Take a rounded approach to website design

Everywhere you look online there are little boxes. Square adverts meet you every hour of the day and pictures are frequently framed in rectangles. Meanwhile, blog posts are often in boxed frames and when you type into a comment box, it usually is a box. It is as though web designers only have the ability to draw straight lines.

And when you go into a shop, you’ll see products in boxes. Shelves are full of things in square packaging. It all makes sense, of course, because squared packaging is easier to distribute and display on shelves. Online, getting rounded corners can require some clever “tricks” with CSS and HTML and so for most of us it is simply easier and less time consuming to present things in squares and rectangles.

But there is a problem with boxes and rectangles. We don’t like them much. We much prefer things which have rounded corners.

The World is Round

New research suggests that when we see things which are square, we don’t like them as much as when they are rounded. So, that implies when designing your website you should use rounded corners for those call to action items and rounded corners for your adverts. In that way you will get more clicks and more sales. Square is so square, you know.


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Graham Jones
Graham Jones is an Internet Psychologist who studies the way people use the online world, in particular how people engage with businesses. He uses this knowledge to help companies improve their online connections to their customers and potential customers and offers consultancy, workshops, masterclasses and webinars. He also speaks regularly at conferences and business events. Graham is an award-winning writer and the author of 32 books, several of which are about various aspects of the Internet. For more information connect with me on Google+
Graham Jones


Graham Jones is an Internet Psychologist, professional speaker and author of 32 books who helps businesses understand the online behaviour of their customers
RT @PRCA_UK: Have you pre-ordered your copy of @DannyWhatmough's upcoming PRCA Practice Guide, Digital PR, yet? Here he is explaining why i… - 9 hours ago
Graham Jones

4 thoughts on “Take a rounded approach to website design

  1. Not the one to point out the obvious but all the edges including call to actions on this post are square…also, when you enter your name then tab down to email, it takes you to somewhere else on the page. Just a couple of ironic observations…

    • Thanks Dominic – what I should have said in the blog post is that I am currently working on a redesign of my site to take this into account. As for the tabbing, I thought I had fixed that – obviously not, so I’ll deal with that ASAP. Thanks for pointing it out – appreciated.

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