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Neuro Web Design: What Makes Them Click?

3.84  ·  Rating details ·  949 ratings  ·  52 reviews
"While you're reading Neuro Web Design, you'll probably find yourself thinking 'I already knew that...' a lot. But when you're finished, you'll discover that your ability to create effective web sites has mysteriously improved. A brilliant idea for a book, and very nicely done."
-- Steve Krug, author of Don't Make Me Think!
A Common Sense Approach to Web Usability

Why do
Paperback, 168 pages
Published January 2nd 2009 by New Riders Press (first published 2008)
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Feb 11, 2013 rated it it was ok
I'm a little disappointed with this book because i've read from the same author, the book "100 Things Every Designer Needs to Know about People" ( The later was written in 2011 while this one was in 2009.

I've started this one because the author refers to it several times in the other book, so i thought this one was better and more expansive in information. I was wrong.

This may seem unfair but now that i've read both, seems that the one from 2011 is just
Jeff Van Campen
Sep 23, 2010 rated it liked it
Shelves: psychology, ux
This is a decent introduction to persuasive web design. If you've already read anything about persuasive technology, any recent pop psychology books or just watch a lot of TED talks, there probably won't be a lot that is new here.

Each chapter consists of a insights derived from psychology and neuroscience followed by a few quick examples. The examples felt a bit sparse at times. Since this is marketed as a "web design" book, I felt the book would have been better with more examples and better
Nathanael Coyne
Sep 02, 2010 rated it liked it
Recommended to Nathanael by: Julie Watkins-Lyall
Shelves: work-related
Susan's book on psychology applied to web design is easy to read and packed with information. Having already read through Stephen P. Anderson's Mental Notes card deck which is partly based on this book I was already familiar with many of the concepts presented by Susan. There are sufficient citations to give this book credibility even though it doesn't read like an academic publication. Susan covers persuasion, social validation, the power of storytelling, reciprocity, scarcity, choice and more ...more
Rafael Bandeira
Jan 21, 2011 rated it it was ok
Shelves: borrowed
Though the purpose of the book is quite interesting, I find the content pretty basic and the examples not very elucidative. It is a interestig read for those tryin to get their head started on he subject of psychology applied to design, but I would take it all with a grain of salt, for the concepts and techiniques are quite sensitive and although they can help you drive a more effective design from a business standpoint, it might as well harm the user experience and the product brand by ...more
Georgi Varzonovtsev
Apr 29, 2010 rated it it was amazing
The book contains a good dozen of guidelines on how to create more effective and engaging web sites. What I liked the most from the book though were not the guidelines but the nice explanation and examples of the theory and scientific experiments behind them. The author cites previous research in psychology and behavioral studies (you may already know some of these as I did) and from this research draws conclusions on what could be done in a web site in order it to have greater influence over ...more
Brom Kim
Jun 02, 2010 rated it it was amazing
I've been doing aesthetic, utilitarian, Web, graphic, message, and print design for years, but have never really dug into the psychological nuts and bolts of the craft.

This book gave me a whole new set of lenses through which to evaluate all of my communication work, far beyond the Web. Applications are obvious in instructional design, print, etc.

In addition to its relevance to my own work, I am giving this five stars because regardless of whether it is comprehensive or 100% accurate, it
Roxane Lapa
Aug 14, 2012 rated it really liked it
Very easy reading material about the fascinating relationship between the different areas of the brain and their reactions to information presented in different ways, especially within a website environment. As both a web designer, as well as a lover of psychology, I found the parts regarding human behaviour particularly intriguing. The book is split up into manageable chunks which makes reading on-the-go, a pleasure, and much like social genius, Dale Carnegie, she thoughtfully summarises each ...more
Nov 23, 2010 rated it really liked it
More of a book about how to sell people stuff than how to design a website, but I guess that's what websites are about mostly these days. It was pretty interesting learning about how the 3 parts of the brain (pre-frontal cortex responsible for reasoning, cortex responsible for emotion and brain stem responsible for our survival) all work together to help us make decisions. The primitive brain stem is sometimes quicker and has more influence on our decision making than we think. Lots of insights ...more
Daniel Wood
Mar 12, 2013 rated it it was ok
Shelves: web
Not a bad read, particularly if you haven't read any psychology books before. If you have, most of the studies mentioned will be familiar, and not a lot is added here. Each principle is related back to Web Design, but in a simplistic way that hasn't dated well, so only the overall message is useful.

Give it a skim read if you're looking for fairly scientific approaches to improving website sales/engagement.
Sep 29, 2011 rated it really liked it
Shelves: tech
Short and very concise. It makes the point straight and without redundant wordage. For someone like me, who had no idea about psychology, it was a perfect starter. :) It gets one star short of five though, because there's next to nothing about web design in it - just explaining how people/users/would-be customers work.
Nov 18, 2017 rated it it was ok
Very shallow book. For the most part it is just a retelling of an "Influence" by Cialdini
Mar 06, 2019 rated it it was amazing
In your opinion what makes a website good?

If you think about it… which are your favorite websites and what is so special about them that you like so much? What makes them different from their direct competitor site?

These are fun and interesting questions, and if you want to know how you, me and everyone else perceives certain elements on the websites and which of these elements are most attention-grabbing and why, then you will definitely enjoy this book. Even though this book was published in
Aug 12, 2010 rated it really liked it
Shelves: user-interaction
Say you have made a web site and you are looking for tricks to improve its efficiency and the number of clicks on it. This is the book you are looking for, especially if you are selling something.
This is of course very web-centric but since the author bases her analysis from scientific studies on brain behaviour, this knowledge can easily be transposed to marketing and user interaction design.
It is quick and easy to read and goes straight to the point. You’ll find yourself thinking “of course, I
Jul 28, 2011 rated it liked it
Written by a psychologist, this book offers some insight about the well-known principles behind persuasive web design (scarcity, concession, social validation...)

The main focus is put on the psychological explanation of these concepts, and not that much on the examples of real web sites (with only a few examples and very briefly explained), but the insights on how the brain works and the explanation about psychological researches and behavioural studies are very enlightening. Plus, is very easy
Jun 19, 2012 rated it liked it
Contains some interesting pieces of advice on what makes people click on various parts of a website from a psychological point of view.

Quotes some interesting research. A relatively easy read - worth reading if you want something light to stimulate your brain about the general subject of web design and psychology.
Fritz Desir
Great read and a good intro guide how to use cognition and social psychology in design has some practical advice which can serve as a great proxy when primary research data is scarce. Would also recommend Stephen Anderson's, Jeff Johnson's (which I'm also reading) and BJ Fogg's books respectively on this same theme. This is not an appreciated topic IMHO, sorely needed. Kudos @thebrainlady!
Josh Ferge
Nov 10, 2015 rated it really liked it
This book provides a great basic psychology background that every web dev could use. It also gives some great examples of techniques to improve certain aspects of websites. My only issues were due to some of the examples being scummy (dishonest or spammy). And as the web evolves, the web pages featured in the book are very quickly becoming out of date as far as design goes.
Mar 22, 2009 rated it it was amazing
Neuro Web Design take the classic principles of influence and persuasion as elucidated by Cialdini and talks about how they work on the Web. As such, it's great applied thinking. If you know Cialdini, you won't learn a lot that's new, but it's a good refresher. If you don't know Cialdini, you'll find this fast read on persuasion very enlightening.
Nov 06, 2009 rated it liked it
This is an excellent fundamental book that begins to show how customers respond to marketing. I would recommend this as a springboard for further marketing research. It would also be valuable to anyone, marketer or otherwise, starting up a Web site and wanting to attract some attention.
Jason Bootle
Aug 17, 2010 rated it really liked it
Shelves: ux
Enjoyable, easy to read introduction to persuasive psychology as applied to web design. This being my first tackling of the subject it was a good primer but I felt some of the web examples were a tad weak and seemed forced. Having said that, a good read for web or business folk at any level.
Nick Warren
May 04, 2016 rated it really liked it
This is a book from my Semantic days, but it was the first time I had seen the different brains talked about in such a simple and persuasive form. It's over-simplified of course... but oh so engaging.

Especially recommended for web developers :-)
Aug 24, 2015 rated it liked it
Shelves: design, psychology
While this book does come off as a little homemade, is still interesting, provides a good intro to the subject, and did have some interesting new-to-me principles to study further, which I am sure will provide me with future A/B tests.
Sally Khoo
Aug 15, 2011 rated it liked it
It presents "old theory" in a more attractive title: Web Design
as where this is the new platform of business war.

It directs the theory to web design concept. Reader or web site owner shall think hard enough to adapt it in order to success.

No simple formula to success
Mar 05, 2012 rated it did not like it
Shelves: work
Out of 170 pages - 10 pages preface, 20 pages index. Very low on information density, a lot of headlines, bottom lines, pictures, blank pages. The info itself - ok if you are just starting in the field, won't do if you search deeper understanding. Can not recommend.
Hillary Thomas
Nov 05, 2009 rated it it was amazing
Short, but extremely relevant read. I found it intensely interesting and helpful.
Oct 01, 2010 rated it it was ok
I found this book a bit disappointing as the content was fairly basic.
Sep 04, 2013 rated it really liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
It was interesting to read web stuff and brain stuff together. But nothing much new to say.
Aug 17, 2010 rated it really liked it
Shelves: re-read
a quick read and well worth the time.
Aug 18, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Well written. Cognitive & Social psychology discussed in an easily accessible manner. If you design online presences or have one read it ;)
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Susan Weinschenk has a Ph.D. in Psychology and over 30 years of experience as a behavioral psychologist. She applies neuroscience to predict, understand, and explain what motivates people and how to get people to take action.

Dr. Weinschenk is the author of several books, including How To Get People To Do Stuff, 100 Things Every Presenter Needs To Know About People, 100 Things Every Designer Needs
“Our brains are built to process pictures, and we think in pictures, so presenting information as pictures is the most efficient way to present information to people.” 0 likes
“What does happen is that if we give them a gift, we will trigger a feeling of indebtedness—a feeling of indebtedness that they’ll want to get rid of by responding with gifts or favors.” 0 likes
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