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Designing a Website for the 5 Senses

  • Post published:September 22, 2020

Are you looking for the best strategy in designing a website? You need to read this blog!

Everything we touch, see, taste, hear and smell tends to stay with us in some way or another. The first time we touched something soft, tasted a candy, saw a rainbow, heard a song & smelled a flower. Through our senses, we feel an experience that stays with us for a long time. Also, it’s not just the good things we experience in the world. Negative experiences that we witness through our sensory perceptions also stay with us.

Jinsop Lee is an amazing product designer who realized something extraordinary. The five senses when combined are able to elevate a normal experience in ways one can’t imagine. In his product designs, when he incorporated the five senses normal experiences turned out to be extraordinary.

Drawing inspiration from this philosophy, we thought whether the five senses can somehow be incorporated in designing a website? The fact is that designing a website for the five senses isn’t just possible, there are people out there who have already developed such websites. However, the idea is pretty much unknown and this might be the right time to jump on it!

Let’s discuss each sense and how we can implement it in a website’s design:

The Power of Sight:

Seeing is believing. Sight has tremendous power and it’s the most pragmatic of the five senses. We have often heard the phrase that an image speaks a thousand words. The same logic can be applied when a bad image is used in your website. A bad image speaks a thousand bad words! This is the reason that the images you select for your website must be appealing and represent what your website is all about. Images used in sliders and all the pages of your website must catch the eye in a glimpse.

The Power of Sight

Zillow’s homepage does a wonderful job in capturing the eye of a visitor. Zillow is a platform where people can look for houses to buy or rent. Hence, its homepage uses an image of not just a house but a family.

The Power of Touch:

Obviously, touching a website isn’t exactly possible in a literal sense. However, the way a user engages with a website by clicking on icons or buttons can be used in a creative way to deliver a sense of touch. 3D designed buttons can be a great way to engage with a user. Also, ever notice how on eCommerce websites a user can zoom into a product to see minute details. Well, this is how you use the power of touch. Make your visitors feel like that they’re literally touching your products.

Look at how this website uses the zoom feature:

The Power of Touch

The Power of Taste:

Wait, how are we even supposed to make a visitor taste something? We know, you can’t possibly offer cookies or something, right? Well, how about you offer them something that can get those taste buds going! A video can be the perfect tool for inciting the power of taste as it can offer a story. Designing a website is all about including realism.

For example, have you ever wondered why people are so addicted to cooking shows? Sure, some people like getting those recipes but a majority are just casual watchers. Guess what! They love the experience of seeing food get cooked up in front of them. Hence, make a video regarding your business where you can offer a story, if you run a coffee shop then make a video detailing your coffee-making process. Even if your website is in a different category, you can make videos by adding elements related to food.

Pipcorn uses surreal imagery of food that gets your taste buds going:

The Power of Taste

The Power of Sound:

We don’t suggest using music on a website but at times it can be impactful. Still, using music in most website categories can actually be a distraction. However, this doesn’t mean we can’t use the sense of sound in another manner. Let’s say your website sells products for toddlers. Choose an image for your home page that shows toddlers being all cute and playful. Such an image will create a particular sound in a visitor’s head which would be relatable. Maybe it would be the sound of toddlers playing with toys or giggling.

The Power of Sound

See how Samsung uses sound to incorporate on its website!

Do you run a restaurant? Select an image that shows you frying an item, perhaps a patty. That sizzle is going to make an impact!

The Power of Smell:

Designing a website must include all the senses. Last but not least is the power of smell. Scents have a funny have to leave an impact and again you won’t be using actual fragrances as that’s currently not possible. What is possible is to present something in such a way that a visitor is reminded of that particular smell. This is easier if you have a website that’s relevant to restaurants or cafes. It can be a little daunting to find a sensation of smell for let’s say a business website. With a little bit of brainstorming, we’re sure you can come up with something that gives a little bit of that sensation.

The Power of Smell

Check out what Starbucks does in its cover! Can you smell the brewed coffee? We sure can!

In a Nutshell:

Designing a website for the 5 senses can be useful in elevating a user’s experience. Most designers only focus on sight or imagery without taking into account other senses. We know that if one does design a website for all the senses it can change not only the looks of a website but even alter the experience which is so vital in a good website. If you’re looking for a website within this approach then hit us up!