Here we will discuss 6 of the psychological principles a designer must know.

Did you ever think why the buttons on a certain web page should be of a particular size? Or why should we manage a decent color scheme? Why sizes and shapes matter?

Well we do it because we think it is a convention but those conventions have deep roots in psychology. In order to attract a person by getting control over all his psychology is the game of design.

Psychological Principles designer needs to know:

In the article below, I will dig deep into how you can make your designs better by sharing 6 psychology principles for a designer.

1. Create a better CTA:

Have you ever heard of desired path? When moving between two points, we are inclined to take the path that has least resistance. It is called “desired path”.

Humans acts similarly on your website. Instead of following the cursor path you have designed, they go for their desired path. For this purpose you’ll have to design you CTA relatively larger and near the address bar where the cursor will shift automatically when a user search for a URL in the address bar.

For those of you who don’t know what CTA (call to action) is, it is marketing term for next action the user wants to perform? You would have seen almost every webpage have a task bar at its top just below the address bar mentioning “contact us, about, categories etc.” that is because the designer don’t want to trouble the user much and want to give him his desired path.

So try to keep your CTAs not too small and not too away from the user’s cursor. So that it don’t bother the user and grasp his attention.

2. Use of heuristics:

There exist plenty of heuristics that help you make your website effective and attractive. All heuristics for design are based and especially made for humans. Heuristics are some problem solving shortcuts to produce good enough solutions. We come across many heuristics while referring to the term “design”.

Since we are working on human psychology to make our website flourish. Say if we see a person with long hair, a jacket and guitar in hand. We assume he is a rock musician. Why? Just by the appearance. That is how appearance matter in you website too.

Similarly if your see a blue text on a site you know it’s a link.

Use of “representative heuristic”

A representative heuristics can go a long way towards better human experience. Start playing with user expectations. You can use this heuristic to make things stand out. For instance in a row of item, give a different color to the item you want to stand out. Or color them differently.

3. Serial positioning effect:

Information provided at the beginning and end of the content drives more attention than the rest. This is called serial positioning effect.

People tend to remember things in predicting fashion.

You remember the first item in the list of content because your brain assumes it’s the important one. And the last item because your brain assumes its the last and most recent of all.

If there is any link or item you want the user to remember. Place it at either beginning or end of your content adjusting its position.

Just like on our website you will see the categories “development and contact us” at the top menu. This effect can be added in your blog too. You might have noticed how the bloggers pay most of their attention to the beginning and conclusion paragraphs. Even when you skim through a website, you also look for these two paragraphs. So serial positioning is an important tip to remember.

4. Law of similarity:

People tend to like grouping of similar item together in one category. For instance, you would have seen when you visit a shopping website. If you click on the section “bags “you expect that you will find all kinds of bags in this category rather than searching for them all over the website.

Or just like you arrange your refrigerator keeping different portions for different food items.

Apply the same principle on your webpages. Group items together that are similar to each other.

5. Law of pragnanz:

Perceptions leads you or sometimes distract you. A designer must take hold of all the perceptions that may fool a user.

Law of pragnanz states that a human seas a group of object as one and then all individual object in it individually.

Similarly when a user enter you page, he thinks it as one object and as soon as he enters, he see how things are divided.

If all the objects contained on a webpage are all jumbled up. That leaves an overwhelming effect. Whereas if there is a right use of whitespaces and text divisions. That may help retaining users on you webpage. This law is the reason why designers emphasis on whitespaces on their webpages.

6. Reducing options (Hick’s Law):

If your aim is to make the user go for right decisions and not to go back and forth on a page in order to reverse his decisions you need to limit the choices.

It’s called Hick’s law. If I were to define Hick’s law in two words it would be “limit choices”.

We often come across many website how they give directions to the user without having them really directed. Well that’s done by limiting the choices. That don’t confuse the user and helps him get through it easily (any problem or search).

For instance checkout pages.

Remove as many extra options as you can like having a cart, total, payment methods, privacy policies etc. all on the same page should be rather managed separately. If it’s a checkout page, then it should be ONLY a checkout page reducing all other options to nil.

As a designer, you need to know that effective design is a lot more than just how it looks.

If you focus on the “why” behind each common design practice, it will help you make better design decisions. Try implementing some of these psychological principles that as a designer you need to know.

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