There are two sides to every story – and with design, it’s even more important to consider them both. Design relates to both the viewer and the creator in a way that could significantly alter the intended results if one side were to misunderstand the other. In that case, you end up with a design that has no purpose nor result.
Between the two sides, there is the psychology of design. The UX Collective defines the psychology of design as “a combination of neuroscience, cognitive psychology, social psychology and human-computer interaction that approaches user experience design through the lens of human behavior.” In layman’s terms, it’s the ‘thinking’ behind the design.
WHAT EXACTLY IS THE PSYCHOLOGY OF DESIGN?
The psychology of design is the connection between the designer and the viewer and the design’s impact. When creating a design, it is essential to have a purpose – whether that’s selling a product, building brand trust, or simply giving a ‘feeling’ to empathize with the viewer.
It’s the designer’s job to choose every line, shape, color, graphic carefully, and text included in the design to elicit the emotion desired from the viewer. But, how do designers accomplish this successfully?
Expertise comes with time, experience, and research, but you can get started with these simple tips:
#1. STUDY THE PSYCHOLOGY OF COLOR
One aspect of the psychology of design is the psychology of color. The psychology of color is how a feeling, thought, or emotion is associated with certain colors, affecting our perception of the object (or design) the color is in or on.
For example, green is associated with growth, organic, natural, caring, fresh, & earth. Brands such as HelloFresh and Sprite are perfect examples of how green is used to persuade a consumer – in this case, that their products are fresh & healthy.
#2. UTILIZE THE “GUT CHECK”
The “gut check” is the initial reaction you and others have to the design. Gut checks are helpful when you’re unsure if the purpose or message you WANT to get across is what’s ACTUALLY getting across.
A gut check can be easily performed by yourself by leaving the design for a day or two then taking a 5 to 20-second look. After you’ve taken this quick look at the design, write down what it immediately made you feel, what you thought, and something (either an item or existing brand) that you associated with it.
Ideally, a gut check should be performed by a small group (1-3 people) who don’t know what the end goal is. This way, you have a completely unbiased appraisal and opinion.
#3. IF IT LOOKS BETTER, IT WORKS BETTER
Meet the Aesthetic usability effect – when a user believes that just because it looks better, it works better even if that’s not necessarily true. A clean, aesthetically pleasing design is more likely to attract consumers with the idea that the product of the idea is more efficient than others.
Essentially, it means that one of the most basic contributing factors in design psychology is making the design pretty.
What type of psychological response is your branding or design eliciting from your consumers? Connect with the StellaPop team for an updated brand design today.