Psychology for User Experience


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Presentation from the Leaders in UX Event (18 Sept 2013) at Adaptive Path, sponsored by Onward Search

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Psychology for User Experience

  1. 1. 2UX Thinking |
  2. 2. Why do some experiences succeed?
  3. 3. We feel like they know us personally.
  4. 4. You are not designing for yourself…
  5. 5. ...but we’re all human.
  6. 6. Users DesignersDevelopers Researchers Managers
  7. 7. Our brains all work the same way…
  8. 8. …and we share the same capabilities and limitations. We are subject to the same rules.
  9. 9. Understanding how we all think can help us generate better ideas…
  10. 10. …and help us craft and deliver better experiences.
  11. 11. Relevant Fields of Psychology Behavioral Ecological / Environmental Cognitive Social Consumer Industrial / Organizational Human Factors / HCI Experimental Psychometrics Quantitative / Mathematical Educational Developmental Personality Physiological / Neurological
  12. 12. A System for thinking about UX design, research, and strategy with a psychological perspective.
  13. 13. 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… Context
  14. 14. 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 Goals
  15. 15. Failure
  16. 16. How do people sense and perceive the world? Vision, audition, and touch Color deficient vision Gestalt Principles Image recognition Motion Pre-conscious processing and attention Perception
  17. 17. Definition: The force that initiates, directs, and sustains behavior. Why we do what we do. Theories: Achievement, Affiliation, and Power Existence, Relatedness, and Growth (ERG) Biological Drives Internal vs. External Not Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs… Motivation
  18. 18. 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”) Motivation
  19. 19. Definition: The mental action or process of acquiring knowledge and understanding through thinking, experience, and the senses. Types: Learning Decision-making Memory Recognition Language Spatial operations Problem-solving Concept formation Reasoning and logic Metacognition Attention And many, many biases… Cognition
  20. 20. Should we “Reduce deaths”… …or “Maximize quality of life?”
  21. 21. Framing Bias
  22. 22. What did the first cars look like? Horse-drawn carriages.
  23. 23. Anchoring Bias
  24. 24. We are susceptible to the same biases.
  25. 25. Definition: A complex, subjective experience resulting in physiological and psychological changes that influence thought and behavior. Theories: 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) Emotion
  26. 26. Positive Emotions Fredrickson (2009) discovered that we need three positive emotions to lift us up and overcome just one negative emotion. 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?
  27. 27. Definition: The actions by which an organism reacts and adjusts to their environment and other organisms; a response to various stimuli. Theories: 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) Behavior
  28. 28. Rewards 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 complex reinforcement schedules.
  29. 29. Failure
  30. 30. There is a dark side.
  31. 31. More than visibility – we must craft accessible experiences where we can perceive the opportunities to interact in any modality. People are less likely interact if they do not perceive the opportunity to interact, even if they need or want to interact. Perceivability
  32. 32. Predictability The ability to accurately and confidently predict the outcomes or results of an interaction and that it will move us toward our goal(s). 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.
  33. 33. Not what she predicted…
  34. 34. Feedback Meaningful information about the status and outcomes of an interaction and the process(es) it started, modified, or terminated. People are less likely to continue interacting if they do not receive meaningful information about status, progress, outcomes, or results.
  35. 35. 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?
  36. 36. Learnability 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.
  37. 37. Learning 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.
  38. 38. Learning We generalize across similar situations and transfer knowledge and skills from one context, device, or domain to another when they are identifiably analogous.
  39. 39. Consistency 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 and discrimination.
  40. 40. Failure
  41. 41. Quick Review Whew! We’re almost finished.
  42. 42. Thanks! I’m happy to answer your questions.