The Psychologist’s View of UX Design

by Andy Polaine on March 5, 2012

in Links

The Psychologist’s View of UX Designis a useful article from Dr. Susan Weinschenk, author of Neuro Web Design: What makes them click?. It really applies to all design, not just UX. Most of it is pretty obvious, actually, but much of it gets forgotten.

I came across it on Johnny Holland who summarize it well:

  1. People Don’t Want to Work: they will do the least amount of work possible to get a task done;
  2. People Have Limitations: they can only look at so much information or read so much text on a screen without losing interest;
  3. People Make Mistakes: Assume people will make mistakes. Anticipate what they will be and try to prevent them;
  4. Human Memory Is Complicated: People reconstruct memories, which means they are always changing;
  5. People are Social: they will always try to use technology to be social. This has been true for thousands of years;
  6. Attention: Grabbing and holding onto attention, and not distracting someone when they are paying attention to something, are key concerns;
  7. People Crave Information: Learning is dopaminergic—we can’t help but want more information;
  8. Unconscious Processing: Most mental processing occurs unconsciously;
  9. People Create Mental Models: People always have a mental model in place about a certain object or task (paying my bills, reading a book, using a remote control);
  10. Use Visual Systems to help people.

The book is on Amazon here: book (Amazon affiliate link if you want to give me a kickback – non-affiliate link here). It gets mixed reviews, so your mileage may vary, but it may be a useful addition to your library if you need some arguments to persuade clients or colleagues of the value of what you are doing.

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