Principles of Psychology for Designers

Principles of Psychology for Designers
20 January 2022     2442

Principles of Psychology for Designers

For some, design is simply a branch of art and nothing more, but the foundation of this field is something completely different. A sense of beauty and inspiration is not enough to create a quality design. This is why education is needed in areas such as psychology and philosophy. Not only artificial aspect but also practical experience and applied knowledge are required to help us work effectively. This is why psychology becomes an important field for design.

The role of design in psychology

Customer-centered design is becoming more and more relevant nowadays. Designers are also practically forced to acquire certain skills in this regard in order to remain competitive in the market. There is also a need to better understand the reasons and requirements that the customer has. Donald A. Norman in his book "The Design of Everyday Things" offers a definition of design that describes him as a medium of communication. In order for a designer to better grasp the structural principles of user needs, needs, and motivations, it is necessary to use certain abstract philosophical / psychological theories and systems.
The ability to predict helps us to better organize design elements; It all happens in a space that is geared towards providing a pleasurable user experience.

Designers often shy away from psychology / philosophy because it is difficult for an inexperienced person to step into it. But it is not necessary to defend a dissertation in order to find practical application to certain principles. Yet these principles always derive from a certain epistemic corpus, the foundation. Separate, isolated insights are not enough. In this article, Alina Arhipova offers some psychological insights that aim to draw your attention to similar elements that will help you develop in the field.

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Gestalt principles

This theory is almost 100 years old but has not lost its relevance at all. The word "gestalt" means "united wholeness" so the theory also explores how the user perceives different interconnected elements. This holistic method offers additional analysis through the principles by which users group variables, e.g.

Similarities. If the user thinks that objects are related to each other, he perceives them in a certain collective; Which allows it to consistently absorb elements. These grouping factors are mainly shape, color, size, texture or value.

Neighborhood. The principle according to which the eye naturally moves from one object to another.

Constipation. The trend-based technique by which we perceive closed / finished figures. For example, a rectangle drawn with dashed lines.

Proximity. When objects are placed close to each other, the eye perceives them as a group and not as individual components, regardless of whether they are related to each other or not.

Figure / wallpaper. This principle shows that the eye tends to distinguish figure (s) from the background.

Pattern recognition

You may have noticed that pages with a single theme also have common patterns in their design. The reason for this is user psychology. When people associate certain elements with any product they are more likely to visit the websites where that association is protected.
For example when a user enters a hair styling company page he does not expect light colors or pictures of cats; If he sees them - he may not even consider the company trustworthy.
However only colors and pictures do not matter. You also need, for example, a list of blog posts on the blog home page or filters on an e-commerce website. Users soon get used to things like this and their removal is inconvenient.

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Scan Patterns

Before you start reading the whole web page people scan it to find out if you are interested in it or not. There are several distinctive scan patterns, such as "F" & "Z" patterns;

The "F" pattern is the most common type of navigation, especially for websites that have a great deal of information. The user first scans the horizontal line at the beginning of the screen, then descends slightly and again focuses on the horizontal line. Finally, they follow the page vertically to the left and look for the keywords / phrases in the first sentences of the paragraph. This mainly applies to blogs, news platforms, thematic editorials, etc.

The "Z" pattern is the type of navigation when the user starts from the upper left corner and then returns diagonally to the lower left corner.

Knowledge of these patterns helps designers to place elements efficiently to make user interactions easily predictable.

Design, Design Psychology, Psychology, Effective Design, Design Trends, Contemporary Design, Tips for Designers

In design, psychology is an effective tool that makes the whole creative process more productive so that the result is also more user-centered. We have talked about some principles, however you can get a lot more information in this direction to improve your design process.