The term, User Experience (UX) is one of the most popular terms everywhere in the world. No doubt that it has now become one of the buzzwords of this decade. User Experience (UX) is all about understanding the pain points of users and approach them by making better experience design for the user so they will come back to use the products again.
Similarly, psychology is the study of understanding people’s behaviours and emotions. And behind all this, there are motivations why people are doing what they are doing. Studying and trying to create a better UX is very similar to psychology. So we can say psychology is an integral part of the User Experience(UX) design process. UX design has a long-term relationship with psychology.
Everyone presenting different detail about UX psychology but my article is going to cover everything about, What is UX psychology and about its principals? By the end of this article, you’ll have a good understanding of UX psychology. Below is a breakdown of what we are going to cover in this article.
2) Why UX psychology?
3) The principal of UX psychology
4) Psychology to UX?
5) Design Psychology Tip
UX Design psychology is a combination of neuroscience, cognitive (gaining knowledge of user behaviour) psychology, social psychology, thinking and interactions approach.
Why UX psychology ?
Why do I think having the knowledge of psychology a good point for UX designer? Because by learning about psychology, you may be familiar with people and the reasoning behind their actions. UX psychology would help in, If you are more interested in doing research rather than design, like understanding people’s behaviours towards the products, testings and analyzing. So UX psychology help UX designers in understanding user’s actions, reactions and observations.
The principal of UX psychology :
There are some important principles of UX psychology which are described below.
1) Gestalt Principles:
Under the gestalt principle, we have many other principles. Here we will briefly describe these principals. The principles of Gestalt theory are organized into six categories.
The Gestalt theory explains that viewers subconsciously(without awareness)group together separated objects to perceive them as a whole. In the simplest terms, gestalt theory is based on the idea that the human brain will attempt to simplify and organize complex images or designs that consist of many elements and symmetry aesthetically pleasing
i)Negative Space: Leaving white space around our design where the blanks in the image will create a whole that is greater than the sum of its parts.
ii)Proximity(near): This principle refers to how close are the elements to one another. In UX design proximity is used to show things together. By placing things together users will perceive it related. When elements are placed close together they are perceived as a group.
iii)Similarity: In gestalt similar elements are visually grouped regardless of proximity to each other. They can be grouped by colour, shape, or size.
iv)Continuity: The human eye will follow the smoothest(without space) path when viewing lines, regardless of how the lines were actually drawn. This continuation can be a valuable tool when the goal is to guide a visitor’s eye in a certain direction.
v)Closure: The principal reflects that the brain will fill the missing parts of the design or image to create a whole. In simple words, complex shapes are which can be seen in the logo. An incomplete object is perceived by the brain as a whole by mentally filling in the missing information.
vi)Figure and ground: Similar to negative space principle this principle takes advantage of the negative space. Our brain will distinguish the objects in the foreground of the image. This is really handy when designers want to stress on a focal point. Users differentiate between an object (figure) and its surrounding area (ground) and can switch between them to view different images.
2) Hick’s Law:
Hick’s law states that the time it takes for users to make a decision increases as the number of choices (offers) increases. The most effective way of getting people to take action is to make the target action as simple as possible and relevant.
Imagine going into a restaurant that has over 100 items on the menu. Reading through all the options, and making a decision is going to take much longer than if the menu only had 20 items to choose from. The same goes for designing interfaces. Hick’s law in your design also applies to how you arrange your information architecture.
3) Fitt’s Law:
Fitt’s Law proposes that the time taken to move to a target area is a function of the size of the target and distance to the target. In Easy wording, a time taken by targeted function (button etc) is due to its size and distance. Thus, the longer the distance and the smaller the target’s size, the longer it takes. The law suggests placing target buttons closer to expected mouse locations and making them larger to decrease interaction time.
4) The Von Restorff Effect:
Also known as “Isolation Effect”, this principle states that distinctive(unique, specific) items are more likely to be remembered than ordinary items. So make things distinctive and emphasize important details by altering light, colour, size, image, font, animation, words and sounds.
5) Mental Models:
Mental Models are formed from a person’s experiences and expectations of the real world. If your product’s design and features don’t match these mental models, then it’s likely your users will initially find the product difficult to use.
6) Serial Position Effect:
It describes how the position of an item in a sequence affects recall accuracy. Placing the most important information first, and last. Place the least important information in the middle can be a highly effective way to get users attention.
7) Aesthetic Usability Effect:
It refers to users’ tendency to perceive attractive products as more usable. People tend to believe that things that look better will work better even if they aren’t actually more effective or efficient.
8) Mere Exposure Effect:
This psychological term shows that people tend to develop a preference for something because they are familiar with them.
9) Cognitive Load:
Cognitive load is the amount of thought you need to exercise in order to complete a specific task.
10) Dual Coding Theory:
The dual-coding theory suggests that memory has two distinct but interconnected systems, one for verbal information and the other for non-verbal information. This makes users easier to remember important things from our website by taking advantage of the dual-coding system. We see this in children’s books all the time. but it helps children learn new words by their associated images.
11) Memory Limitation:
Memory is not always reliable. So while designing, assist users by creating experiences that rely on recognition and not recall. Don’t expect your users to remember things from one page to another. Provide user assistance where possible and an undo option to reduce user frustration when they make mistakes.
12) Psychology of Persuasion:
Influencing others is a science of human behaviour that can be used to help improve the success of your business. Users need to be convinced before taking action on any website. To gain and maintain satisfied users, the Psychology of Persuasion can be one of the most powerful approaches.
Offering something of value upfront to your users will make them feel indebted to you and more to take the desired action. A common example of this is offering free eBooks, blog posts, podcasts or other free content in return for the user’s email address. The principles theory are organized into seven categories, Reciprocity, Consistency, Social Proofing, Authority, Scarcity, Liking, Selective Disregard and change blindness.
i) Reciprocity(exchanging for mutual benefits): The principle states people don’t like being indebted to others. If they are given something, they shall feel obligated to reciprocate on some level. Offering free eBooks, blog posts, podcasts or other free content in return for the user’s email address is a good example of reciprocity in real life.
ii)Authority: The principle of authority says most of us realize we can’t be experts at everything. Our best bet is to rely on the testimony of experts.
iii)Consistency: This law is about the behaviour of people where they want to be consistent in their decision-making process.
iv)Scarcity: The principle of scarcity says that if it’s limited, people want it more. If there are fewer people who will get it is more intriguing people.
v)Liking: You are more likely to agree to requests made by the people you like. People agree and follow others that are similar to them in terms of interests, opinions, personality and other traits.
vi) Selective Disregard and change blindness: If you don’t understand how users interpret what they see, you can’t make designs that will be effective. Users look for what they need as quickly as possible. If they don’t find it immediately on your site, they won’t hesitate to search elsewhere.
vii) Change blindness: occurs when a change in visual representation takes place but the observer does not notice the change. In web design, change blindness can occur as page reload, blinking, page orientation changes, or quick changes in visual details.
13)Psychology Of Colors:
Colour psychology is the science of how colour affects human behaviour. The main idea of the study is that the colours have a great impact on the user’s perception. As a UX designer, you should choose the colours that convey a meaningful and right message.
When choosing colours for your website and branding, you should understand your target audience, purpose and timing to maximize the efficiency of your design and elicit certain emotions associated with your brand. Below we have described this…
Blue: strong, honest, calm, loyal, trustworthy, secure
Red: energy, love, exciting, action, bold, passionate happy, sociable, friendly, affordable, enthusiasm
Yellow: logical, optimistic, forward-thinking, confidence, playful
Pink: feminine, passion, youthful, fun, gentle, nurturing, pairing, love
Purple: imaginative, creative, nostalgic, royalty, spirituality
Green: growth, organic, natural, fresh, stability, positivity, comfort
Brown: earthy, simple, honesty, security, protection, natural
Black: sophistication, luxury, seductive, formal, authority, strength, horror
White: simplicity, purity, light, innocence, goodness
Multi-colour: multi-channel, positive, playful, bold, boundless, diversity
Psychology to UX?
After learning about UX psychology you should bring the following things in your notice from psychology to UX.
1) Analysis before designing
2) Ability to understand people’s emotions, behaviours and motivations
3) Understanding the power of research
4) Knowing how to communicate with others
5) Reading and writing through many practices
6) Being observant
7) Empathizing with people
8) Collaborate with peers in teams
9) Iteration, iteration and more iterations
10) More Research about user’s actions
Design Psychology Tip
1) Make It Easy to Identify
2) Indicate What’s Coming
3) Organize for Lazy Readers
4) Make your design consistent
5) Brings associate image according to dual coding theory
This blog for spreading some of my thoughts and research as a UX psychological designer in the field of UX. I initially wanted to make this blog way shorter than it should be but I think I went overboard, talking about the things that may necessary for beginners and experts. However, I hope you enjoyed reading this blog post and as a newbie, not an experienced UXer. It’s more for me because there are many people around me who come from a psychology background to pursuing a UX career. That was the motivation behind writing this blog.
I hope this article will be helpful for beginners and experts, this article takes you one step ahead in the UI/UX field. If you like it please comments on and share it with your friends. If you need UI/UX services to let us contact. You can check out our projects. Stay in touch with us Linkedin, Facebook, Pinterest, Dribbble, Behance.
Now you know all about UX psychology, you may be interested in the following:
1) What is UX Design? Overview Dimensions and Elements
2) What is the User interface (UI) design? Conventions and Elements
3) User Experience and why it matters? 20 Reasons
4) The Elements of User Experience Design
5) What is the atomic design
6) User Personas