A lot of people still thinking of design as a purely artistic job with high imagination. The sense of beauty and inspiration is not enough to create a proficient design alone. Because of that, great designers should at least understand certain knowledge and skills to improve their design. One of the basic studies helping designers to do their job is psychology. The final result of the work can be better if a designer applies psychology in the creative process. Psychology helps to create the design for the audience’s action. Based on Tubik Studio, we’ve defined six effective psychological principles often applied in the design process.
1. Gestalt Principles
Gestalt principles state that the human brain will attempt to simplify and organize complex images or designs. That design consist of many elements. Our brains can see structure and patterns in order for us to better understand the environment that we’re living in.
There are six individual principles in Gestalt theory: similarity, continuation, closure, proximity, figure/ground, and symmetry & order (also called prägnanz). There are also some additional, newer principles sometimes associated with gestalt, such as common fate.
2. Visceral Reactions
A visceral reaction is an almost instinctive, guttural wave of emotions to an experience or stimulus. Another way to look at it is when our emotions manifest into something physical. When our emotions become something, we can feel in our skin and flesh and bones and gut.
How do designers use this knowledge? They aim at creating a positive aesthetic impression with the design. It’s not that difficult to guess what looks nice to everything. So because of that, the tendency of using high-resolution beautiful photos or colorful pictures on landing pages, websites, or any other web and mobile products is not accidental.
3. Psychology of Colors
Psychology of colors is a science studying the influence of colors on the human mind, behavior, and reactions. In a few words, the main idea of the study is that the colors have a great impact on the users’ perception. Because of that, designers should choose the colors knowingly to make sure their work presents the right message and tune.
4. Recognition Patterns
You may have noticed that websites or applications united with one theme usually have 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 a definite kind of product.
However, not only the colors and pictures matter. Some obvious and common things such as a list of blog posts on the front page of a blog or the filters on the e-commerce website are also important for successful navigation. Users become accustomed to things quickly and their absence makes them feel uncomfortable.
5. Scanning Patterns.
According to different studies, there are several popular scanning patterns for web pages, among which “F” and “Z” patterns. F-pattern is referred to as the most common eye-scanning pattern, especially for web pages with a big amount of content. It usually occurs on text-heavy pages like blogs, news platforms, thematic editorials, etc.
Z-pattern is applied to pages that are not so heavily concentrated on the copy. This is a typical model of scanning for landing pages or websites not loaded with copy and not requiring scrolling down the page, which means that all the core data is visible in the pre-scroll area. Because of these patterns, designers can place the elements in an effective way for users’ perception and help them perform expected actions.
6. Hick’s Law
Hick’s Law (or the Hick-Hyman Law) is named after a British and an American psychologist team of William Edmund Hick and Ray Hyman. In 1952, this pair set out to examine the relationship between the number of stimuli present and an individual’s reaction time to any given stimulus.
This law states that the more options users are exposed to, the longer it takes them to make a decision. This means that the more options you give to users, be it products to choose from or pictures to look at, the more time and energy it takes to make a decision about the next step of the interaction. The possible result here is that the users make the choices but get unpleasant feelings after using the product, or in the worst case, they may not want to take such a significant effort and just leave. Because of that, designers are recommended to keep any options including buttons, pictures, pages to a minimum. Removing unnecessary choices, make the usability of the product more effective.
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