Although published in 2010, I came across The Psychologist’s View of UX Design only this past week. Susan Weinschenk is a psychologist and neuroscientist who uses her knowledge of the brain to create the most intuitive, efficient user experience designs possible. User experience design is, as one might expect, concerned with the user’s experience and designing interactions which improve the user’s experience with the product. It might not sound super exciting, but it is a lovely oasis for those of us with intersecting interests in psychology and tech.
In the article, Dr. Weinschenk breaks down neuropsychological principles – such as the brain’s penchant for taking short cuts, the complexity of human memory, and unconscious processing – and applies them to UX design principles. For example:
5. People are Social
People will always try to use technology to be social. This has been true for thousands of years.
People look to others for guidance on what they should do, especially if they are uncertain. This is called social validation. This is why, for example, ratings and reviews are so powerful on websites.
One of the things I love most about this article is it is written in a way which embodies the message. In the section dedicated to attention, Dr. Weinschenk talks about how using the different sense to grab attention via bright colors, bold fonts, and sounds and within the article itself she consistently uses large, bold fonts and bright colors to draw attention to the most important part of an extensive bulleted list (bulleted lists, of course, are easier to process than walls of text).