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Neuroscience is a term that is used more and more often in different spheres of business and daily life. So why not study the brain to create the most efficient user experience designs? In today’s article, I’ll be talking about an easy and understandable concept which every one can practice and use as a silent and powerful tool while creating UX design.
WHAT IS NEUROSCIENCE?
Lets start from Neuroscience itself. Neuroscience is a study combining lots of other sciences like anthropology, physiology, genetics and others which deal with the structure or function of the nervous system and brain. Neuroscientists, by using all this knowledge, make a logical road of how our brain and mind work by seeing, feeling and thinking. Its noticeable that there are many theories and methods responsible for different reactions of a brain. Lets take a look at a concept in the neuroscience and cognitive psychology which divides the mind into two Systems of thinking. Have you ever tried to control your brain, your thoughts and emotions? What were those results? Our brain can think in two ways: Fast and Slow. At the same time, some of our thoughts and emotions might be controlled while others are not. There are algorithms and main characteristics that could describe this theory.
1ST SYSTEM: FAST THINKING
It is essential to think rapidly, be more intuitive and emocional. It is our first impression that might be wrong or with mistakes. There is no logic in such way of thinking, only feelings and comparisons have a place to be. Most of these decisions are taken in a completely unconscious and automatic way.
2ND SYSTEM: SLOW THINKING
It is completely different and might be named as conscious. The brain reacts slowly, but does more efforts, is more focused, considerable and logic. This way of thinking is used to make big decisions, analyze or solve something. On a daily base, we use mostly the 1st System that is quick and takes less effort. Normally, the 2nd System isn’t engaged unless there is a real need. It is called the cognitive demanding. The brain likes it when everything is clear and easy, when we can find what we need fast and resultative, without thinking too hard. What happens when our brain is forced to use the 2nd System for simple tasks and work for a while? I bet you had moments when you were trying to check prices for a product or service on a website but it was too challenging to find out and you easily left the page being discontented. That is an essential example of how our mind react on UX Design of a page and how System 2 doesn’t want to do a lot of efforts without a real need to do so.
RECOMMENDATIONS FOR UX DESIGN
Taking into account everything that was mentioned, I would like to underline some key points that could be very helpful for UX Design.
- The main objective of UX Design is to play and use as an advantage the 1st System of thinking. Make visitors think fast, using their emotions and feelings.
- Design is the right example for this case. When the design is clear and flat, that the colors are comfortable for the eye and that it expresses the feelings and emotions in the right way, our fast thinking is contented and accepts it.
- Remember that when the user needs to focus and concentrate on details and functional parts (like for example tools and how they are designed), he will be using the 2nd System. It can come in handy to find necessary links or buttons.
- Try to make a research on how a group of people completes several tasks on a website or mobile app. After that, think and analyze at what moments their concentration and engagement increased.
- By the way, color is a fairly external feature for our brain. Take that into account. Today’s trend on a flat UI might be slightly risky. Users put much more efforts to concentrate their mind on important details.
Summing up, remember that a good UX design is based on understanding how people perceive and process the information while they are scrolling on your website or using a mobile app.
This last part of the article is kept for the books that I highly recommend you to read. If you are still interested in learning more about how our brain influences our decisions, here’s a few interesting reads:
1. Daniel Kahneman – Thinking fast and slow This is a classic book and definitely the first thing you should read regarding our mind thinking processes. Daniel Kahneman is an Israeli-American psychologist known for his work and studies on psychology of judgement, decision-making, as well as behavioral economics for which he was awarded a Nobel in 2002. In that book you will find more details and examples of the 2nd Systems Thinking Concept. A highly recommended read.
2. Steve Krug: Don’t make me think This book is more about the human-computer interaction. Steve Krug tries to show and explain that a good website or software program should accomplish the user’s intended tasks as easily and directly as possible. The book has already become the mantra for UX.
3. Robert B. Cialdini: Influence; The Psychology of Persuasion The author explains why people say ‘yes’ and guides you on how and what makes them do that. Being a seminal expert of persuasion and influence, Robert B. Cialdini gives 6 main and universal principles of how to become a professional persuader. Reading this book will upgrade your knowledge and perceptions about Neuroscience and its direct influence on User Experience Design.