especially during the pandemic. Customer behavior is now highly dependent on the transparency of businesses in their practices. To a great extent then, if a website’s design does not clearly reflect the company’s identity and how it is perceived by society, tendency is people won’t be buying in to what the said company is selling them.

Trust is key in any relation and it is a must that a website’s design emulates a company’s good reputation at all times. Practically speaking, one has to admit that a website with poor design would bring thoughts of doubt if such is legitimately owned by a company renowned for its good name.

Financial, legal, consulting, construction, recruitment, and medical companies, as well as, non-profit entities and professionals are expected to have websites fitting to the nature of their business and organization, which are highly dependent on their credibility. The same goes for corporations.

Apple, regarded as the world’s most trusted company in 2022, has a website that’s designed as sleek and visually-vivid as their products are known for. Maintaining that consistent quality in their website assures their loyal customers the same experience they have with their brand.

2. Website design influences consumer purchasing decision

According to a University of North Florida School of Computing study, websites designed with quality affects user perception and purchase intention. A website’s design is regarded to be of good quality if it is secure, consistent, responsive, aesthetically pleasing, and customizable to the user. By customizable, this pertains to convenient and personalized features including speed in loading content.

The study even went on to say that the initial encounter of the user with the website will then determine the repeat purchases in the future provided the said good qualities mentioned are intact or maintained. These results were said to be experienced by e-commerce websites.

Let’s look at Walmart’s website as an example. Regarded as one of the top 10 ecommerce websites in the world, Walmart’s website is so convenient since users do not need to create a profile nor need to fill-up a long form for orders. The website also has personalization features as it offers recommendations to users based on their algorithms and on their present orders.

The website also uses beautiful visuals, pastel colors, and a heirarchical of arrangement of content that’s clean and orderly. This makes it easy to find what one needs and check out quickly, especially if the user is in a hurry.

Walmart’s well-designed website has actually resulted in a $73.2 billion net sales for Fiscal 2022, which is almost double their net sales two years earlier ($39.7 billion) based on their annual report.

3. Website design nurtures brand loyalty

As mentioned in the University of North Florida study, a website with good quality design results to repeat purchases—a sign of a consumer’s brand loyalty. A website with good quality would most often have quality content that’s worth sharing to others.

The very pleasant experience a repeat-purchase consumer has a website will prompt such consumer to easily share the website’s link and refer the company or business to family, friends, and even colleagues. That’s free word-of-mouth marketing. Thus, designing a website with the customer in mind such as personalizing call-to-action messages nurtures brand loyalty.

Summary: Website Design, User Perception, and Brand Reputation

A website’s design has a big impact on user perception and brand reputation. For companies and organizations wishing to build and establish their presence online, it is a must that they invest in the design, development, and management of their website. Planning the website’s design must be given considerable effort to ensure that the qualities consumers look for in their online experience is achieved, which results in positive user perception and brand reputation.


1. How can a business enhance user perception and brand reputation in its website’s design?

Website design can enhance user perception and brand reputation by employing certain principles and techniques, particularly through accessibility, color theory, interactivity, typography, and visual hierarchy. I have covered these aspects in previous posts and I recommend visiting my blog for more information.

2. How can a business know if its website’s design is effective or not?

The best way to know the effectivity of a website’s design is through the website’s performance as shown in its analytics. Setting goals or metrics is also a good way to check if your website’s design was effective or not. Conducting a survey is another way to assess your website design’s effectivity, especially on how it affected user experience. You could also check my post on how often should you redesign your website for more tips on how to better assess the effectiveness of your design.

The Impact of Website Design on User Perception and Brand Reputation