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4 Principles of Psychology in UX | Yellowchalk Design


1. Hick’s Law

Hick’s law states that the time it takes for users to make a decision increases as the number of choices offered increase.

To apply Hick’s Law to your design, just have to keep in mind that users arrive at your website with a specific goal. Remove unnecessary links, images, text and buttons from pages to allow users to find what they need and do what they want as quickly as possible, without any distractions.

Hick’s law also applies to how you arrange your information architecture. Instead of providing all the navigation options immediately, give users broad categories to start off with, then break them down into further subcategories for easier navigation.

2. Jakob’s Law

As a new designer, it’s tempting to design a completely novel interface. However, an innovative approach makes for some pretty frustrated users.

Jakob Nielsen, principal of the Nielsen Norman Group, is the father of Jakob’s Law. He states that users favor familiar experiences. They tend to prefer sites similar to those they’ve spent time on before. Because they already know how they work, they will require less effort to understand and will therefore feel familiar and comfy.

To apply Jakob’s law, study the big names in the industry you’re designing for by conducting competitor analysis and focus on how your competitors design for similar needs, instead of imitating popular sites

Aligning with popular structures will help us prove user expectations right and create familiar experiences.

3. Cognitive Load

Cognitive load refers to the total amount of mental effort being used in a person’s working memory. In UX, cognitive load refers to the amount of mental resources that is required to operate a user interface. Individuals may feel overwhelmed, confused, and ultimately abandon the task or site if they feel overwhelmed.

To decrease cognitive load, the text needs to be concise, simple, and clearly stated. Using ambiguous language will make the experience confusing and difficult to navigate. It should be easy and effortless for users to follow the instructions or perform a task.

You can’t eliminate cognitive load completely, and you wouldn’t want to either because users come to a website in order to get information. You can, however, decrease or try to eliminate cognitive load caused by multiple font sizes and weights, if they don’t each convey different meanings.

4. The Psychology of Colors in UX Design

You might think it is simplistic to say that the actions users take can be influenced by a change in the color scheme. Well, think again.Colors are a powerful tool that can be used to signal attention, influence moods, and even trigger psychological reactions.

In spite of the fact that color is usually viewed as only an aesthetic decision of the designers, it is a core element of the emotional and cognitive impact of a design on users. There is a reason why all the sale signs are red. Red is the color of action, it stimulates the body and incites urgency. Red also encourages appetite, which is why so many fast-food chains are using it.

There are many ways to employ a color scheme for your business. The easiest one to use is the 60–30–10 Rule. The 60–30–10 rule is a theory for making color palettes that are aesthetically pleasing and adequately balanced. The purpose is that one color, usually something rather neutral makes up 60% of the palette. An additional supplementary color makes up 30% of the palette. And then a third color is used as an accent for the rest 10% of the design.

UX design has always had its roots in cognitive and behavioral psychology. It is, afterall, a blueprint of a human being’s interaction with a machine. No matter how smart and advanced machines get, the user will always operate it with the human mind. So at the crux of it, there is no escaping the role your psychology in your UX designs!