The Psychologist’s View of UX Design

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.

If… Behavioural Heuristics and Design

If… Behavioural Heuristics and Design is a excellent, long, but well-explained post by Dan Lockton on behavioural heuristics. Important for designers, because, he argues:

There are lots of models of human behaviour, and as the design of systems becomes increasingly focused on people, modelling behaviour has become more important for designers. As Jon Froehlich, Leah Findlater and James Landay note, “even if it is not explicitly recognised, designers [necessarily] approach a problem with some model of human behaviour”, and, of course, “all models are wrong, but some are useful”.

I always like Dan’s in-depth views on these subjects and how he relates them back to design so well. He also details a workshop he did at Interaction 12 Instapaper it up and read it at your leisure. There are lots of links to follow in there too.