Psychological principles as they relate to user interface and user experience design.

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363
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20answers
27k views

Why do people clear the screen multiple times when using a calculator?

I've noticed that most people when using a real or a virtual calculator, they hit the Clear button multiple times when clearing the screen (even though hitting it once is enough), so I started ...
92
votes
3answers
5k views

Psychology behind $0.99 for paid apps, but $1.00 for donation apps?

I've noticed a trend (at least on the Google Play store) of application prices ending in x.99, while 'donation' apps usually end on the dollar. I see the reasoning behind the psychology that makes a ...
62
votes
9answers
3k views

How does Gamification change User Behavior?

On Location Based Applications the use of Gamification is essential. As you move along and check in you earn badges and points. Users also find themselves in a leader board, which most certainly ...
61
votes
10answers
5k views

Why are progress bars horizontal?

Question sparked by this discussion. Why are progress bars almost always presented as horizontal lines that increase from left to right? Is this the best method of indicating progress (and why)? And ...
45
votes
13answers
12k views

Why don't users want to see adverts relating to products/services they might be interested in?

As we all know, Google's content display network, as well as many other successful setups rely on delivering targeted adverts to users to increase the chances of adverts falling in front of the ...
41
votes
5answers
3k views

What research is there suggesting modal dialogs are disruptive?

It seems "Everyone" knows they're highly disruptive for many situations but often times clients don't. Particularly in desktop applications this form of dialog is often misused, often disrupting a ...
34
votes
9answers
3k views

Ratings: 3 stars vs 5 stars. Why 5?

It's the most common interface used to display votes is the “star rating system,” in which a particular number of points (often expressed as stars) is assigned to an item by each reviewer. We find ...
34
votes
5answers
2k views

Do users trust shortened URLs?

I've got some problems with shortened URLs personally; they're really easy to create and not descriptive, so it's fairly easy to make them link to malware. I'm talking about links like ...
32
votes
11answers
6k views

Which of those two design best symbolizes emptiness and makes you want to fill it?

I'm working on a service with limited credits and designing a counter displaying how much is left. I came across two approaches (below) and even if the first one looks simpler I feel like the second ...
31
votes
13answers
9k views

Is it true that “the only 'intuitive' interface is the nipple”?

Everyone knows the famous quote (by Bruce Ediger or Steve Jobs, I'm not sure): The only "intuitive" interface is the nipple. After that it's all learned. It's an amusing gem, but is it really ...
30
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6answers
570 views

What are your favorite counter-intuitive principles or ideas within UX? [closed]

A quick example: "Paradox of Choice" - Giving a user more control via options, configuration, and settings is counter-intuitive from a UX standpoint. We expect users will relish their total ...
28
votes
11answers
1k views

Implement gamification on Time reporting to minimize late reports?

A company is having trouble getting its employees to report time of their working hours. The time reporting is the source for invoicing the company's customers and it has to be done in time. To deal ...
28
votes
10answers
958 views

How do you make users vote objectively and not from emotions?

I've seen on Youtube many informative videos on massacres and natural disasters where users don't vote objectively. Rather, they vote based on their emotions, which is why these videos always have a ...
27
votes
10answers
1k views

When you hate your design and you're almost finished with it, what do you do?

I started out with a web design template that I loved. I spent a few days finding, cropping, and touching up the perfect images. I tweaked the CSS to better fit my page's style. In short-- I was in ...
26
votes
2answers
4k views

What objective qualities make a user interface intuitive?

How is intuitive defined in terms of UI? Are there any studies about what objective and measurable qualities make a user interface intuitive? What design principles, patterns, or approaches are most ...
24
votes
10answers
2k views

What is more memorable: Avatar or Username?

Is there any evidence which shows whether users are more able to recognise another user's Photo over their Username or vice versa? I am interested in understanding this from a usability perspective. ...
22
votes
5answers
764 views

What makes people vote?

What drives people to upvote or downvote content? I'm looking for the je-ne-sais-quoi quality on successful voting systems and I just can't put my finger on. Let's look at three examples: ...
20
votes
5answers
644 views

Will faster GUI always make one more efficient?

Are there any studies on whether one will actually get more done during a days work if delays went down i. e. from 10 ms to 5 ms for each update. My point is that if we are already working at the ...
19
votes
5answers
1k views

Is giving users false assurance a good thing?

I've seen websites that show messages like - Sorry, Something went wrong, we're trying to fix this ASAP , when they really should be displaying : 404 - the page you're looking for does not exist One ...
19
votes
5answers
2k views

Why this timed-hover “like button”?

I recently caught "Where Good Ideas Come From" by Stephen Johnson on Alex Hillman's blog, and was intrigued by Alex's unique implementation of a 'like button'. Behaviour The element's initial state: ...
19
votes
2answers
746 views

Why do some apps feel “heavy” while others feel “light”?

I have come up with a new concept and that is that every application or interface has a 'heavyness factor'. Let me give you an example: Google chrome feels 'light', it loads fast, doesn't take long ...
19
votes
1answer
885 views

Model photo choice for better conversion rate : is same sex more appealing than opposite sex?

I am creating a landing page targeted to men of age 18 to 45 years. It's supposed to promote a nationwide recruitment effort of temporary workers needed in production plants. The photo of a smiling ...
18
votes
8answers
2k views

How valuable is studying cognitive psychology for UX?

I am starting my second year in grad school and thinking about what to study. One thing that I know is good to have a grasp of is cognitive psychology. But I would like to get someones perspective. ...
18
votes
2answers
503 views

Social media sharing: Does simply showing icons stimulate action?

This is tangentially related to the question "Social Media Icons - show all visible, or group under 'share'?". In my organization, we've generally found that displaying the individual icons for ...
17
votes
8answers
5k views

Which Cognitive Psychology books would you recommend? [closed]

I'd like to start reading about Cognitive Psychology, but don't know where to start really. I'd rather read a book that teaches me something that I could use when working on the web/mobile ...
17
votes
4answers
590 views

Discovering new features

I work with a web-based platform with lots of data and various tools to view the data, perform analysis. Users are often impressed by one or two features and stick with them. The platform adds new ...
16
votes
10answers
791 views

Do users like choice? How much should I give them?

I built a photo slideshow web page as an exercise for myself. One thing I found myself doing was adding a Settings button. Clicking this reveals a little settings pane that lets a user choose between ...
16
votes
6answers
3k views

Monitors display more colors than human eye can distinguish

The human eye can differentiate about 10 million colors. A 24-bit display mode can produce about 16 million. Why, then, do operating systems have 32-bit and higher display modes if the apparent ...
16
votes
7answers
3k views

The psychology of everyday shapes

We know a lot about colours and how they affect people, but what do we know about shapes? When choosing icons or logos, how do the shapes in them affect their perception? Does anyone know of any ...
16
votes
3answers
4k views

How many visually distinct colors can accurately be associated with a separated legend in a figure?

For charts and graphs it's a relatively common question by programmers to want to procedurally generate an arbitrary number of colors that are visually distinct. Various research (or educated ...
14
votes
5answers
1k views

Do shapes connote differing degrees of hazard?

I'm working on designing an icon set and experimenting with a few different styles. One style would involve every icon being the same color. However, color is really good at differentiating things ...
14
votes
6answers
849 views

Correct terminology for “please the interviewer” bias?

I'm pushing usability testing within my workplace by performing some Steve Krug style usability tests, which have gone down so well that the product owner now wants me to add some marketing questions. ...
14
votes
7answers
4k views

Do touch screens have a harmful psychological effect on people? [closed]

The touch screen is a radical change in the control of machines. For centuries, machines were operated by physical buttons. Perhaps the most important aspect of user experience for a physical device ...
14
votes
3answers
532 views

What evidence is there that dark patterns are bad for business?

I recently got into a debate with a coworker about dark patterns. He's a numbers guy -- and I made the mistake of bringing up an example of a dark pattern for which I didn't have evidence of any ...
13
votes
6answers
682 views

Why are nested elements scrolled to the opposite direction?

My question is about scrolling conventions, and spatial scroll conventions in general (even here it's only horizontal, but same applies for vertical scrolling). Looking at the below mockup, why is it ...
12
votes
4answers
1k views

Is user centered design only about hygiene factors?

There is one thing that bothers me about UX-design. One of the shortcomings of a user centered design approach, is that it only focuses on existing needs and not on new revolutionary ideas. For ...
12
votes
7answers
324 views

Looking for arguments and studies to rebut “No one complains, so it ain't broke.”

I'm of the opinion that the absence of complaints is not a strong indicator of good usability. I'd like to learn more about this idea, whether it's true or not, and how to argue the point if true. My ...
12
votes
3answers
676 views

UX and design for Gamification of Collaborative Learning

What are proven gamification techniques that promote collaboration? I don't mind whether the specific techniques come from educational sites, or pure game sites or some other source. I want to ...
12
votes
4answers
322 views

How to leverage team effects in HCI?

Humans and Computers can act as if they were a team. Clifford Nass shows in his experiments that even though we would deny it, we treat computers as little humans ("social actors"). In his chapter ...
12
votes
4answers
228 views

Name or data on this error alert phenomenon?

This is just a curiosity on my part, but I'm wondering if there's a name or studies for what I'm going to describe. I've noticed in many UX scenarios, not just computer related, that when there's an ...
11
votes
3answers
765 views

How do you calculate the cognitive memory load requirements of an interface?

If you break an interface down into elements and possible actions, how do you calculate the memory load requirements of an interface? Further, how do you relate the existing familiarity of an element ...
11
votes
5answers
838 views

How do you observe body language and facial expressions in user testing?

When user testing how do you record positive or negative body language? Do you use observed shifts in body language or facial expressions to consciously probe further about what the user thinks or ...
11
votes
3answers
705 views

How do you nudge users to download your native app?

I was reading an ACM research paper recently that considered users' revisitation patterns. The authors found that users tend to revisit native apps far more often than they revisit pages in browsers. ...
11
votes
3answers
5k views

Mental model vs Conceptual model — what's the difference?

I'm reading Apple's Human Interface Guidelines about Mental models and I can't understand what is the difference between Mental and Conceptual models. I prefer a short answer if possible :)
10
votes
4answers
664 views

Should I use user-generated Badges to reward users?

I am thinking about using badges in a system to reward users. In the scenario I'm thinking of, users would be rewarded for posting content that is appreciated/ranked high by other users. I am ...
9
votes
6answers
486 views

Should I style my buttons?

Are there any major advantages / disadvantages in styling ones buttons like Facebook, Twitter and StackExchange - vs. not styling them like Craigslist and 4chan?
9
votes
4answers
610 views

Resources for learning Gestalt principles

I've seen the Gestalt principles or laws referenced often when it comes to graphic design and even UI and UX. Is there some definitive guide, book or original research about this subject that I can ...
9
votes
6answers
388 views

Which is more motivating to continue a process until completion: a percentage, or the number of steps?

I'm working on a set of guides to help users learn how to use our app. We want to show which guides are available and some data with each guide indicating how far you've gotten. The idea is that if we ...
9
votes
5answers
1k views

Is there any advantage in marketing my product for £99.99 instead of £100?

It's a wide-spread marketing technique that seems to have been around forever- selling products for £1.99, £9.99, £19.99, instead of £2, £10 and £20. Presumably the pyschology is that submliminally ...
9
votes
4answers
719 views

Is it still effective and appropriate to use psychological pricing for IT people?

I need to build pricing plan for service that will be used mainly by developers and designers. I can't decide what price to use, e.g. $20 or $19. I'm afraid that well-educated and smart people ...