Psychological principles every UX designer should know
MyFC Agency - 16 July 2022

Psychology shines our way with research findings that often surprise us. Psychology, which we directly benefit from in every field of occupation that concerns human beings, provides information about our decision-making processes and what affects them.

It is possible to come across tens of thousands of publications in the literature regarding the increasing weight of the Internet in our lives. Even if we are not aware of any of these, we can have an idea about it even just from our own lives. According to studies, the average time people spend with internet-connected mobile phones, tablets or computers every day varies between 4 and 9 hours. Of course, the number of users who exceed 9 hours is not small.

Our smartphones chart the route to where we want to go, give tips about our health, keep track of our daily step count, record how much water we drink, and calculate the calories we take. We complete the areas where the phones are missing. We share even the most private areas of our lives with photos and videos on various platforms. Man's relationship with technology is getting deeper day by day. This article lists biceps psychology principles that can be eye-opening for a UX designer in almost any work. By making use of these findings brought to us by psychology, the UX designer can create much more effective and successful applications.


How Are Designs Perceived?
Technology that "knows everything about us" provides wide opportunities for developers and advertisers, as it does for all occupational groups dealing with the Internet. For a designer, the way his works are perceived may be more important than anything else. Because in this way, he can measure the success of his designs and creates a certain roadmap for the designs he will make from now on. If application developers can learn how their designs are perceived by other people, it may be more advantageous to reach more people. Improvements to be made here will be extraordinarily effective.

There are many design principles regarding the perception of users. Some of these principles, which are well known by graduates of relevant university departments, are also of direct interest to UX designers. Let us consider the first of these principles.


1. The Von Restorff Effect/Principle
The category we will examine first is one of the most famous influences in this field. The von Restorff effect/principle is also called the "isolation effect". To summarize briefly, it predicts that “when there are many similar objects in an environment, the probability of remembering the object that is different from the others is very high”. Indeed, it is one of the most used design principles today. You can come across designs made in line with the Von Restorff Effect, especially in advertisements directed on websites. The box set to accept the so-called "reward" in "You are the lucky visitor", "You are our 1 millionth customer, we have a surprise gift for you" and similar trap advertisements has a different color from both the other boxes and the rest of the field. Thus, the visitor's interest and attention are directed towards accepting the gift, or rather, being defrauded.

In addition, many of the "Call to Action" (CTA) buttons on websites are designed in a different color from the rest of the area. Thus, you are encouraged to navigate to the area where the call-to-action button asks you to click. It is often stated by web designers that this method usually works. Action buttons, designed with a simply designed button, do not attract the attention of the vast majority of users. However, users who are really interested in that subject prefer to click on these buttons. The Von Restorff Effect/Principle that works behind all this process: “When there are many similar objects in an environment, the probability of remembering the object that is different from the others is very high.”


2. Series Position Effect
The Serial Position Effect can be briefly defined as “the tendency of a person to better remember the first and last objects in a sequence he sees”. This psychological principle is mostly used by restaurants today. While menu designs are being made, restaurants place the products they want to sell the most at the beginning and at the end of the menu. Thus, the customer's attention is drawn to those two products. It is also possible to come across similar applications in various internet advertisement designs.


3. Cognitive Load
Cognitive load refers to "the total amount of mental effort used by a memory". In short, the sum of the amount of thought you will use to perform any task is called cognitive load. The concept of cognitive load falls under three categories: Germane cognitive load, intrinsic cognitive load, and extra-level cognitive load. The types that are considered to be the most prominent in UX designs are the first two.

intrinsic cognitive load
Any subject related to educationuda describes the challenge you are facing. The ReCaptcha application, which we encounter almost every day, can be given as an example within this framework. The content that the user will rewrite as well as the paths to be followed in the application is expected to be both short and simple.

Germane Cognitive Load
It is used to construct schemas in your mind. All knowledge categories and thought models are assumed to be constructed with this cognitive load. The UX design aspect of this category is that in some cases design patterns must be used. It will be easier for the user to perceive a pattern they are familiar with than to teach them a new pattern.


4. Hick's Law
Hick's Law is one of the most popular and famous categories in this field. Accordingly, the time people spend in the decision-making process depends on the options available to them. That's why as the number of choices increases, the time required for a decision steadily increases. An example of Hick's Law is that our brain perceives complex objects by grouping them in a crowded environment. This clustering trend in the human mind will also be eye-opening for UX designers. Hick's Law is used effectively in both learning processes and advertising applications.

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