Psychology in the design (Part 1)

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Psychology in the design: the effect of framing, binding effect, psychological pricing, data visualization…

Traditional economic theory has long suggested that people are logical, dispassionate, and make decisions that are in their own interests. However, in recent years, direction of behavioral economics is developing. Which showed that this assumption is wrong – people really are complex creatures that often rely on emotions and reflexes. Thanks to that and make decisions even if those decisions sometimes challenging rationality.

An interesting question is how to combine the designer’s work with behavioral science people are motivated to action. Answer: Psychology in the design.

Understanding the psychology as a science of how people interpret information, make decisions and take action, you can create more effective solutions that can achieve this goal.

As a first example in our article about the psychology of the design and how to use behavioral science in the field of design, we will look at how the number of seemingly objective pieces of information, in fact, easily perceived by subjective interpretation. Understanding the psychology of numbers useful for the design of a wide range of products. Anything from e-commerce to fitness applications and business intelligence software where digital information is an integral part of the product.

The glass is half full or half empty?


Consider a glass of juice filled up the middle. If you are asked to describe the contents of the glass, you can respond in different ways. You could say that the glass is half full, half empty, contains 110 ml, 110 calories, 20 grams of sugar, or 200% of your daily requirement of vitamin C – all these are accurately represent the contents of the cup, but our brain will not respond to these descriptions equally. This phenomenon, known as the framing effect, which explains how the same information presented in different variations, can affect our perception and decision-making.

The effect of framing – Everything is relative

Effect frame – is an example of a cognitive effect in which people react to a specific object, value or selection differently depending on how the data is presented. The effect of framing in a classic style – a glass half full or empty? Or, say, the work of a doctor. How many lives he saved and how many lost? In this example, the loss and achievements are the results of the same scenario with a single source of data. But people tend to think that the risk is escaped, when the data is represented using a positive effect frame, and vice versa looking for risks in the presentation of these data, the negative effect of framing.

In 1981, a study conducted by Amos Tversky and Daniel Kahneman, pioneers in behavioral economics shows how the framing effect can have a psychological impact on the choices that we make. When study participants answered whether they spend twenty minutes more of time on the road to save $ 5 dollars to buy a calculator for $ 15, nearly 70 percent answered yes. But when asked whether they would spend twenty minutes more of time on the road to save $ 5 on a jacket for $ 125, only 29 percent said they will spend. Why? Even despite the fact that the sum of $ 5 is the same in both cases, the transaction with a calculator received a 33% discount looks more tempting then deals by 4%, and we are ready to act for her.

Another example of a framing effect in action by Dan Ariely. In the 1990s, the company Williams-Sonoma for the first time presented in its stores breadmaker cost of $ 275. After the sale failed, the store has worked with consultants who recommended the range of the best model for $ 429. As a result, sales soared! But not the premium model, but the original for $ 275. But why? When choosing a product, customers do not have a primary reference point that would decide whether this bake is worth for money. But compared with the much more expensive one, the original bake appeared to be cheaper and more attractive. This effect anchor (binding effect), is a strategy used by many in the retail trade.

To be continued…

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