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29 Jun, 2021

Psychology and UX: How is psychology used in UX?

Alina Wheeler once said ‘a design is intelligence made visible.’ What did she mean, exactly? Did she mean that a design is related to psychology? Is psychology important for user experience? If yes, then what is cognitive psychology in UX design? And what exactly is psychology in UX design?

We know that every logo tells a story. Pringles has a story, McDonald’s has a tale, Chanel has a history too. Even if you do not belong to the branding world you know that a brand’s identity must have a story and there is always some intelligence involved in creating that story.

Psychology in UX design

Okay, do you want to hear a story? Do you know why Coca-Cola’s logo is red? Should I tell you the real reason?

Once upon a time, many many years ago, coca-cola was sold in barrels in America. Unluckily alcohol was traded similarly. But, booze was taxed at that time, soda was not. So, the coca-cola company started painting its barrels in red to help buyers and tax officials identify them from liquor barrels. So, there is a story here.

Similarly, when talking about design, you do not just design a product, you basically think from a user’s perspective. This is why you are always asked to put yourself in your customers’ shoes to learn their nature, strengths, flaws, fears, and aptitude. Hence, psychology in UX design exists.

How is psychology used in UX?

Cognitive Psychology in UX Design

I asked my fellow designers a few questions and their answers were fascinating. I interviewed Sam, Zoya, and Gabriel why did they choose design? Why do they find this job fun and flexible? The motive was to know what is so cool about making things look pretty.

Here is what they said:

Sam: “I call it ‘working out with brain.’ Jokes apart, it’s a backbreaking profession. I spend hours thinking about how a problem can be solved with my design.

By working as a designer I have become more solution-oriented.”

Zoya: “As far as learning is involved in something, count me in!”

Gabriel: Gabriel questioned me instead. He asked if “I feel like doing the same thing over and over again?”

Well, to some extent it’s true. But, not really! I write on a new topic daily okay! But, I understood his point. Doing something new every day!

So, it’s a new day every day for him!

Getting to Know the Real Definition of User Experience

How do you explain user experience? To understand psychology in UX design, you must understand the psyche of UX. If you simply write ‘user experience definition’ on the Google search bar. The below-shown definition pops up:

Getting to Know the Real Definition of User Experience

The Nielsen Norman Group says that ‘user experience encompasses all aspects of the end-users interaction with the company, its services, and its products.’

If we dig deeper into this definition, especially where it says ‘all aspects of the end-users interaction’ it tells a story here. The story goes like this:

An application is about to be designed, an XYZ designer is assigned a job i.e. to make wireframes. Of course, there is no particular format for wireframing. So, how can he design one? Let me show you how a wireframe looks, below. It’s YouTube’s.

Youtube Wireframes

You use YouTube daily so you know how it works. Suppose this is the application that is being designed. For the designer to design a wireframe like above, he has to come up with a plan, a story to be precise. He must think on behalf of the users, how they would behave if they used it. How can they find a video, upload it, comment under their favorite videos, how to like or unlike, add a playlist, where the ads would go, etc. Unless the designer uses the user’s psychology in UX design, he cannot design a basic wireframe.

7 Essential Psychology Phenomenon

7 Essential Psychology Phenomenon

Psychologists have long been researching and conducting experiments to learn psychology in UX. So, let’s take a look at their findings because there is some psychological phenomenon that you must understand. Those are listed below:

  1. Pavlovian Conditioning aka classic conditioning
  2. Placebo Effect
  3. Chameleon Effect
  4. Aesthetic-usability Effect
  5. Von Restorff Effect
  6. Serial Position Effect
  7. Mere Exposure Effect

How about we discuss the above phenomenon in detail with you, but, in our next series of cognitive psychology in UX design? How do you suggest?

But, what you should bear in mind is that UX is all about understanding your users, finding out their wants, recognizing their needs, learning their expectations, and anticipating them.

Being a good UX designer, it’s your job to design a product mockup in a way that properly ushers a customer to the result they expected. That’s called creating a user experience using cognitive psychology in UX design.

So, can you now make a good UX design? Or do you need help? Reach out to us for design-related problems. If you need help with Mockups, contact our mockup centre.

Before you leave this page, do not forget to get back to us to read the second series of psychology in UX.

Move your concept one step closer.