Psychology and UX/UI are tightly connected. When designing User Interface and User Experience, you try to deliver the product that will be the most natural and intuitive to use for a human brain. Therefore, the understanding of how people perceive the design, UX/UI design agencies can create more effective applications that help users achieve their goals. In this post, we are going to give you some examples of human psychology patterns that will help you develop better UI. Enjoy!

If you are a designer who wants to do better quality work or a business owner that is genuinely interested in how professionals make captivating digital products check out this interesting fact about the human brain.

Restorff Effect

The essence of the Restorff effect is that when there are several similar objects, we will more likely remember the different ones. But, how is this used in the practical design?

When you add CTA (calls to action) to the interface of your application or website, make sure users can easily distinguish them from the rest of the elements! We want people to get it on a subconscious level that the CTA button is simple from a simple function button. They must understand what CTA does and keep this button in mind when using the application/site.

This principle is also to keep in mind when you design games, especially mobile games. The screen is tiny, so the most important elements like action buttons and hidden objects need to be differentiated from the rest, for example, using glow effect. It’s very annoying when, in an action game, the user cannot find a barely visible vital element on the screen.

Edge Effect

From a series, we remember the first and last thing best. If you have ever tried to learn a list of words from a foreign language, you know that the only words that stay in your memory after some time are the first and the last ones.

That is why many applications today use the so-called “burger menu”. They place navigation buttons to different essential sections of the app or website on the left or right upper corner of the screen and put the most important options at the beginning of the end of the panel. Whatever app you open, you will see that the “Home” and “Profile” options are usually at the beginning of the list, and “Contacts” at the end. This way, they are also easy to find.

Cognitive Load

In layman terms, cognitive load is the number of working memory resources needed to solve a particular problem or perceive a specific concept. As you can probably guess, it’s not a good idea to overcomplicate the process of app navigation for the user, thereby increasing their cognitive load.

There are three types of cognitive load:

  • Internal cognitive load
  • External cognitive load
  • Relevant cognitive load

All three of them can apply to UX design.

imac, apple, ipad

Extraneous Cognitive Load

Presentation of information to learners can provoke an extraneous cognitive load if it is not logical or intuitive. In a class, it can be attributed to the design of the instructional materials. When we are talking about a digital product, the microcopy that instructs the user about their actions should appear in the right places, not beforehand or when it’s too late.

Intrinsic Cognitive Load

Internal cognitive load often arises when mastering a new tool or skill. Texts and explanations in the interface help users cope with this type of charge. To help the user familiarize themselves with the application, add short, clear, and understandable instructions to the empty screen. For example, you can write “Perform a clicking movement on a rounded rectangle in the north-west corner of the screen” or “Click the Subscribe button”. Which one seems better to you?

Germane Cognitive Load

Germane cognitive load describes an effort needed to process information and form and identify patterns between objects and data while learning. It’s easier for users to learn new information if they can integrate it into familiar patterns – that’s why UX/UI has guidelines and use the same trends in design across different countries and industries. For example, if you open an app, regardless of what it is, if they use an icon of a house, it usually means the “Home” page.

Hick’s Law

Hick’s law is one of the most famous design principles. It states the time it takes you to make a decision depends on the number of options. If you offer the user more options, the decision time will increase logarithmically.

You need to keep this law in mind when making e-commerce solutions. The longer it takes the user to choose, the more likely it is that they are not buying anything. So, if the shop has various options for delivery like “Deliver today for $15”, “Deliver in 2 days for $10”, “Free delivery” (if the buyer exceeds a specific limit), “Pick up at the store”, do not place all of these options near the “Buy” button on the product page. It just looks scary and confusing. Better to set these options in the cart with a short description of each possibility.

These are the basic human psychology patterns that help you to improve applications and websites. However, there are others. If you would like to learn more, you can check out the Mental notes app that contains lots of useful information about UX/UI.

Law of Proximity

The law of proximity goes as follows: we perceive objects that are located nearby near one another as a group. The brain connects nearby objects, separating them from those that are on the sidelines. It is the structure of the human mind – we always strive to organize and group the purposes of the world around us. It means that we should arrange the objects in an interface connecting similar ones inhomogeneous groups where it’s easy to find them. For example, buttons like “Buy,” “Put in the cart,” “Mark as favorite” need to be placed together, not making the user look for them all over the place.

All in All

As you can see, UX/UI design has a lot to do with psychology. Learning about some tricks that our brain plays on us can help you be more prepared when designing professional solutions for your clients.