Psychology behind a modern-day UX design

Learn the cognitive secrets that produce an epic user experience.

Published by 

Alexis Pratsides


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Marketing in the modern world revolves around psychology. There are some tried and tested methods that work, but nothing beats knowing how your users think. After all, this is the best way to provide them with the best user experience you can.

As a UX designer, your customers’ opinions and experiences should always be your top concern. Since it’s impossible for everyone to cooperate and share their feelings about your methods, you can use certain psychological knowledge to your advantage.

This way you’ll be at the top of your game while knowing exactly what your customers think.

1. Be understanding with mistakes

Your users are human, so mistakes are bound to happen. You can’t expect them to use your product with no mistakes as soon as they buy it, especially if we’re talking about something more advanced.

To aid them in the process of learning, the product design should be simple and easy to learn for anyone, regardless of their social background, education, age, or any other factor.

That being said, you should still anticipate mistakes.

The important thing is how you respond to them.

Your customer support team should be patient and compassionate as well as readily available for anyone who needs them.

What’s more, you should work towards eliminating error messages entirely. The more they pop up, the more stressed and less willing to use your product your users become.

Even if an error occurred just a few times, it creates the image that something is wrong with your product, which doesn’t have to be the case at all.

Building an automatic process that helps your users learn how to properly use your product and which eliminates the error messages from the start will come a long way in showing you care.

More importantly, it will provide the sense of things running smoothly, and your users will be happy using your product.

2. Use emotions where possible

emotions play a good part on UX design

You are more likely to be successful if people are emotionally connected to the story you’re telling with your brand. This is why it’s most important to come up with a coherent brand voice before you start designing anything.

When it comes to telling stories, you can choose a more direct or a more subtle approach. Going more directly would mean involving an easily recognizable element to your services and sticking with it.

For example, if your business is about family values, your advertisements and approaches should be inspired warm and genuine feelings of love and belonging. You can do this by running with a story of a fictional family in your promotional material, and always treating your customers like family when interacting with them.

If you want to use a subtler way to tie your customers down to your brand with emotion, you can try going with colors.

It’s no secret that colors can make us feel all sorts of things, whether we’re aware of that or not.

Yellow is used to wake up feelings of happiness and joy, while green is usually associated with success and growth. You can use red to show your passion and love, or blue to provide a comfortable and relaxing feeling.

Figure out what message you want to send to your audience, then incorporate the right colors into your campaign. People are more likely to react to the story in the intended way, without even being aware that was your intention.

Soon, the emotion you’ve chosen will be associated with your brand automatically. When you reach this point, you’ll know you have done an excellent designing job.

3. Make it easy to remember

When it comes to human memory, we can say it’s rather complex. No matter how good our memory is, it’s still harder to recall most things.

That’s why our brain makes up stories to fill the gaps, for example. This is because we are constantly bombarded with information which makes us forget details and irrelevant parts, so as not to become cluttered.

Knowing this, you should make using your product or service as easy as possible. There shouldn’t be many steps involved.

If there are, come up with an interactive way for people to get acquainted with the service and figure out how it works. Generally, stick to simple designs which doesn’t require a lot of effort to be put in, because people just want to get their things done, without thinking too much about them.

Another psychological trick you can use is the placement of steps. The most important steps should either be first or last because people tend to forget the middle more easily.

The thing you mention last will have the most lasting impression in their heads, so keep that in mind.

4. Map user motivation

The number one thing that can cause someone to stir towards or away from your brand is motivation. This is why it’s advisable for you to map this motivation, as you’ll have a clear picture of what to expect.

Mapping motivation can also greatly help in changing user behavior. Of course, to change this behavior and alter it to your own needs, you must first understand where your users are coming from.

You can accumulate information using certain methods like customer experience maps and personas, as well as user journeys. All of these things should entail really good search engine optimization, as you’ll be able to reach more people this way and get optimal results.

Once you figure out if the motivation of your extrinsic or intrinsic with the above-mentioned methods, you can begin working towards changing their behavior in the desired way. This will also help you tailor your design process and attract plenty of new customers, as you’ll know exactly how to influence their motivation and stir them towards your brand.

5. Grab their attention

Another surefire way to get psychology to work for you is to grab your users’ attention. For this, of course, you’ll have to know that there are more types of attention and that some can be utilized to your advantage.

Divided attention is commonly known as multitasking. For this to be possible, one process needs to be automatic while we are immersed in the other.

As soon as you make something that captures the users’ attention completely, the process doesn’t become automatic, and they actively interact with your product. That’s why interactive marketing campaigns are effective and popular, as well as interactive ads.

The other type of attention is selective attention and this is an entirely automatic process that helps us filter information. Thanks to this type of attention, we’re able to tell which pieces of information in our environment are most important and deserving of our attention.

This means that you need to make your product or service stand out, as well as your marketing campaign. Using contrasting colours on websites and in advertisements goes a long way in grabbing attention, for example.


As you can see, there are certain methods that never fail when it comes to providing the best user experience. As a designer, you have to keep up with the latest trends if you want to survive in the business, so it’s important to take a closer look at the above-described tactics.

With the right assets and attitude, you are bound to quickly become the best in the business.

Created by

Alexis Pratsides

Published at 

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