Psychology Based Hacks To Make You A Better UX Designer

Naomi Oyibo
4 min readJul 29, 2022


Understanding psychology, human interactions and employing this knowledge in design makes better UX designers who design useful and usable products.

Seeing topics such as “psychology tips to make you a better UX designer” could make one wonder what psychology has to do with UX design. Read this article to find out what design psychology is and it’s usefulness in creating better user experiences with digital products. Let’s have a look at design psychology.

User Experience And Psychology - Design Psychology

Cognitive psychology studies human mental processes including attention, perception, memory, creative thinking and problem solving which are the basics for user experience design.

Design psychology is a combination of design and cognitive psychology. Information processing models present in cognitive psychology are similar to design decisions designers have to make. How a user will interact with an application or website, how they view the interface and what they take from these interactions and more. Most of human actions are driven by motivation and humans crave for their needs before any other basic needs ( from Maslow’s Theory ). For users to be consistently motivated to use a product, the user experience (UX) of that product must be enjoyable .

A designer who understands the basic principles of cognitive psychology and employs these knowledge in their design can successfully design for usability and accessibility.

Here Are Some Psychological Based Hacks to Make You A Better UX Designer:

Reduce Visual Clutter

Visual clutter could be represented by all items of colors, labels, styles on the products’ interface. Visual clutter results in high cognitive load which overloads the user’s attention; “cognitive load is the mental effort required to process and learn new information”. Streamline to only what is important and make it easier for users to make interactions and decisions by reducing visual clutter. Ways to reduce visual clutter includes;

  • Simplify your layout. Placing many visual elements, CTAs, and popups throughout every page will leave an unpleasant user experience while interacting with your products. Cognitive psychology will tell users to abandon your website for a more easy to use and coordinated website. Simple layouts allows faster and enjoyable interactions with digital layouts.
  • Use Color Theory. When creating a style for your app, think about what the app or website is meant for, what the expectations of users would be and who your users are. Pick your color palettes based of these parameters so your products are visually optimized for useful UX. For example, the colors red and green give off different emotions and would affect your design’s quality differently so such decisions should be made with insightful considerations. Color theory plays a huge role in guiding your users’ in decisions making through affecting their subconscious.
  • Use Short Texts. No one is genuinely interested in reading a long page of text while using a website or mobile app. This is why when you use texts during design, you need to be intentional about it and make it as short and meaningful as possible. Avoid really long blocks of texts and pairing texts with overwhelming visuals if you need them to be read.

Clear Call To Action

Define your clear primary goal before the start of your project, identify what is the important feature and bring your users there. You want to use elements that should easily selectable and position them close. Ways to utilize CTAs;

  • Use FOMO. Fear of missing out (FOMO) is a proven call to action strategy that persuades users to take action on your website or application. FOMO triggers can be designed as pop-up windows that appears prior to a user’s exit from the website or while browsing through target features. FOMO triggers can indicate sales offers, coupons, one time deals, end of offer and other emotion drawing offers.

Provide Social Proof

“Social proof” was coined by author Robert Cialdini in 1984 in his book “Influence”. It is simply the idea that people copy the actions of others in an attempt to emulate behavior in certain situations.

Online users like to be reassured that a product is well designed and you can ensure them of this by smart social proof positioning throughout your app UX design. Present your users with testimonials, reviews and proof of purchase of satisfied clients. These elements will have a positive effect on your users’ psychology and nudge them towards using your product.

Organize Content

  • Gestalt’s principle of continuity; states that the human eye is more likely to see a continuous path rather than a jagged one. The human eye finds it hard to scan up and down and then left and right in a sequence. Keeping this in mind, you want to avoid multi-column forms and keep your forms in one column whenever possible.
  • Gestalt’s Law of Proximity; states that objects close to one another appear to form groups. Organized content creates good user experience because it is helpful to the user.

By understanding UX psychology, you can build better products designed with users in mind. Many design principles are derived from human behaviors to enhance the user experience so get acquainted with design psychology so you can apply them. These psychology tips can be built upon in different ways depending on your target audience and the purpose of your product.

Understanding how people think is essential to designing intuitive and usable interfaces. Now that you’ve learned about these principles, keep exploring by employing them in your designs and observe how they can be used to improve the experience.