The Psychology Behind User Experience Design

The Psychology Behind User Experience Design

User experience design relies heavily on psychological principles to create intuitive interfaces that are simple and user-friendly, such as cognitive psychology and Gestalt principles.

For instance, the Von Restorff effect asserts that any button not designed like one will likely go ignored; similarly, any element which does not clearly call for action could fall under this principle.

Fitts’ law

Fitts’ Law is a theory that predicts how long it will take for users to move a cursor or finger to their target location, often used in user interface design and computer ergonomics, as it represents the speed-accuracy tradeoff.

Based on this model, UX designers should keep this in mind when designing digital products for users. Smaller and further away targets require longer to reach. It is crucial that designers account for this when crafting user experiences for digital products.

Example: large buttons are easier to click and can help minimize interaction costs, while it is important that similar buttons be clustered together so users can find them easily. A website’s login button should ideally be placed close to where users expect it – this reduces movement while increasing chances that people click the button; known as the “prime pixel” technique and very effective in optimizing conversion rates.

The Von Restorff effect

The Von Restorff effect is a psychological principle which states that when presented with multiple similar objects or stimuli, those that stand out will be remembered more easily than the rest. This phenomenon explains why some brands create distinctive packaging or unorthodox marketing campaigns in an effort to stand out and increase customer recall of their product.

Make your interfaces more memorable by employing contrast to highlight important elements, be they color, size, 3D printing techniques or movement characteristics. However, be wary not to overwhelm users with too many design features or they could become confused and abandon the interface altogether.

Cognitive psychology plays an integral part of UX design, and understanding user behavior is crucial in crafting effective user interfaces. Understanding Gestalt principles enables UX designers to organize information so it fits better with user brainwaves while also creating intuitive navigation structures and avoiding too much data display.

Intrinsic cognitive load

Intrinsic cognitive load refers to the amount of mental resources necessary for learning something new and storing it long term memory. This aspect of learning cannot be altered regardless of its presentation; when studying calculus for instance, you still require problem-solving resources in your brain to solve derivatives; however if you understand what’s being taught beforehand then solving derivatives should become simpler.

Experimenters can decrease intrinsic cognitive load by breaking complex tasks into simpler components and carefully sequencing their completion. They can also reduce extraneous cognitive load by eliminating unnecessary elements, keeping related content close at hand, and offering worked examples of new concepts when possible to help decrease extraneous load. Finally, experimenters can reduce germane cognitive load by providing worked examples for new concepts as well as streamlining content where applicable.

Follow popular scanning patterns such as the F-pattern to lower cognitive load. This ensures users have enough resources available to process all the information on your site or app.

Extraneous cognitive load

People have only so much processing capacity at any one time; therefore, cognitive load should be managed so as to allow people to learn and retain information presented them – this is particularly relevant when discussing digital products.

One way to decrease cognitive load is by providing information in a clear and concise fashion, and another way is using mnemonics to help users remember and process information quickly; an acronym such as “BODMAS” could assist students in memorizing the order of operations in math.

In this study, participants read three articles with different visual content before answering questions regarding what they remembered or recognized from each. Attractivity of each article was then evaluated using eye tracking technology; using this data the researchers discovered that perceived usability and cognitive absorption closely corresponded with cognitive load and germane load generated.

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