…and we share the same
capabilities and limitations.
We are subject to the
Understanding how we all think
can help us generate
…and help us craft and deliver
Relevant Fields of Psychology
Ecological / Environmental
Industrial / Organizational
Human Factors / HCI
Quantitative / Mathematical
Physiological / Neurological
for thinking about UX design, research, and strategy with a
Who are the people?
Demographics, experiences, skills, attitudes, beliefs, knowledge
Where are they?
Place, environment, situation, conditions, circumstances
What are the devices, objects, and tools they are using?
Phones, tablets, computers, kiosks, cameras, pen & paper, chisel & stone…
What are the objectives?
What is the desired outcome, and is it:
Productive, focused, goal-directed, playful, exploratory, meandering
What is the value of the goals and objectives?
Important, essential, necessary, optional, nice-to-have, elective
How urgent are the goals and objectives?
Time-sensitive, critical, compelling, casual, open-ended
How do people sense and perceive the world?
Vision, audition, and touch
Color deficient vision
Pre-conscious processing and attention
The force that initiates, directs, and sustains behavior.
Why we do what we do.
Achievement, Affiliation, and Power
Existence, Relatedness, and Growth (ERG)
Internal vs. External
Not Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs…
Why do people spend so much time on social
networks, and what do they get from it?
Affiliation with others (we are social creatures and seek contact)
Personal achievement (competition with self and others)
Social influence and credibility (“social currency”)
The mental action or process of acquiring knowledge and understanding
through thinking, experience, and the senses.
Language Spatial operations
Problem-solving Concept formation
Reasoning and logic Metacognition
Attention And many, many biases…
Should we “Reduce deaths”…
…or “Maximize quality of life?”
A complex, subjective experience resulting in physiological and
psychological changes that influence thought and behavior.
Ekman (Happiness, Surprise, Sadness, Anger, Fear, Disgust)
James-Lange (physiological reaction precedes emotion)
Cannon-Bard (physiological reaction and emotion are concurrent)
Schachter-Singer (physiological reaction precedes cognition)
Lazarus (cognition precedes physiological reaction and emotion)
Fredrickson (2009) discovered that
we need three positive emotions to
lift us up and overcome just one
Have you ever said,
“Meh. It could be better, but it works”?
Is the rest of the interface
three times better
to make up for it?
The actions by which an organism reacts and adjusts to
their environment and other organisms; a response to various stimuli.
Classical Conditioning (association)
Operant Conditioning (reinforcement and punishment)
Social Learning Theory (live, verbal, and symbolic)
Relational Frame Theory (language and cognition)
Drive Reduction (biology and homeostasis)
Participation in social services is
often encouraged with rewards
such as badges and points that
have personal and social value
and which are delivered through
More than visibility – we must craft
accessible experiences where we can
perceive the opportunities to interact in
People are less likely interact if they do not
perceive the opportunity to interact, even if
they need or want to interact.
The ability to accurately and confidently
predict the outcomes or results of an
interaction and that it will move us toward
People are less likely to interact if they are
not confident in their predicted outcomes
or if they believe the results are not what
they want or need.
Meaningful information about the status
and outcomes of an interaction and the
process(es) it started, modified, or
People are less likely to continue
interacting if they do not receive
meaningful information about status,
progress, outcomes, or results.
After editing the gift
message three times, it was
still too long…
How long is it now?
How much too long is it?
What is the maximum
number of characters?
HELP! What should I do?
We can learn and remember interactions
when we accurately predict desirable
outcomes, avoid errors, and when the
feedback is understandable and applicable.
People are less likely to learn an interaction
if the outcomes are not expected or if
feedback is absent or meaningless.
We learn to associate experiences that
occur together in time and place.
We learn to repeat interactions that reward
us and avoid interactions that punish us.
We can learn by watching and observing
as easily as by doing.
We generalize across similar situations and
transfer knowledge and skills from one
context, device, or domain to another when
they are identifiably analogous.
Consistent appearance, behavior,
reaction, meaning, and outcome makes
it easier for us to:
• Perceive the opportunity to interact,
• Predict the outcomes more accurately,
• Better understand the feedback,
• Transfer learned interactions, and
• Learn new interactions through generalization