5 Cognitive Psychology Theories That Will Help You Improve UX

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Having a tailored user experience strategy is essential for website owners because you can learn how to fulfil the user’s needs with these effective strategies. UX is all about understanding and predicting user behaviour. More importantly, business owners who tend to integrate UX design into the development process can easily increase customer acquisition and sales.

Surprisingly, people are starting to realize that there’s a connection between psychology and UX design. Many UX designers are familiar with these concepts, and they most certainly use them to deliver better results. So, in this article, we’ll introduce you to 5 cognitive psychology theories that will help you improve user experience. Let’s start with the visual perception theories.

Gestalt principles

Visual perception theories have taught us that consumers like to think in categories. This way of thinking helps people structure information and learn about a certain topic faster. So, for example, the basic idea behind the Gestalt theory is that we understand visual elements by seeing them as a whole rather than perceiving each element of a design individually.

Therefore, if we tell you that people tend to group elements with similar attributes, you can use that information to improve the user experience. For instance, using the same font, shapes or buttons on your web pages will give your visitors the impression that they’re already familiar with these elements of your design. In addition, these methods will inspire your visitors to spend more time on your website, click on more buttons or links, and read highlighted elements on your blog posts.

Hick’s law

In simple terms, Hick’s law is a simple idea that people need more time to make a decision if they have multiple choices available. To test this theory, remember how difficult it is to decide what to eat when the fridge is full of delicious foods. But, when you have fewer options, it’s pretty easy to come up with a simple recipe that will satisfy your hunger.

So, let’s say you’re trying to sell a new line of products. In that case, you might want to showcase every available option on your homepage. But, Hick’s law is a great indicator that this idea may not be the best way to boost sales and attract new clients. That’s why you shouldn’t give your customers too many choices at once. Looking at a variety of products can be overwhelming, so when trying to improve user experience, be sure to find a balance and create a visually pleasing homepage.

Jacob’s law

If this is your first time building a website, implementing Jacob’s law will help you improve the user experience and understand your visitors better. The idea here is that users spend more time on websites that function similarly to the websites they visit regularly. So, for example, they expect to see the navigation bar at the top, just above the main header.

It’s worth noting that it’s impossible to create the ultimate list of UX habits. However, if you pay attention to how your visitors interact with your website, you will notice a pattern that will help you change your website’s layout and improve the user experience. In addition, be sure to check up on your competition. Do you notice any similarities or differences? If so, it would be best to embrace that information and implement a new design strategy.

The law of figure/ground

Law of figure/ground is another important Gestalt principle you can use to improve UX. This law teaches us that elements are often perceived either as a figure or a background. If you’ve never heard about this before, try to remember the optical illusion images where you can, for example, see people if you stay focused on the darker shades on the image or an object if you decide to focus on lighter shades.

So, how can the law of figure help you improve UX? For starters, you can improve the user experience by embracing contrast. For example, some design elements will get the user’s attention if they stand out from the background. Therefore, if your website’s background is purple, changing the colour of your call-to-action buttons to a brighter colour such as lime green will do the trick.

If you’re having trouble creating a perfect colour scheme for your website, a reputable web design agency will put all your worries to rest. We understand that building a website from scratch can be daunting, which is why hiring an experienced designer will help you save time and energy. Not only will a professional designer help you find the best colour scheme for your website, but they will also help you create a successful site mapping strategy and design a perfect layout.

The law of symmetry

Another cognitive psychology theory that often contributes to the quality of UX design is the law of symmetry. This theory says that we all love symmetry because it provides a sense of order or stability. We tend to perceive symmetrical objects as a unity of elements, and this information often helps UX designers structure a high-quality website and improve customer experience.

In addition, we should mention that there are a few types of symmetry. For example, translational symmetry means that an object can be relocated to another position while maintaining its original orientation. UX designers use this type of symmetry to create patterns that will catch the user’s attention.  

Conclusion

It’s safe to say that both UX designers and psychologists want to understand the patterns of human cognition and the decision-making process in order to improve their quality of life. But, more importantly, these theories show us that you need to understand the basics of cognitive psychology to create a successful website design.

Of course, there are many other ways to improve the user experience, but frankly, these theories are the basics. If you find the time to learn why cognitive psychology and UX design go hand in hand, it will be easier to fulfil the user’s needs.

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