If you believe that graphic design skills and knowledge in marketing are the only things you need to create a good UX design, you are dead wrong. To make your website work effectively, you should also know how to use the science of psychology to enhance your design efforts.
In this article, you will find six ideas on how to apply psychology principles to create a compelling UX design and hit your goals. Check them out and learn how to take your website to a brand new level.
Do you know what the term “cognitive fluency” means? By definition, cognitive fluency is the ease with which the human brain processes information to generate an understanding of what that information means.
Cognitive fluency explains why humans prefer to consume information that looks simple and familiar and tend to unconsciously avoid everything that seems to be complicated and hard to understand. And you should take that into account when creating a design for your website.
If you want to attract more visitors to your site, you should strive for simplicity. You shouldn’t use any elements that make your site sophisticated or quirky.
To create a compelling UX design, follow these rules:
- Don’t overload your website with tons of textual content. The fewer words you use to express your idea, the better.
- Don’t use more than three different fonts and more than three different colors on one page. It will add complexity to the look of your website.
- Substitute sophisticated words and phrases with simpler alternatives. Don’t use any professional terms that your target audience may be not familiar with.
- Remove everything unnecessary. If you doubt that the specific element of design adds value to the user, just delete it.
According to the transference principle, people transfer knowledge from past experiences to current or future ones. In UX design, it means that users have specific behavior based on their former interactions with similar websites, tools, and apps.
People expect that the new website they use will have the same functionality, design, and interaction as a similar website they used in the past. There is a logical succession of events that helps users to interact with the new interface based on previous experience.
Well, it doesn’t mean that you should design a website that looks exactly the same as a website that your target audience has been using in the past. But you should understand that if you put an important CTA button in a brand new place, it may confuse users. So it’s highly recommended to keep the same “logic” of the design to smooth the user experience.
Psychological scientists found out that the more times people come across the same piece of information, the more likely they are to believe it. It means that if you present the same idea on your website multiple times, you will have more chances to convince visitors to try your product.
Let’s consider an example to understand how it works.
If you visit a home page of monday.com, you will notice that the word “simple” is used almost in every sentence. And it’s not a mistake or a coincidence. It’s an example of how brands can apply cognitive psychology to trick users.
Screenshot source: https://monday.com/
The company used the same word multiple times consciously. The goal was to convince website visitors that Monday is a simple, easy-to-use project management tool. And the goal was achieved. After staying a few minutes on the page, a website visitor starts believing that this tool is “simple” and that he will face no challenges in using it.
To apply this psychology trick for your website, your UX designer should collaborate with UX writer. If there is no in-house UX-writer in your team, you can find help online:
- Upwork – It’s an international freelance platform where you can hire an expert in UX writing. No matter whether your budget is big or small, here you can find a writer that you can afford.
- Studicus – It’s an online service where you can get UX writing help 24/7. If you are working on an urgent project, this service is a good option to consider.
- Fiverr – It’s another freelance platform where you can find gurus in UX writing and related fields.
- TrustMyPaper and GrabMyEssay – These online writing companies employ the most qualified UX writers. Feel free to outsource their services.
Colors you use in the UX design, helps users to skim the page and analyze the information faster. Users intuitively decide that the bright sections of the page are more important than duller ones. So if you use bright colors to highlight the most important data and duller shades to present less important information – you do everything right.
However, if you choose shades randomly, you should revisit your strategy. To achieve the best results, you should ensure that color psychology works for you.
As you probably know, people have both controlled and automatic cognitive processes. The controlled process is an intentionally-initiated sequence of cognitive activities. For instance, if you decide to read an article, you make a conscious decision to process the text.
The automatic cognitive process is an immediate response of the brain without any conscious decision behind it. Let’s consider a simple example to understand the difference.
Let’s say you’re browsing a website. Suddenly, an ad of a game pops up. If you see an image of the tank, it takes you less than a millisecond to guess that this ad promotes the World of Tanks. In this situation, your brain will finish processing the information before you make a conscious decision to analyze what you see – this is an automatic process that you are not able to control.
You can use this cognitive psychology trick in UX design. Add more visuals to your website to grab users’ attention and to enhance your message.
The left-to-right theory
According to cognitive psychology, the human brain processes information in the following order: from left to right, from top to bottom. If you want to improve user experience, you should design new layouts based on this principle.
Even if this rule seems to be obvious to you, you shouldn’t ignore it. Every time you are working on a new design, you should make sure that you follow this principle.
Screenshot source: https://mailchimp.com/
Deepen your knowledge in psychology, and you will become a better UX designer. It will allow you to stay competitive in the labor market and help you to achieve all you want in your career.
If you strive for UX design excellence, don’t hesitate to use cognitive psychology tricks. It will allow you to improve the quality of your work and will lead your company to success.
BIO: Helene Cue is a content strategist at WowGrade and UX writer at BestEssayEducation. He has a background in psychology, and he enjoys writing articles that help new companies to achieve high results. When he is not working and writing, you can find him at a psychology conference or the Renaissance art exhibition.