UX Design

Enhancing UX Design: Science-Based Human Behaviour Tips for Digital Products

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Credit to Anna Yashina

Introduction:

User experience (UX) design is the process of creating products and services that are easy to use, intuitive, and engaging for users. To achieve this, UX designers use a variety of science-based human behaviour principles that help them understand how users interact with products and what motivates them to take specific actions. By incorporating these principles into their designs, UX designers can create products that are not only aesthetically pleasing but also effective and efficient for users.


Here are some real-life examples of how can use science-based human behaviour principles can be used in UX design:


Hick's Law - Limiting Options

This law states that the time it takes for a person to make a decision is directly proportional to the number of options they have. Therefore, UX designers should limit the number of options presented to users to avoid decision paralysis.

Examples:

A good example of limiting options to reduce decision paralysis can be seen in the design of the Google search engine. Google's minimalist design gives users a simple search box and two buttons - "Google Search" and "I'm Feeling Lucky." By limiting the number of options, Google makes it easy for users to enter their queries and get results quickly.


Fitts' Law - Size and Spacing

This law states that the size of the target and the distance from the starting point determines the time it takes to reach a target. Therefore, UX designers should ensure that buttons and links are large enough and spaced appropriately for easy interaction.

Examples:

A good example of using Fitts' Law to design UX can be seen in the mobile app design for Facebook. The app's navigation menu uses large, well-spaced icons that are easy to tap, even on a small screen. The design ensures that users can quickly navigate the app without struggling to hit the right buttons.


Gestalt Principles - Grouping Related Information

These principles refer to how humans perceive patterns and organise information. UX designers can use principles such as proximity, similarity, and continuity to group related information and make it easier for users to understand.

Examples:

A good example of using Gestalt principles to organise information can be seen in the design of the Amazon shopping site. Amazon uses proximity and similarity to group related products together, making it easy for users to browse and compare items. For example, when searching for a product, Amazon displays related items, user reviews, and product details in one area, making it easy for users to compare options.


Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs - Meeting User Needs

This theory states that humans have a hierarchy of needs, from basic physiological needs such as food and shelter to higher-level needs such as self-actualisation. UX designers can use this theory to design products that meet users' needs at different levels of the hierarchy.

Examples:

A good example of designing for Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs can be seen in the design of the fitness app Nike Training Club. The app offers users a range of workout plans, from basic to advanced, to meet the needs of users at different levels of the hierarchy. The app also includes features such as a workout journal and community forums to provide social support and help users achieve their fitness goals.


Social Proof - Encouraging User Behavior

This principle refers to humans' tendency to conform to others' behaviour in a social setting. UX designers can use social proof to encourage users to take specific actions by showing them how others have behaved in similar situations.

Examples:

An excellent example of using social proof to encourage user behaviour can be seen in the design of the hotel booking site, Booking.com. The site uses messages such as "Last booked 5 minutes ago" and "12 people are currently viewing this property" to encourage users to book quickly. By showing users that others are booking the same property, Booking.com creates a sense of urgency and encourages users to take action.



Reciprocity - Providing Incentives

This principle refers to the tendency of humans to respond in kind to others' actions. UX designers can use reciprocity by giving users a free trial or other incentives to encourage them to take a desired action.

Examples:

A good example of using reciprocity to provide incentives can be seen in the design of the meal delivery service, Blue Apron. The company offers users a free trial of their meal delivery service, providing users with a no-risk opportunity to try the service before committing. Blue Apron encourages users to try the service and provides an incentive to continue using it by providing users with a free trial.



Cognitive Load - Simplifying Tasks

This principle refers to the mental effort required to complete a task. UX designers can use this principle by presenting information clearly and concisely, breaking down complex tasks into smaller steps, and avoiding jargon or technical language.

Examples:

A good example of simplifying tasks to reduce cognitive load can be seen in the design of the ride-sharing app Uber. The app uses a simple, streamlined interface that makes it easy for users to request a ride quickly. The app also provides transparent feedback on the ride's status, reducing cognitive load and making it easier for users to use the app.


Conclusion:

In conclusion, science-based human behaviour principles play a crucial role in UX design. By understanding how users think, feel, and behave, UX designers can create products that meet users' needs and provide a positive experience. The examples above demonstrate how these principles can be applied in real-life scenarios to improve the UX of digital products and services. By incorporating these principles into their designs, UX designers can create products that look great and provide a seamless and enjoyable user experience.

Image credit:
Justina Leisyte