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Psychology and Human Behavior

An insight into the relationship between various brain models, decision making and UX

UX and decision making
  • Your brain does a lot of things when you try to make a decision, here are some of them:
    • Survival instinct — human species have evolved physically as well as mentally and always adapt to their environment to survive.
    • Wiring — the pre-existing knowledge and emotions associated with the information create deeper belief systems which dictate how the user feels, thinks and responds.
    • Biases — humans begin to learn through the loop of prediction ↔ correction and this process helps reduce uncertainties.
    • Design — designers need to tap into psychological mechanisms and predict irrationalities and decision-making patterns (without being coloured by our own biases).
    • Choice architecture — limiting choices can cause discomfort to the users.
  • When making a decision, we can:
    • Present choices in a way that would not require much cognitive effort.
    • Cater to the users’ needs and biases (conscious and subconscious).
    • Drive action.
    • Appeal to the emotion of the user.
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Navigation in digital influences design. 4 reasons why having clear spatial logic between components in design is necessary.

How spatial logic can make your product design more intuitive and high-craft
  • It is important to use spacial logic in digital products as it helps people understand where they are, how they got here and how they can get out – like in the real life.
  • 4 reasons why having clear spatial logic between components in design is necessary:
    • Good spatial logic often maps to physical world metaphors
    • People have also gotten used to digital-native patterns that don’t exist in the physical world
    • Clear spatial logic your design more intuitive
    • Seamless animation also plays a huge role in establishing spatial logic and elevating product quality
  • Vida Zhang, a Product Designer at Meta, suggests looking into the spatial logic implied by the design when you think about elevating the intuitiveness and craft of your product.
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Empathy Building Ain’t Easy If You Do It Right

Stop Bastardizing Design with False Empathy
  • For empathy to be a successful part of design, it can’t just be an external reflection, it must be an internal activity that leads to transformative action.
  • Ovetta Sampson, principal design director at Microsoft, suggests considering 3 levels of empathy:
    1. Cognitive/intellectual empathy – talking to people, writing down what they said and sharing photos and quotes to communicate what they heard.
    2. Emotional empathy – when you feel what people feel, as though their emotions were contagious.
    3. Compassion empathy or empathetic concern – something we should thrive for when building empathy.
  • In order to build empathy in design, you need to decouple your experiences and your mental models associated with those experiences, from the product user.
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Wrestling with mental health on- and off-screen

A designer’s guide to anxiety
  • The global burden of anxiety disorders is constantly increasing, as does the need to discuss how technologies contribute to it and whether designers can alleviate the problem.
  • Although designers are not to blame for modern anxiety, they have the tools to incentivise healthier living.
  • Users, for their part, have to examine how they interact with technologies and how that affects their mental health.
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Foundational UX skills that will help your team delve deeper into UX design

How to Train and Develop the 12 Competencies of UX Design
  • There are 12 core competencies that a UX design team should master. These skills differentiate human designers from any existing robot.
  • Looking for a purpose and asking “why” in addition to “how” and “what” is a good starting point to deliver the right solution that solves users’ problems.
  • It is equally important to validate designs, review user flows, refine UX writing skills, and, most importantly, become genuine advocates for users experience.

Read the article to get practical advice on how to develop these 12 core competencies of a UX team.

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What if we shift the focus from solutions to problems? A view on UX research and why prioritizing problems pays off in the long run

Prioritizing Problems to Inform Product Design
  • Focusing on solutions as you start UX research might lead to misunderstanding or overlooking user problems, which in turn, damages the whole design and development process.
  • To decrease the risk of poorly developed solutions and costly adjustments, it’s necessary to invest time and effort in discovering user problems and pain points, clearly distinguish them from users’ goals, and use diverse research methods.
  • Although focusing on pain points might seem more time-consuming initially, problems are more concrete, easier to uncover, and ultimately are the source for meaningful solutions.

Read the full article for perspective on how this shift from focusing on solutions to focusing on problems can be a powerful tool as you begin UX research.

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