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Psychology for Product Designers

By Wouter de Bres

Introduction

As a psychologist you try to understand human behavior. As a designer you try to do the same. The only difference is that after observing and studying behavior you don’t just write down your findings, you go one step further. Once you understand the behavior of the user you have to come up with a solution to change that behavior with your product. Not an easy task at all. To get a better understanding of user behavior I collect here all articles and videos that might help you design better products.

Wouter de Bres — Designer • Co-founder Gibbon • Psychologist

Added by Wouter de Bres: “Avoid pain.

1 Psychology & Design

Seek comfort, avoid pain: The ultimate minimal UX consideration ?Perhaps this story should start in the primordial soup, at the beginning of evolution. Somewhere near deep underwater volcanic vents, a combination of unknown factors collided resulting in a single celled organism. Fast forward a few million years and this creature's descendants grow fins and teeth, eventually drag themselves onto land,

2 Psychological and Biological Approach to User Interfaces

When designing a web or user interface, designers tend to... Ok, stop. You've probably started to think "Oh, another designers-do-this-designers-do-that" article and started to look for more interesting reading. It's not that kind of an article so stay with me for a few minutes - perhaps it will help you to understand exactly what goes on in the minds of

3 Thinking, Fast and Slow

In 2002, Daniel Kahneman won the Nobel in economic science. What made this unusual is that Kahneman is a psychologist. Specifically, he is one-half of a pair of psychologists who, beginning in the early 1970s, set out to dismantle an entity long dear to economic theorists: that arch-rational decision maker known as Homo economicus. The other half of the dismantling

4 Everything You Need to Know About the Psychology of the Call to Action

Every web marketer knows about the call to action. But how many web marketers really understand the call to action? The answer, I'm afraid, is not very many. The call to action has a fascinating psychology behind it that includes width, color, border size, copy, and cool CSS effects. Yet, at the same time, this psychology goes far beyond those

Added by Wouter de Bres: “Great article with an overview of all the psychological processes have an impact on the user experience.

6 The Psychologist's View of UX Design

The story of the elephant reminds me of the different view of design that people of different backgrounds, education, and experience have. A visual designer approaches UX design from one point of view, the interaction designer from another, and the programmer from yet another.

7 Ten Laws to Design By

As designers we have to be aware of the function of our work and design as much as we care about the aesthetics and visuals. There are a lot of terms for the design of how the site functions and works, from "usability design" to "user experience," what remains constant is that if we want to become better designers we

Added by Wouter de Bres: “A user goes through the different states of motivation before caring for the next need.

8 Hierarchy of UX Needs

What we want in life depends on what situation we are in. Someone living in a war zone without a roof above their head will probably feel no need for a yoga class, beautiful clothes or classical concert. According to psychologist Abraham Harold Maslow all behavior is motivated by a need, and those needs have a strict order and hierarchy,

9 Analyse This: Psychology & Design

Seek comfort, avoid pain: The ultimate minimal UX consideration ?Perhaps this story should start in the primordial soup, at the beginning of evolution. Somewhere near deep underwater volcanic vents, a combination of unknown factors collided resulting in a single celled organism. Fast forward a few million years and this creature's descendants grow fins and teeth, eventually drag themselves onto land,

10 Gestalt psychology

Gestalt psychology or gestaltism ( German: Gestalt "shape, form") is a theory of mind of the Berlin School. Gestalt psychology tries to understand the laws of our ability to acquire and maintain meaningful perceptions in an apparently chaotic world. The central principle of gestalt psychology is that the mind forms a global whole with self-organizing tendencies. This principle maintains that

Added by Wouter de Bres: “Gestalt psychology theories will help you to understand design better.

11 The designer's guide to Gestalt Theory

In the 1920s a group of psychologists in Germany developed a series of theories of visual perception, describing how viewers group together different objects into groups or a single coherent whole when the separate elements are arranged together in a particular way. The prominent founders of the collection of theories and principles are Max Wertheimer, Wolfgang Kohler, and Kurt Koffka.

Added by Wouter de Bres: “In this article Erik explains very well the psychological aspects of UX design.

13 The UX Psychologist

Posted April 7, 2013 (Update: There is a new "The Brain Behind UX" infographic to go along with this post, if you don't have it yet you should click here to download it.) Hello. My name is Erik and I am a UX designer with a degree in psychology. Earlier this week, I saw a blog post that casually presented

Added by Wouter de Bres: “Social pressure and status are powerful things. Learn in this article why.

14 Designing to Reward our Tribal Sides

We are a species that depend on one another. Scientists theorize humans have specially adapted neurons that help us feel what others feel, providing evidence that we survive through our empathy for others. We're meant to be part of a tribe and our brains seek out rewards that make us feel accepted, important, attractive, and included. Many of our institutions

Added by Wouter de Bres: “To create designs that feel intuitive you need to understand how intuition works.

15 What Makes a Design Feel Intuitive?

When I switched careers from psychology to design I never realized that these two fields are very much intertwined. A big part of what designers do is understand human behavior and come up with solutions to change that behavior. Not everyone is a designer, but everyone has an opinion about design, especially if something feels intuitive. The problem is that

16 10 Psychological Principles to Design With

Design is most effective when executed with knowledge of psychology. Knowing how people react to visual stimuli allows the crafting of an effective design, with out psychology you are guessing. Psychology itself is a vastly fluctuating and massive subject, but that doesn't mean you need a PhD to use it in your design. There are simple psychological principles you can

Added by Wouter de Bres: “The kind of leading animations can have a big impact on who the user blames for slow loading screens/pages. When an app is loading & you use a custom loading indicator, users think the app is slow—showing a standard spinny, they blame their phone.

17 The Psychology of Waiting, Loading Animations, and Facebook

Last Friday, I had the pleasure of speaking at Renaissance, an iOS developer conference in San Francisco, about the heightened importance of animation in iOS 7 and how animation can be used to improve usability. One of the points that I discussed briefly was the use of loading animations to indicate status. Before I dig in, let me start by

Added by Wouter de Bres: “Nir Eyal explains how you can change user behavior.

19 How You Can Help Users Change Habits

Nir's Note: This guest post comes from Stephen Wendel, Principal Scientist at HelloWallet and the author of Designing for Behavior Change. Steve's new book is about how to apply behavioral economics to product development. Follow him on twitter @sawendel. It can be extraordinarily difficult to stop habits head-on. Brain damage, surgery, even Alzheimer's disease and dementia sometimes fail to stop

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