Designing of Human Behavior
Many people have an understanding that the job of a designer is purely artistic. That is true but there is much more behind it. Beauty and inspiration are not enough to create proficient and effective designs. That is why designers should posses the knowledge and skills to do their job properly. One of the studies that can be used to elevate designs is human psychology. Here we will dive deep into examining the role that psychology plays in design and what principles from psychology are essential for effective design.
The Role of Psychology in Design
Right now there is a tendency to focus on user-centered design that has made designers reconsider their approach to their work and taking a deep dive into understanding their target audience. In order to do that designers need to bear in mind the psychological principles of human behavior, aspirations, and motivations.
This means that the outcome of the work can be even more positive if the designer applies psychology in the creative process since the since leads to a deeper understanding of the target audience. Psychological knowledge helps create designs that will make users perform the actions they are expected to do.
At first it may seem like adding psychology into the mix in order to improve designs seems complicated. That is why this part of research and analysis is often neglected. Fortunately, a Ph. D. Is psychology is not required to implement these principles.
This psychological theory is almost 100 years old, but still hasn't lost its actuality. Gesalt refers to the idea of a unified whole. In short, this theory explored users' visual perception of elements in relations to each other. In simple, this theory shows how people tend to unify the visual elements into groups. They are:
-Similarity: If a user sees objects that look somewhat similar, they may automatically perceive them as the individual elects of one group. That can be with the mechanisms of shape, color, size, texture, or value. The similarity gives users the sense of coherence between the design elements.
-Continuation: This is the principle in accordance to which the human eye moves naturally from one object to the other. This often happens through the creation of curved lines allowing the eye to flow with the line.
-Closure: This is the technique behind the human eye's tendency to see closed shapes. Closure works where an object is incomplete, but the user perceives it as a full shape by filling in the missing parts.
-Proximity: When objects are placed in close proximity, the eye perceives them as a group rather than seen individually even if they are similar.
-Figure: This principle demonstrates the eye's tendency to separate objects from their background. There are lots of examples of pictures that shows two faces depending on where your eye is focused the object or background.
The Gesalt principles confirm in practice that our brain tends to make risks with us, so designers should consider the fact during the creation process to exclude the possibility of misunderstandings.
Have you ever had that feeling where you instantly fell in love with a product after the first second handling it? Or maybe a product has made you feel sick only after a quick glance? If yes, then you're already experienced what is called a visceral reaction. This comes from the part of our brain that is responsible for our instincts. This means that this part of our brain reacts much faster than our conscious does. Visceral reactions are rooted in our DNA, so they can be easily predicted.
So, how do designers use this knowledge? They aim at creating a positive aesthetic impression with the design. It is not that difficult to guess what looks nice to people and what doesn't if you know your target audience and their needs.
Psychology of Colors
Multiple studies focusing on the influence of colors on the human's mind, behavior, and reactions is referred by the psychology of colors. Today we won't go deep into the aspects of this study since it is complex so deserves to have a specialized post devoted to it. In short, the main idea of these studies is that colors have a great impacts on the users' perception. That's why designers should choose the colors knowingly to make sure their work presents the right message and tune.
Here follows a simple list of colors and their meanings for quick reference:
-Red: The color is associated with passionate, strong, or aggressive feelings. It symbolizes both good and bad feelings including love, confidence, passion, and anger.
-Orange: An energetic and warm color bringing, the feelings of excitement.
-Yellow: The color of happiness. It symbolizes sunlight, joy, and warmth.
-Green: This is the color of nature. It brings calming and renewing feelings. Also, can signify inexperience.
-Blue: It often represents some corporate images. It usually shows calm feelings, but as a cool color it also associates with distance and sadness.
-Purple: Long associates with royalty and wealth since many kings wore purple clothes. It is also the color of mystery and magic.
-Black: The color has a great number of the meanings. It associates with a tragedy and death. It also signifies mystery. It can be both traditional and modern. This will depends on how the color is implemented and which colors go along with it.
-White: This color means purity and innocence, as well as wholeness and clarity.
You may have noticed a product or designs that are united with one theme with common patterns in their design. The reason is the users' psychology. The thing is that people visiting a website or using an application are expecting to see certain things associated with the definite kind of product.
However, not only the colors and pictures matter. Some obvious things are required for functionality. Users become quickly accustomed to things and their absence makes them feel uncomfortable.
Hick's Law states that the more options a user is exposed to, the longer it takes for them to make a decision. This means that the more options you give to users, the more time and energy it takes to make a decisions about their next step of interaction. A possible issue here is that users make the choices, but get unpleasant feelings after using the product, or in the worst case, they may not want to take a significant effort and just leave.
That's why designers are recommending to keep options to a minimum. Removing unnecessary choices, make the product more usable and effective.
Psychology is an effective tool in design which makes the creative process more productive while the result is going to be more user-centered. Here are five useful principles but they are only the tip of the iceberg because there is much more to learn on the topic