Join David Hogue for an in-depth discussion in this video Why psychology?, part of UX Foundations: Interaction Design.
- [Lecturer] There are many fields relevant to Interaction Design and in this course we're going to use a system of thinking about it from a psychological perspective. Understanding how people think, feel, understand information and make decisions can help us generate better ideas and solutions and help us craft and deliver better experiences. There are many different models of product design in development but at their core they all include discovering what the product should be and do, crafting the best possible product, delivering the product to the people who need it and improving the product based on opportunities to better meet their needs.
This course will focus on the first half of this process from the very beginning of a project until we work on designing the solutions. We can use psychological theories and principles at every stage of definition and design. From the initial foundational research where we discover what people truly need to crafting and building design solutions and measuring how well a product works. For every problem, challenge or need we seek to address through design we can use methods from psychology to help us gain insights about, and take the perspective of the people who will be using your product or service, and we can do this in a very structured and systematic way.
First we want to identify what problems should be solved or which needs should be met. This might be for a completely new product opportunity or to understand how an existing product might be improved. Identifying problems and needs and evaluating how well our product or service addresses them involves research. Using psychological research methods we have three main ways of gathering data about people. Some things may be directly measured, like time and counting the number of steps to complete a task or the number of errors that occur.
These are objective, quantitative data, often from analytics or formal lab testing. We may also observe people using products or services to help us understand their behavior, expectations and reactions. We watch how they use a product such as holding a smartphone and the gestures they make, and their reactions, such as facial expressions or what they say. These are subjective data, because you are observing, describing and interpreting what the person is doing, and we can ask people to answer questions about what they are doing and describe their feelings, expectations and attitudes.
These are also subjective data because people are telling us about their internal states, things we cannot directly measure or observe, and we must trust them to describe these things accurately. The second step in discovery is to clearly define the problem or need in terms of the actions and outcomes. And third, we describe the problem or need and the desired outcome or goal in the context of a person's larger experience.
Once we have identified, defined and framed the problem, we shift our focus to crafting an effective solution. Design involves abductive reasoning, critical thinking and problem solving. The physical product or interface is how design manifests as the solution to the problem. Prototyping is an essential part of the process. We make working versions of our ideas to evaluate and test them. Prototypes help us determine if our design decisions are working and identify alternatives if not.
Designing and prototyping are iterative processes. We generate, evaluate and adjust ideas repeatedly until we identify the best solution that meets the needs of people, meets the business needs and which is technically feasible. So, methods from psychological research are important for how we discover and study problems, products and services, but there is much more from psychology we can use for our design work. Let's build upon these steps of identify, define, frame and measure, observe, ask and take a deeper look into the psychology of Interaction Design.
- What is interaction design?
- Learning behaviors
- Theories of emotion
- Designing for delight
- Classical and operant conditioning
- Using learned behavior
- Interface design principles
- Design thinking
- Defining microinteractions
- Error handling
- Usability and accessibility