Overlap Studio UX knowledge Design products with users in mind (Part 1 of 2)

Design products with users in mind (Part 1 of 2)

min read

How can we respond effectively to consumer needs? How to increase satisfaction level of users of products and services? Such questions are often asked by persons planning to increase the effectiveness of marketing activities of their companies, as well as by persons responsible for the appearance of the website or applications. The key to the answer is in the human brain. It is there that mechanisms are born which influence conscious and hidden desires of people. Let’s get to know some of them and the tips that stem from them.

1. Do not overburden the user with excessive amounts of information

The brain prefers simplicity

The human brain receives a huge number of impulses carrying information, only a small fraction of which the human being is able to realize. The rest is recorded in our subconsciousness. The brain prefers to process information in a low-volume way, thus defending itself from being over-stimulated. Therefore, information is usually processed intuitively. Therefore it can be assumed, that people put as little effort as possible into the completed tasks. People are not multi-tasking; they find it difficult to process more than one stream of information at the same time.

It is also important to know that overwhelming information causes a loss of interest. This may translate, for example, into a high rejection rate on pages containing excessive amounts of information.

  • Show the user the seeds of information and at the same time show the possibility of seeing more details. Following the principle of progressive disclosure, it is advisable to divide information and functions into several screens, instead of showing them all on one screen. Dividing information into several displays will minimize the user’s feeling of being overwhelmed and make it easier to use the product.
  • If possible, replace descriptions with examples.
  • Choose intuitiveness — if an element on a website is “clickable”, make it look like so.
  • Provide only information that you are sure needs to be provided to the user.
  • Do not require the user to perform several complicated tasks at the same time.

2. If you want people to do something, show them a person doing the same.

The brain prompts people to copy the behavior of others

The human brain contains so-called mirror neurons, which cause people to involuntarily, instinctively and often unconsciously copy the behavior of others. Usually, when mirror neurons are activated, the body’s production of dopamine, a substance related to pleasure, increases. Its seductive charm can influence users’ decisions. For example, when you see beautiful glossy jewelry in a picture, the increasing amount of dopamine may make you buy it. The sight of a dazzling model in a red dress makes us subconsciously believe that we will look equally attractive in this outfit.

  • If you want people to do something, show them a person doing the same.
  • Remember that consumers are more likely to copy behaviors they find attractive.

3. Direct the attention of the user accordingly

The brain tends to disperse

Only a part of the information reaching the brain is recorded in our consciousness. So the rest is simply ignored. Simply attracting attention is not enough; the brain tends to be distracted easily. When it takes a lot of time and effort to perform an activity, people are easily discouraged. So getting and keeping user’s attention is not an easy task.

  • Remember, that our attention is attracted by new, unknown things, strongly affecting the senses and emotions.
  • Avoid elements (such as blinking banners) that unnecessarily distract attention from the more important elements on the page.
  • Provide only the most relevant information.
  • Make your text easy to read and scan. Divide it into blocks, add appropriate headings.
  • The so-called “old brain”, which takes care of things connected with survival and procreation, has the greatest influence on our decisions. Elements such as safety, food and sex will attract our attention the most.

4. Tell your users a story.

People process the information given in the form of a story better

The stories attract and retain the attention of the audience and help to process information and discover causal relationships. People tend to find the causes quickly. The images we see are supplemented by our brain to make it easier to find a pattern. The brain assumes that it has all the relevant information and that there is always a cause. In the stories, events usually follow each other in chronological order, thus creating cause-and-effect relationships. The stories help you find causes and effects that may not be visible at first glance. They also have a greater power of transmission than just raw data. They evoke empathy and emotions. Data and feelings are processed on the basis of emotional reactions, which are also triggered by memory centres. Information is stored for longer if it is linked to an emotional message.

  • In addition to or instead of the raw data, state an anecdote.
  • Communicate in an emotionally stimulating way.
  • If you want to suggest a cause and effect message to the recipient, tell a story.

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