[W1] How human psychology creates design guidelines and structural principles
UX 👋
Psychology 🧠
Published Date
Oct 1, 2019

Things I discovered this week, I never realized before

As I am already familiar with methologies in the field of (Online) Marketing, which are used in favor of improving the Conversion Rate (CRO), I figured out the marketing and design methods share similarities in the basic principles they are built upon.

Design Guidelines and structural principles - what I learned this week

1. We percieve, what we expect

When alleged dependable patterns are destroyed by inconsistency, users can get irritated.

2. Our vision is optimized, to see structure

The "Gestalt" principles define, how humans are used to see structured elements. I realized, that these principles are applied almost everywhere but as a design-experienced person it just felt just natural to me. So it is good to know, there are frameworks just as the Gestalt-principles which act as actionable guidelines for designers.

3. We seek and use visual structure

Structure enhances people to scan long numbers and derive needed information even faster.

Inspirational content

To deepen my knowledge about the "Gestalt"-principles, I watched the following YouTube video from HubSpot, in which the principles are visualed in a vivid way:
As I am not used to be a person who builds up his work based on theories written in literature, I wanted to hear the voice of someone who has experience in this field and might be able to show some case studies. Joe
Leech worked for clients like Marriot and eBay and gives insights about how important structure is:

How I might use this content in Experience Design

In his talk, Joe Leech adresses many topics of Psychology of Design.
  • Choice: People want choice - BUT according to the Hick's law, the offering of choice always carrys the risk of overwhelming the user with a high amount of cognitive load. Example: 6 vs. 30 glasses of jam.
  • Design Axioms: Users get used to design patterns and over time accept them. Example: The placing of website - elements like login, basket in the upper right corner and search in the upper center. Example 2: The all-known hamburger menu-element is not an accepted design axiom - as a case study of Marriott Hotels showed.
These aspects reflect about the structural design of services in general and how important a sound and solid structure can be in terms of user behaviours.

My TOP 3 design rules of the week

  1. Stay consitent - Your user will thank you for spotting and recognizing relevant elements quickly.
  1. A clear visual hierarchy / structure is key - it enables the user to scan the needed information in a destinguished way. Fast, efficient and without distraction.
  1. Understand the users' goals -  Sketch the users goals and find out about which information must be available at which point of interaction