A Detailed Study On Psychology Behind Design

Manraj sandhu | 25th July 2019

In this age of creativity, every designer is probably faced with the deliemma of how to further improve themselves during their career. And quite often, most graphic artist would try to improve themselves in their career by either learning – coding, writing and most often learning tricks/hacks of the business.

Nowhere are we suggesting that any of afore mentioned points are wrong and yes they can be helpful, however in the interest of efficiency, the answer to this would be to understand the fundamentals of psychology. If you are a designer and want to work with any specialized Ui Ux design studio than you should look into the following fundamentals.

Yes, psychology! You may ask, why would a designer have to do anything with learning or understanding psychology? The first thing that starts developing is the brain, it is this part of the body that is responsible for cognitive functions like perception, processing and reaction to whatever it sees in the environment. As we grow, our mind starts apprehending that not everything is worth absorbing or giving attention to, and so it starts putting up walls against information or communication that is uninteresting. Sad to say, this has only worsened as people are regularly bombarded with msgs via mail, phones, calls, poster, net etc. So you can imagine that the attention span of today’s individual would fall under the range of 4-5 secs.

To make thing easier, let’s consider attention as a stingy gate keeper, your communication as a salesperson and design to be his/her sense of style.  The brain’s orders are clear to the gatekeeper (attention), only open up gates to what it deems worth understanding or interesting. Now, as designers our job is to ensure that the salesperson (our communication) looks so good (design), that the gatekeeper (attention) is compelled to take him/her seriously.

Remember, the gatekeeper (attention) does not know or care for the number of hours, effort and thought put into designing; it’s job is to judge regardless of all the factors. Seems unfair, doesn’t it?

Which is why, it is crucial that we understand the psche of how the brain accepts a visual. Now the topic pertaining to the human psche is vast, however we shall only cover the part relating to psychology of design with 3 key principles layed down by famous psychologists. 

Cognitive load-

Cognitive load refers to the situation where the mind is overpowered by too much detail. Because of this, the mind misses out on details or information that may be relevant/crucial to communication. This law was stated by William Edmund Hick and Ray Hyman.


Chunking is a method layed down by George Miller and it basically entails the process of visually clubbing related data into little, evident units of data. When we lump content in plan, we are successfully making it simpler for our target audience to easily understand it.

Mental models

This model was proposed by Jakob Nielsen and it states that people invest the majority of their time and energy on net, and therefore they are  incline toward your site to work a similar route as the various web portals that they’ve been to. This rule urges designers to pursue normal structure designs so as to abstain from confusing people, which can result in higher psychological burden.

Take for instance Snapchat, which revealed a noteworthy update in mid 2018. They propelled a reformatted format, which thusly befuddled people by making it hard to access areas they utilized once a day. People promptly took to Twitter and communicated their dissatisfaction as a group. Much more dreadful was the ensuing relocation of snapchat user to its rival, Instagram. Snapchat had neglected to guarantee the psychological model of their people would be lined up with the updated form of their application, and the subsequent harshness caused significant kickback.

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Manraj sandhu

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