4 psychology-based design hacks you need to know

What does Psychology have to do with UX Design?

Is this the first thought that crossed your mind when you read this article’s title?

If so, believe us – it has to do more than you think!


How are UX Design and Psychology connected?

UX design and psychology have a long-term relationship, believe it or not! 

Think about it this way:

People crave psychological needs before any other basic need. The motivation to fulfill other needs comes right after meeting psychological needs. 

In terms of UX, for a UX design to work, it must meet the primary need of working functionality. It should provide a reliable and consistent experience to motivate users to continue using the product or service.

Here is a quote that says it all:


“A designer who doesn’t understand human psychology will be no more successful than an architect who doesn’t understand physics.“  – Joe Leech, UX Consultant & Author of book Psychology of Designers



4 psychological hacks to help you become an excellent UX designer


1. It must be functional because it looks great

People who don’t have a technical understanding of a particular technological niche will judge the product/service based on the first impression. 

Sometimes a great picture, a cute animation, or your favorite color all over the website can be a trigger to buy the offered solution. This phenomenon is called the Aesthetic Usability Effect. 

But, wait. There is a trick here: If the product/service doesn’t fit the user’s needs, they usually blame the brand for misuse. 

In fact, the users were the ones who overlooked the lack of lasting functionality.


2. Animations to provide users a sense of assurance

What was the first thought that came to your mind the last time you saw a loading screen stuck at 99%? I should just wait a while longer, right? But this wait seemed more prolonged than expected. 

What really happens here is that you, as a user, don’t have control over the pace at which your page or screen loads. 

Designers add this animation to let you believe that a page refresh is happening and the screen will load in almost no time. In most cases, they trick you to wait a little longer.


3. Remembering the first and last part 

People tend to remember only the first and the last part of a series they just saw or read. It means that they often neglect the middle part. 

Blame it on the limited human memory that can store not that much information simultaneously.

Designers can use this effect to position items in a sequence for accurate recall. In other words, they manipulate the serial-position effect to create a better user experience. 

You can notice the use of this effect in popular brands websites like Nike and Apple.


4. The paradox of choice

When you have many items to choose from, you would probably take some time to do your picking. So many choices can block your thinking process. You might even decide to give up on your search.

Users don’t want to be bombarded with many choices and options. The reason is simple: They will need more time to interpret and work their mind – which they don’t want to do.

Smart UX designers use techniques like categorization and simplification of complexity to help users pick something faster.


Want to learn more?

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