Kreatik talks – Antoni Leśniewski about UX Psychology

This month your questions about UX design were answered by Antek – UX Team Leader. Want to learn about the biggest e-commerce design mistakes, cognitive errors, and psychology in UX? You’ll find it all below!

Why are UX and psychology inseparable?

– The answer is simple – UX is about creating people’s experience of interacting with technology, while psychology answers the question – of how we perceive reality and how we interact with the environment as humans.

Psychology is a broad field of knowledge. Which of its branches is most useful in UX?

– I think that in every area of psychology there is something useful from the point of view of designing human interaction with a digital product, but if I had to list the ones I find most useful I would say cognitive psychology and the part of personality psychology responsible for emotions and motivations.

You can find out more about app design: Psychology of learning!

How do cognitive errors affect the design process? Is it possible to avoid them?

– Cognitive errors, like all other biases, are part of our human nature and it is impossible to completely avoid them. All the biases in assessing the probability of some phenomenon, or identifying the behavior of users, and consumers, make us see the world in a distorting mirror – designers are equally affected by this, and it certainly doesn’t make the work any easier. What we can do to reduce the likelihood of their occurrence is to talk to users both before we start designing, to get to know them better, learn about their problems and their way of thinking, and to talk once we have designed something, to test our assumptions and see how our solutions are used by target users.

What cognitive errors do you most often notice in yourself? 

– There is a cognitive error, which in English is called ‘illusory correlation’, and it consists in seeing correlations between variables, e.g. behaviors, and events that do not actually exist. When I am looking for an explanation for a user’s behavior, I happen to wonder: Isn’t the answer I found illusory? Am I not forcefully trying to connect the cause, with the result of the user’s interaction with my solution? Then I have to step away from the computer, cool down for a while, go for a walk and consult with the team whether my theory makes sense. 🙂

What do you think are the most common mistakes made in e-commerce design?

– The main mistake is copying assumptions about user attitudes and behavior from other industries/products than the industry you are designing for. There are some assumptions that are universal, which apply to how we buy, but there are also specific consumer preferences for particular services/products, and addressing them can be crucial to the success of an e-commerce site.

You can find out more knowledge about e-commerce: Subscribe to our E-commerce insights!

What good patterns that you use in your work are related to psychology?

– All the good patterns of designing people’s interactions with digital products that I know are somehow related to psychology. I’m a psychologist by profession, so I see connections to psychology everywhere, and that’s probably my personal cognitive error… 🙂 And seriously, I like to analyze designed solutions to match the patterns that determine how users read interfaces, i.e. the popular patterns: zig zag, Z, F. I check how the ‘weight’ of information and individual components is distributed on the page, whether there is no accumulation of too much difficult information, relevant to the user’s decision-making process, whether the most important information and functions are properly exposed and readable in perception – here Gestalt psychology, well known to UX and UI designers, helps a lot.

What can we learn from a UX audit?

– The main purpose of a UX audit is to make recommendations for improvements in the usability of a digital product, so you can learn how to improve your product, what users may be missing, how the product can earn better. At Kreatik we are constantly working on the standard of our audit, it’s not like we created a checklist once and now it has an unchangeable form. Of course, we have a base of UX classics that we like to use, e.g. heuristic analysis, analysis of usability principles, and cognitive rules. We also pay attention to performance, which is very important, especially in e-businesses, we check if the solution is designed in such a way that no one is excluded. In the case of e-business, we also analyze the sales process in terms of taxonomy and conversion to make precise recommendations for business improvements based on measurable indicators. Besides, we track the evolution of digital products and the way users interact with them. We are constantly inspired and thinking about how to improve the quality of our audit and the usefulness of recommendations in business terms.

UX design is an additional cost to the client. Why do you think it is worth investing extra in UX?

– Let me start by saying that I would strongly disagree with the thesis, which still lingers in the broader e-business – that UX is an additional expense. In my opinion, we can no longer consider UX design as an optional stage of digital product development. We know how important user satisfaction is on the way to a profitable e-business. We can no longer ignore this area – good UX, and ease of user interaction with digital products is currently must-have! There is a certain usability threshold below which we can’t go if we count on the profitability of a digital product. UX is therefore not an additional cost, but one of the main factors leading to success in e-business. The history of the IT industry is full of “epic fails” in which businesses are paid dearly for not taking the user seriously. It’s worth investing in UX because, first of all, the UX process has many tools to validate a business idea in the initial development phase – before development begins, which is much cheaper than correcting a failed but already implemented solution. Besides, the UX process brings the Business closer to the end-user and allows to understand him better, so you can address in the product a number of solutions tailored to the needs and realities of the users, which in a long time pays off in building a long-term brand-consumer relationship.

What project completed so far is your favorite and why?

– This is a difficult question… I feel like I should choose a favorite child. I’m very happy to have been able to support the team that did a great job in designing a zero-touch process to enable the purchase of cars in the online channel for the French brand Qarson. There were a lot of interesting puzzles to solve in the project. Selling cars is quite an intricate process, and we had to convert it into a digital version taking into account all the possibilities and limitations of the online channel. Designing a process that is not linear, dependent on many variables and legal restrictions, brings many non-obvious challenges, but we like them.

See our portfolio here!

Do you have any thoughts on trends in 2023?

– Optimistically I believe very much in the development of the green UX trend, I hope that 2023 will be a step that will bring sustainable design closer to the status of a standard, instead of a trend. Personally, I’m becoming more and more interested in what impact I have on the environment as a UX designer. 

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Antoni Leśniewski

Antoni is dedicated to clarifying the needs and solving problems of users and businesses within the framework of designed digital tools.
He is a graduate of Business Psychology at the SWPS University and a 2-year study of graphic design.
For 7 years, he worked for a boutique consulting and research agency, where he was initially responsible for data analysis, to later design and conduct research himself - mainly for retail, hospitality and shopping center clients.

21.12.2022

Paulina Figlewicz

UX Designer

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