Basic Principles of User Psychology for UX Design.





Did you know that UX designing is as much about the visuals and ease of navigation as it is about eliciting a response from the users using psychology? Have you ever wondered how designers make use of this psychology in designing the user interface? Well, let’s break it down for you!

When a new project arrives with the UX product design team, the emotions and underlying ideas of the project are the first things the designers understand and connect with. It is only then that the designers can optimize the suitable psychological principles into their designs. A good UX designer possesses the ability of diving into users' mindsets or predictability. Of course, understanding human behavior is a tricky business, but it is also an inherent and integral part of developing user-centric designs to leverage the advantages.


Thankfully, there are some fundamental psychological principles that can guide UX designers to comprehend and make use of user psychology. These principles refine user interaction and assertiveness of digital products or simply putting - these principles help designers make their designs more attractive and appealing to the users. Read on to find out what they are!


A UX designer needs to understand the psychological principles that govern human behavior to smartly elicit the expected user response. This is an integral part of digital product designing.



Break it down for the users.


Breaking down the selection part for the users is an art for a UX designer. Most designers use the famous Hick’s law to limit the choices for their users; a straightforward technique to cut the interaction cost, cut short the extensive information, and organize it to look more presentable! For instance, the Zomato app provides users with assembled categories. On the home page itself, it gives users the liberty to select from different categories: what type of restaurant they are looking for, i.e., for dining, placing online orders, etc. followed by the food category and so on.


A designer needs to break down complex parts to make surfing easy for the users. Psychological principles like Hick’s law not only cut the interaction cost but also simplify the user experience.




UX shouldn’t be a mental challenge


Imagine opening a website and getting flooded with the information below each feature and understanding it to proceed further. That’s right! A user will either close it or switch to some other platform. Overwhelming the users by offering them innumerable choices makes users spend more thinking time, ultimately making them switch to some other platform.


A person’s working memory uses a certain amount of mental effort to finish up a task. This total amount of effort which a user employs to achieve the goal is called the cognitive load. Intense right? But right graphics save designers from displeasing users with cognitive load and visual clusters on the screen.


Everyone witnesses fraudulent websites that use bright stuffed visuals; which is even a way to recognize a cheap UX. Graphics play a significant role in digital product designing and amplifying user visibility; thus, designers should leverage their advantages. Graphics and icons are the guiding lights for users and provide seamless navigation, only when they are used appropriately.


A good UX designer always tries to limit the cognitive load. A decent digital product manages to avoid visual traffic on the screen and uses only relevant and meaningful graphics.



Keep it familiar.


Everyone recognizes the visuals of Facebook. The trend of “Like and share” is almost unstoppable on social media. The reason is simple: familiarity! Familiarity refers to a kind of flow in UX design using an easy-to-recall format, where the users know how to “search,” “chat,” “log out,” etc., to formulate an interactive design. Familiar patterns and basic structures in a digital product design help designers in making platforms more user-engaging.


The psychological principle of “Serial Position Effect” can help create patterns and familiarity in digital products. Humans have a propensity to retain most clearly the first and last items they see in a series. To optimize this principle, limit the elements and features on the screen and grow layouts using basic patterns. Doing this will assemble the main elements that will ultimately curb screen clusters.


The element of familiarity in digital products makes the design appear user-friendly. Using the psychological principle of the serial position effect can assist UX designers in presenting an intimate and perceptible online platform.



Make everything fall into place.


The first impression is the last impression. True that! This dramatic phrase actually plays a vital role in user psychology. Below given are some simple psychological principles that help create a flattering design for the first glance of the users-



  • Visceral Reactions make users elicit fast reactions only because the design seems appealing and leave users in awe. When users decide that the design is beautiful, just in a fraction of a second, it stays in mind for a long time.

  • The Von Restroff effect of user psychology also emphasizes the importance of appearance in design. It explains that the highlight feature on the screen needs a distinctive design to become catchy for the users’ eyes.

  • Fitts law is a psychological principle that constructs flow in the design. It explains how placing the targets at an appropriate distance can make the design look organized and support designers to predict user navigation time.

Digital product designers can use different colors, icons, padding, shaping, etc., to distinguish their unique features—this is one reason why logos and colors add a sprinkle of distinctiveness in UX design. The recent controversy of the Myntra app’s logo is a fine example to understand what role logos and colors play in UX design. Hence, the arrangement of the icons, symbols, their timing, distinctiveness, and patterns in the UX product can greatly impact user psychology.


Along with creating an alluring and easy to navigate website, the principles like Von Restroff effect and Fitts law stimulate a seamless flow in the design; they may even make the design appear unique and leave an impression of design organization.




Keep them happy even from a distance.


The human mind tends to get more skeptical when something is hidden or not revealed. The same psychological principle applies to digital product design as well. Users expect freedom, openness, and transparency from online platforms. A digital platform slightly loses its appeal when it introspects the users making them sign up first and then surf. Beauty apps like Nykaa, Cult Beauty, and others offer a sneak peek into their website and display their products. It is only when they wish to place an order that they ask them to fill in their details.


To integrate this principle, digital product designers should first observe the users and study how users engage on a platform rather than nudging them about their preferences now and then. UX designers use wireframes, prototypes, and iterations to optimize features they add or subtract to comprehend user expectations better.


Restrictive design can make the design lose its appeal. Designers can observe user behavior via wireframes and prototypes to create transparency and learn tricks to attract more users.


Developing an intuitive UX creates an interactive and user-friendly digital platform. To pull this off, every UX designer should implement the obvious user psychological principle of keeping the design simple and straightforward. Although most designers follow some user psychology basics, wouldn’t it be wise and beneficial if UX designers apply all of the above-given principles in a concerted manner? It absolutely would be!


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