Share
17 Oct 2019

The Psychology of UX Design, By Elmas Okić

by
Design

 

THE HUMAN BRAIN IS LAZY, biased, and prone to shortcuts. Many processes in the brain occur automatically and without the involvement of our consciousness. Even several seconds before we consciously make a decision, its outcome can be predicted from unconscious activity in the brain. This behaviour evolved to prevent our mind from overloading with simple, routine tasks, but it does present designers today with many challenges.

You may like to think users will read the content on your website, take the time to navigate and explore, fill out any form you throw at them or click your call-to-action buttons. In practice, however, you’ll find often the opposite to be the case. According to Dr. Fogg’s Behavior Model, behavior happens when a person is motivated, has the ability to partake in the behaviour, and is presented with a trigger. In addition, motivation and ability can be traded off (i.e., if motivation is very high, ability can be low and vice-versa). In practice, we observe users skimming content and pausing to read-only if triggered by certain words or headlines, as well as users filling out difficult forms only when they highly desire its outcome.

 

Emotions at the center

Emotions are at the core of a good user experience, and for very good reason. Positive experiences kindle our curiosity, and negative ones protect us from repeating mistakes. Humans form emotional connections with objects on three levels: the visceral, behavioural, and reflective levels. Fear plays an essential role in our decision making, most often by preventing decisions during the buying process. People buy when they feel confident of their decision. Rather than just making logical arguments to persuade users, you are more likely to succeed by appealing to their emotional side and reassuring them. Users can be sceptical about the quality of your product, service, checkout security, etc.

 

Why should you care?

Companies like Google, Facebook, Apple, etc. invest a lot of resources for researching and optimizing their products to reduce complexity, cognitive load, etc. A great example of subconscious design is how Facebook loads and displays the notification badges way before any other content. A bright red badge catches user’s attention instantly and impacts their behaviour before they even have time to think about it. Times are changing as well. We are increasingly mobile, busy, and less patient. A distracted user on a mobile phone in a busy street means less attention and more mistakes. Reducing cognitive friction and forgiving mistakes (e.g. in typing) becomes more important than ever.

 

behavior-model-image

What can you do?

All this talk about psychology and neuroscience sounds fancy, but it’s not hard for you to benefit from it. A lot of research by experts has already been done and many design patterns emerged and established themselves in the industry. A good User Experience Designer will be familiar with best practices and know-how and which ones to utilize. For larger companies, UX Researchers can dive deep into research and testing specifically for their niche. Focus on simplicity. In a study by Google conducted in August of 2012, researchers found that not only will users judge websites in less than the blink of an eye, but also that “visually complex” websites are consistently rated as less beautiful than their simpler counterparts. Another tip is to avoid showing all information up front. Too much information can quickly overwhelm users. Hyper-focus your content and conversion funnels to reduce cognitive friction. This is especially useful on mobile devices, where screen space is limited.

 

More information you can find here (page 33).


  • 20 Jan 2020
    Why should every designer prototype and which prototyping tools to use
    Design

      A popular phrase by IDEO company says that “If a picture is worth a thousand words, a prototype is worth 1000 meetings.” Designers are bound to design websites, web applications and all kinds of different products based on clients’ requests. Since those requests are not often clear and solutions are not always obvious, this is then followed by […]

    Read more
  • 14 Jan 2020
    Website Redesign for Krevatin Tourist Agency from Novigrad, Istria
    Design

      Did you know that a poorly designed website can hurt conversion and sales? An unattractive website deserves a website redesign in order to prevent people from leaving your site. No matter what your company size or industry is, it is important to approach redesign strategically. Explore what is not working, define your priorities, expectations, and goals. Our […]

    Read more
  • 16 Dec 2019
    20 Simple Ways to Improve Your Contact Form and Consequently Generate Sales Leads
    Design

      Web forms are “the last and most important mile in a long journey.” (Luke Wroblewski).  Despite their significance, web forms are often poorly though out so “closing the deal” via them is something that happens on rare occasions. Designing a user-friendly contact form An average contact form converts only 1% of visitors which means that […]

    Read more
  • 10 Dec 2019
    Website with a Booking System for Novalja Turist Agency
    Design

    About the project For more than an entire year, Novalja Turist agency hadn’t had one direct booking through their website. They continued to pay commissions to other online travel portals. However, a few days after the launch of the new website built by Hexis, the agency collected four direct bookings. Thier website is not just […]

    Read more