Skip to content

Neuro Web Design: What Makes Them Click?


Last Updated on September 29, 2020.

(Paperback) Author: Susan M. Weinschenk, Ph.D.
Neuro Web Design applies research on motivation, decision making, and neuroscience to the design of websites.

Amazon rating:

Neuro Web Design amazon rating


by Jana Brech –   Rating:
four star rating
An easy read. This book is 132 pages long, and many people can read it in a couple of hours. It is well-organized, and easy to skim and scan – you can skim the book looking for points of particular interest, then read the entire chapter for more details.

This is a good introduction to the concepts of persuasive technology.  If you have never considered how people make choices on websites, and what parts of their brain are involved, this is a fascinating read. People’s responses to websites are not necessarily rational, but can be instinctive or emotional, or a combination of all three. Learn how to apply the principles of persuasion to design websites that encourage users to click.

Three parts of the brain

The three brains – Susan M. Weinschenk

The author begins with an explanation of the Triune Brain (three brains) theory, a model proposed by the American physician and neuroscientist Paul D. MacLean. The Triune Brain describes our three-brains-in-one:-

  • An old or reptilian brain that is concerned with survival
  • mid brain where emotions are processed
  • new brain or cortex where conscious thought occurs

The author, Susan M. Weinschenk, teaches that:

The most effective Web sites are Web sites that talk to all three brains. When the Web site engages all three brains, then we click.” Susan M. Weinschenk, Ph.D.

She goes on to provide tips on how to make your web pages appeal to all three “brains” so that you get more clicks and get more sales. Some of her tips include:

  • Ask for more than what you really want and then offer a concession to a lesser request (which is what you really wanted)
  • Giving a gift triggers indebtedness, which increases the likelihood that others will reciprocate by giving you something
  • If there is a limited availability of something, we assume it is more valuable, and we want it even more
  • We say we want a lot of choices, but the reality is that when we have a lot of choices, we can’t decide
  • We are programmed to think in stories. Websites with stories will grab our attention. Using the word “story” will grab our attention. Combining pictures and stories together is an unbeatable combination to grab our attention, hold our attention, and help us remember.
  • The old brain cares about you.  It cares about protecting you, feeding you, and helping you to reproduce. Using the word “you” is an automatic way to grab the attention of the old brain.
About the Author

[From the back-cover] “Dr. Susan Weinschenk has been an industry leader in the field of user experience and usability for over 25 years. She has a Ph.D. in Psychology and is Chief of Technical Staff at Human Factors International where she manages user experience consulting and training service for Fortune 1000 companies.”

The book is well summed up in a review by the respected usability consultant, Steve Krug:-

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


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *