Psychology Concepts That Could Influence User Experience

May 25, 2023 | Read Time : 3 mins

In the user experience (UX) design world, understanding human psychology plays a crucial role in creating intuitive, engaging, and effective interfaces. By incorporating various psychology concepts into the design process, UX professionals can enhance user satisfaction, improve usability, and encourage positive interactions.

This blog will explore key psychology concepts that could significantly influence user experience, including the Serial Position Effect, Von Restorff Effect, Zeigarnik Effect, Hick’s Law, and Miller’s Law.

Serial Position Effect

The Serial Position Effect refers to the tendency of individuals to recall the first and last items in a list more easily than the items in the middle. In UX design, this concept suggests that users are more likely to remember the first and last elements they encounter on a website or app. Designers can utilize this effect by ensuring that crucial information, such as the main navigation menu or key features, is positioned prominently at the beginning or end of a user’s journey.

Von Restorff Effect

The Von Restorff Effect, also known as the isolation effect, states that an item that stands out or is distinct from its surroundings is more likely to be remembered. In UX design, this principle highlights the importance of visual contrast and uniqueness. By using color, size, or typography to differentiate important elements from the rest of the interface, designers can draw users’ attention to specific actions, notifications, or messages.

Zeigarnik Effect

The Zeigarnik Effect is the psychological phenomenon that states people remember uncompleted or interrupted tasks better than completed ones. In UX design, this concept suggests that users are more likely to recall and return to an application or website if they have unfinished tasks or goals. Implementing progress bars, to-do lists, or saving user input can tap into this effect, encouraging users to complete their actions and fostering engagement.

Hick’s Law

Hick’s Law states that the time it takes for a person to decide increases with the number of available options. In UX design, this principle emphasizes the importance of simplicity and reducing cognitive load. By minimizing choices, presenting information clearly and concisely, and employing progressive disclosure techniques, designers can streamline the decision-making process and enhance the overall user experience.

Miller’s Law

Miller’s Law suggests that the average person can only hold about seven (plus or minus two) items in their working memory. Applying this concept to UX design, it becomes crucial to present information in digestible chunks and avoid overwhelming users with too much content or options on a single screen. Breaking down complex tasks into smaller steps or providing clear hierarchies can help users process information more effectively and prevent cognitive overload.

Understanding psychology concepts is a valuable asset for UX designers, enabling them to create interfaces that resonate with users on a deeper level. Incorporating these concepts can significantly influence user experience, making interfaces more intuitive, memorable, and enjoyable. By considering these psychological principles, designers can build interfaces that facilitate smooth interactions, minimize cognitive load, and ultimately deliver a satisfying user experience.


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Team OriginUX

OriginUX Studio is a CoE for User Experience providing UI & UX across Product, Service and Customer Experience Design. We are a cross-disciplinary design team that loves to create great experiences and make meaningful connections for businesses and their users through UI & UX.

Founded in 2016, our larger purpose is to help brands understand what they want to do and where they want to go. To do that we have to make understanding customer experience simple, effortless, and affordable for everyone.

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