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Behavioral economics, psychology & graphic design
16 February 2022     803

Behavioral economics, psychology & graphic design

We have already discussed behavioral economics and the impact incentives have on the design process. We also outlined why it is important to have at least elementary education in behavioral econ and psychology in order to make your projects more enjoyable i the process and their results more effective.

In behavioral economics it is well-known that even the smallest incentives have the potential to go a long way in terms of decision-making. This is often clearly visible when it comes to government policies, which attempt to provide assistance to the population in one way or another. We can take cash assistance programs as an example. A lot of people are not able to successfully enroll in the programs because either they have not heard of it at all or they assume the entry-requirements would prohibit their participation, or otherwise they are too lazy to commit. Whenever government agencies make these steps easier to follow a lot more people manage to get themselves registered.

The main goal should not be any different in graphic design. We, as designers, should strive to make the world a better place. Of course there is much less power here to do so (graphic design mostly aims at creating a comfortable environment for the user) than in politics but if we implement the right incentives in our work then the job we do will be significantly simplified; the goals more achievable.


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Differing approaches

Even such a simple decision as using more CTAs has much more of an effect than most assume.

Generally, it is considered a truism in graphic design that many CTAs are a bad thing. Supposedly it confuses users. But there is something to be said about providing users with the right amount of options in a given situation; and that amount could be more than one or even a few.

There is a lot of literature online today that could help you develop in this regard. You do not have to conduct surveys at every turn to learn more about incentives in order to utilize them well in your work


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If you have an itch to scratch regarding surveys or testing you are better off comparing new, innovative changes to more established routines by the responses of your target audience.

However, we should note that it is heavily advised to get help from someone who knows how to analyze studies. Otherwise you are likely to make mistaken assumptions concerning the relationships between variables and neglect the possibility (or actuality) that there is a confounding variable that is affecting, or mediating, these variables.

If you manage to find some advantages of new design elements it is recommended that you utilize the findings by scaling up its use.


Studies & Intuition

Designers, after getting some experience in the filed, begin to rely heavily on their intuition. But intuitions themselves are configured through beliefs on certain subjects.


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That is why it is vital to understand the principles hidden behind our intuitions so we can get better at decision-making.

The type of strategies that make use of psychology and behavioral economics are becoming more and more relevant in graphic design. Especially considering the largely untapped potential the field has in terms of ethics.

Using different insights from varying disciplines is useful for both the specific organizations who get benefits from them and for graphic designers at large.

Ika

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