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a blog about the links between ux design and cognitive sciences.

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THINKING ABOUT DESIGN

october 15/ux design, cognitions

Those days, the term User Experience (UX), largely spreaded around the world is sometimes being accused of being misused. Some says everybody in the field of user interface (UI) design can call themselves professional UX designers... but why ? And what it truly means and involves to work in UX ?

Oh, and just so you know why I am writing about this topic, psychology, human factors and ergonomics where the kind of fields that I studied in the past years. This was before I knew that user experience could marry my loves of human-centered research and product design. In my eyes, UX takes what human factors stand for, but add creativity and fun to it.

So why is UX so important nowadays ?

Well in short, in order for industries to generate revenue and maintain their infrastructure they need to have users or customers that use their products. And to attract and satisfy those users, they need to understand their behaviors and to approach and involve them in the process. All of that, in order to help design a better experience for them so that ultimately, they will come back to use the products again. In other words, industries need to understand their users if they want to be successful. And that’s where UX comes in handy cause it's all about people. Companies understood it, so as designers.

But what is UX about ?

The concept appeared during the world war II and the development of human centered design. The design goals were to minimize human error. Then along the years, it took other names like human factors, usability, human-computer interaction, ergonomics and user experience design. All of them work for and with people.

With that said, a good user experience should be the perfect blend of concepts from psychology, design principles for an engaging UI, and a continuous feedback from the users. Most of the time, designers take into consideration the second factor along with some part of the third but completely neglect the importance of the first one. This eventually leads to a user interface that creates high cognitive load for the user.

The human brain works with more concentration, higher retention and less fatigue when a task takes up less mental efforts. That’s why it’s important to take into consideration the brain’s processes in a design project. Indeed, designers should use research and knowledge about the brain, the visual system, memory and motivation to design more effective products, services and systems.

I hope you enjoyed reading this first post ! Even if I need more experience, my past studies made me aware that there are lots of psychological and cognitive factors which are important to know to make better user experiences. Creating links between different fields that I know well to get a better understanding of the UX design practice is my motivation behind writing this blog.

And we’ll explore some of the most important cognitive principles that every UX Designer should know in future posts !


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