In Part Three of The Digital Psychology Checklist for Website Redesigns, we discussed how marketing psychology can and should influence marketing strategy, including digital commerce, conversion strategy, and copywriting. In order to truly reach your customers, you must fully understand their motivations, needs, and wants. In Part Four, the final installment in our four-part series on digital psychology, we discuss user experience design and UX psychology – the study of human behavior in digital usability.

UX Psychology

As a user experience architect, I can tell you that users respond best when complex things are made simple. The question we’re trying to answer in UX design is – “how do I make it work well”? Here’s your UX psychology checklist.

I’ve tested the buying process for ease of use: yes or no?

The Psychology: “Compulsion” – we make compulsive decisions because we expect things to be quick and easy. Test your processes and user goals while keeping your users impulses in mind.

I use consistent visual cues to indicate functionality: yes or no?

The Psychology: “Affordance” is a term that represents qualities of the physical world that suggest the possibility of interaction relative to the ability of an actor to interact. In other words, if it does something… it should look like it does something.

I’m creating a seamless purchasing journey that allows customers to make as few decisions as possible: yes or no?

The Psychology: “The Status Quo Bias” says that people prefer to avoid change and stick with what they like and know. Reduce the amount of decision making that your user has to do. Help them feel like they’re maintaining the status quo.

I’m displaying the right information at the right time: yes or no?

The Psychology: The “Salience” principle tells us that people’s attention is drawn to that which is most relevant to them at that moment. By identifying these moments, you’ll be able to make additional offers and up-sells when your users are most likely to be influenced.

I show my visitors a little bit of information and let them choose if they want more details: true or false?

The Psychology: “Progressive Disclosure” means that users actually want to control how much information they see. That’s why tabs and drawers are such popular UX features.

I provide defaults whenever possible to allow people to do less work: yes or no?

The Psychology: Again, keep the status quo.

I don’t expect people to remember things: true or false?

The Psychology: People can only remember about three or four items at a time. The “7 plus or minus 2” rule is an urban legend. Research shows the real number is actually just three or four. Don’t give your users to many things to juggle in their head at one time.

I’ve observed my users in action: yes or no?

The Psychology: People reconstruct memories, which means they are always changing. You can trust what users say as the truth only a little bit. It is better to observe them in action than to take their word for it. Have you used heat mapping or click-through tracking to actively observe your digital users?

I’ve broken up any error-prone tasks into small chunks: yes or no?

The Psychology: The fear of mistakes is something that haunts us all – even in the simplest of experiences. Reduce this fear by breaking complex (and even simple) tasks down into smaller chunks. And remember, always make it easy to “undo.”

I’ve explored opportunities to show someone else taking the action that I want my user to take: true or false?

The Psychology: Mirror neurons light up in your brain when you watch someone doing something. That’s the same part of your brain that lights up when you’re actually doing it yourself. If you want people to do something then show someone else doing it. How can you enact this in practice? Consider having instruction or how-to videos demonstrating what your product does, or how to interact with your digital website or application. Please learn much by watching others do.

I give people enough information: yes or no?

The Psychology: Dopamine is the magical chemical in our brain that makes us seek pleasure – food, sex, warmth, contact, and even information. We actually love to learn! Having more information makes people feel in control.

I give people small actions so they’re more likely to take larger actions: yes or no?

The Psychology: “Unconscious Processing” is something we do all the time. If a user commits to a small action like signing up for a free newsletter, then he or she is much more likely to take a larger action later on. Don’t make your users double-down with everything they have in their pile. Allow them to make smaller, less risky commitments first.

Digital Psychology Can and Should Guide Your Digital Experience

In The Digital Psychology Checklist for Website Redesigns, we’ve discussed brand psychology, design psychology, and marketing psychology. All of these concepts are intended to help guide your approach to digital marketing.

How should your branding elements look? What type of user experience should your website or digital application provide? What sort of strategies should you undertake in order to increase user engagement and conversions? This series of checklists – posed as a range of yes and no questions – will help you discover the answers to these wide-ranging concepts, and in the process, guide your future approach to digital marketing. As always, should your business require a partner in these endeavors, EXERTUS is here to help. Contact our team today to start a discussion – we’d love to lend our expertise!

Be sure to bookmark our Blog for future articles and download the entire four-part series in our Resources library.