UX Design

The Psychology behind User Experience: A Mystery, Hype or a Myth?

ux psychology

UX designers strive to create the best environment for users to interact and use the products and services devised for them. At times, people do not behave and use the product as we like them to; it is difficult to predict human behavior in reality.

The fundamental principle of UX design entails the best experience by the users while accessing apps or websites through any device. We have to understand the psychology of human behavior to crack the mystery behind what the user actually wants.

The principle of psychology helps in understanding the nature of the people which would help in creating a better user experience:

Providing people with what they want to see

A person clicks on a website with a certain expectation. The patience level and concentration span of people are undoubted, very less. They quickly switch pages if they do not get what they want. So give people just what they need. Do not clutter your website or make it extra fancy. Just provide people with the information or functions that they require.

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People do not like to spend extra energy; e.g. provide defaults or a shortcut button for accessing a function which is on a different page of the website. By providing information what they want will help customers in reducing the cognitive load, and enable them to access their destination faster.

Color, images and content: Every aspect is important

Anything that is soothing to our senses and captivating to the eye, leaves a lasting impression in the mind. It is the perfect user experience that compels us to visit the website again and again. Images, fonts, and colors, all influence the brain. For example, a user may use a particular website or application to read the very same news articles they can view on somewhere else because they use the likes of one of these cool fonts, in which they prefer over the other.

The tone of our writing style is crucial. Instructions should be easy to understand and viewers should enjoy spending time on the website.

Reduce barriers

While framing a UX design, we keep the end user in mind. Queries like: What tasks do users perform? Will they be at ease performing the task? Where will they perform the task with the greatest ease? So what is the best way of getting answers to the above questions? It’s simple. Get involved with your customers. Engage with them while performing tasks and take heed of the outcome.

Speaking to them is another way of getting answers to your queries. But research shows that user opinions can be biased and unreliable. Hence prototyping the situation where your users are likely to use the product is the best way to get real reviews. You can then use these reviews to reduce the barriers and create a better user experience for your customers. Users make errors while performing tasks. Look into the areas where the users faltered the most; try and reduce the complexities.

Provide quality information

People always like to gather more and more information. This hunger for more and better information should be tapped by the UX designer. Understand what the users want to know and provide relevant information. They will keep asking for more information till they are stuck at something very enticing and appealing.

Attention is your KEY. You have to retain the user’s attention. So churn out novel and exciting ideas that stand out in the vast sea of information.

Social influence matters

Humans are social beings and get greatly influenced by others’ actions, mannerisms, and behavior. We have been using technology to connect and interact. We pay emphasis on social validation to place importance towards an object. We like to follow and embrace what others like. Good brands feature product reviews, testimonials, and case studies to reinforce their status as the best brands.

People read these social proofs and make decisions regarding the product or service.

‘Rewards’ are rewarding

The user experience will reach another level when users get more than they had expected. Contests, prizes, ‘click’ to win/’post’ to win campaigns, and discounts are great incentives to attract consumers. And of course, humans love things that are available for ‘free’.

Add a free product with an item and people will instantly prefer it over other options. That’s how human psychology works. We love to get pampered and lured by gifts and incentives.

Psychology of Human Mind

If you can influence the mind, the world will be at your doorstep. Understanding the user psychology is the key to creating the best UX design. Humans have a mental frame and they function accordingly. If a person has a certain way of paying bills, he would like the online interface to be in tune with his ease of performing the task.

The average time the user spends on a website should be fulfilling for him. This would in turn, fetch dividends for the website.

The psychology behind UX is indeed as simple as it is complicated. Those who understand the minds of their users can devise the best of user experiences; and for those who don’t, even the most sophisticated designs fail to impress!

About the author

manoj pathania

Manoj Pathania is a designer/front-end developer with 8+ years of experience. Other than front-end coding, he loves to write on design trends. He can be reached at manoj07.pathania@gmail.com

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