The false-consensus effect refers to people’s tendency to assume that others share their beliefs and will behave similarly in a given context. This assumption can lead UX professionals to make the wrong design decisions. Acknowledge your vulnerability and establish checks.
People’s blindness to alternate uses of objects limits their problem-solving capabilities and stifles creativity. Overcome functional fixedness by abstracting problems to generate outside-the-box ideas.
Users are more tolerant of minor usability issues when they find an interface visually appealing. This aesthetic-usability effect can mask UI problems and can prevent issue discovery during usability testing. Identify instances of the aesthetic-usability effect in your user research by watching what your users do, as well as listening to what they say.
The reciprocity principle states that people, when given something upfront, tend to feel a sense of obligation to repay what has been provided. Login walls reverse this sequence and require users to disclose personal info before allowing access to content. People often resent this, and may not be as forthcoming or cooperative as a result.
People have very limited ability to keep information in their working memory while performing tasks, so user interfaces should be designed accordingly: to minimize memory load. One way of doing so is to offload items to external memory by showing them on the screen.
When people think that something is rare or only available for a limited time, they will tend to act fast to secure that scarce item. This behavioral principle can be used in user experience design, but beware of overuse.
A common problem during user experience ideation is when design teams are stuck on a traditional way of thinking about aspects of the design. Here are some tips for breaking out of such functional fixedness.
Too many offerings (e.g., products or services) on a website make it harder for users to make a decision due to analysis paralysis. Alternatively, too many options can also cause users to hastily make a decision and later regret their choice due to buyer's remorse.
Users' answers to survey questions are often biased and not the literal truth. Examples include acquiescence bias, social desirability bias, and recency bias. Knowing about response biases will help you interpret survey data with more validity for any design decisions based on the findings.
The Halo Effect says that any one element in a user's experience with a company will rub off on their interpretation of other elements and their feelings about the company as a whole. Good design in one part of a website will make people like other parts better (and like the company better), but the opposite is also true.
It's not just users who are subject to illogical thinking: designers and UX professionals can also make sub-optimal design decisions by falling prey to the same decision biases, such as framing effects when analyzing usability data.
Change blindness is the tendency for people to overlook things that change outside their focus of attention. In user interface design, this explains why screen changes that seem striking to the designer can be completely ignored by users.
Priming is a basic principle of psychology with big impact on user interface design: exposure to something makes a user more likely to think and react in related ways at later steps in the interaction.
Gamification brings the visual design and the mechanics of games to other products. As we examine our ethical responsibilities as UX professionals, social media deserves special consideration. Gamification in social media can make people feel as though their social lives are being scored.
#6 of the top 10 UX design heuristics is to design user interfaces to facilitate #memory recognition which is easier than recall because there are more cues available to facilitate the retrieval of information from memory.
Designers should consider the physical and mental abilities of children, as well as utilize existing UX conventions. Here are 3 guidelines to consider when designing UX for children, based on our user research with users aged 3-12 years.
Users’ mental models of concept categories are far less strict than you might expect. Consider keeping small numbers of outlier pages within their larger parent category, rather than creating unnecessary subcategories.
Design elements that appear similar in some way — sharing the same color, shape, or size — are perceived as related, while elements that appear dissimilar are perceived as belonging to separate groups.
When deciding which links to click on the web, users choose those with the highest information scent — which is a mix of cues that they get from the link label, the context in which the link is shown, and their prior experiences.
Children’s cognitive skills are still developing, so their reasoning abilities are weaker than those of adults. To help them successfully use an interface, designs should display clear, specific instructions, leveraging kids’ mental models and prior knowledge.