User experience blog

Observations and discoveries from UX research and design


In this meta analysis article I have gathered a number of research insights from Behavioural Economists and Psychologists from the field of human behaviour and specifically change behaviour. This article looks at human behaviour and decision making that affects both long and short-term change.

Co-operation at every level of our socio-ethno environments is dependent on trust and reciprocity. Under all sorts of circumstances, co-operation has underpinned and benefitted not only humans, but also many other species on our planet. Research over the past 80 years has studied both optimal and sub-optimal outcomes based on different reciprocal strategies.

A brief introduction to a number of amazing writers and books that focus on human behavior, biases and some left-field thinking on the things that influence and drive our everyday decisions. These books have had a big influence on my own UX practice and thinking.

Further reflections on the limitations of intuitive thinking

Since writing my initial blog about intuitive design approaches, I have read a number of additional publications about issues relating to intuitive-based problem solving. To avoid any shortcomings of intuition decision making it’s important we understand it’s limitations and look at alternative ways to solve design and UX problems.

Design experience can be valuable when tackling new problems. But applying a past solution to a uniquely new problem can sometimes lead to mental or functional fixedness. So how do we recognise when our decision-making is affected by fixedness, and how can we learn new ways to solve problems?

Understanding how people systemise the world around us, can be used to it's advantage within the area of interaction and user interface design.

Since I first started in web design I've heard the mantra of "make it simple and intuitive". While I agree with the 'simple' part of the approach, I still find that blindly following an 'intuitive UI' approach short-changes any discussion of the equally valid area of patterns for learned behaviours.

As designers we aim to provide solutions to communicate information, ideas, tasks and help customers carry out a variety of other activities (both offline and online). Although we can design solutions in a way that makes sense to us, we may inadvertently be creating a number of unknown communication issues if we fail to understand and cater for different learning styles.

There's been a lot of talk lately about designing for mobile devices; and specifically around using a 'responsive design' approach. However, this is just the start of creating responsive user experiences for customers. The next big question is what do we offer customers once we have managed to re-factor and resize the user interface for mobile devices?

When products, availability and services are all equal, what separates a business from it's competitors? Creating positive experiences is one way to help maintain and retain customers.