Kenil Bhavsar

Sr. Product Designer

Published: Jul 14, 20206 min read

The Design Solution With Human Function!

As product designers, our goal is to build great digital products for the marketplace. We spend most of our time using technologies, tools, user research, competitor analysis, goal-setting, problem identification and solutions to create a unique idea and launch it to the market.

But sometimes we forget that the digital product we are building is for a “Human”! The question is, how much do we really know about humans? How do humans think, read, see, remember, listen, react, make decisions, get motivated, take action, and return over and over?  

In order to understand the relationship between design and human function we would require a combination of human understanding techniques and empathy.

Human’s Mood & Behaviour

The term “happy users” leads them to try something new and positive with the product. By avoiding negative emotions, you’re providing a pleasant user experience.

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To make a user happy, find an idea which makes them feel happy at the first visit of your website. There are nice ideas such as having a beautiful face, videos, illustrations, colors, games that combine with product features. It’s not just about looking pretty but building emotional opportunities with users.

The Good design makes users happy. - Don Norman

Human’s Reciprocity

First, we should give a value to the product with features and let a user see those values and they may return with interest, & become a long term client! This will help to get a self-promoter client to make the product viral.

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Humans tend to return good deeds, one can use this social psychology law in user interface design to gain users’ trust and motivate engagement with your digital product. Giving a free sample encourages people to buy the corresponding product because they feel that they have to return the favor of being given something for free. So start giving before taking, and people will reciprocate!

Human’s Social Validation

Humans are a “social animal”, They are affected by what’s happening with others around them.

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Humans reference the behavior of others to guide their behavior. This tendency is driven by a natural desire to behave “correctly” under most circumstances—whether making a purchase, deciding where to dine, determining where to visit, what to say, and so on. Utilizing tools such as “other customers also bought,” “most wanted,” or “most popular” are huge converters. Showing Humans what others are doing in real-time on your product affects what they purchase and how quickly. Social validation motivates humans to purchase, but it also affects what they purchase.

Human’s Trust

Trust is the backbone of any good relationship. It is getting hard to trust any product to deliver long-term service without getting very explicit guarantees upfront.

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Erik Erikson describes trust as the initial psychosocial crisis in his stages of psychosocial development. As much as you love your users, you probably know that they make easy judgments. With so much competition competing for their loyalty, you can’t afford to treat the trust as an afterthought in product design. Building a trustworthy product requires laser-sharp insight and smart design. You have to understand what users want out of your product, but you also have to convey that value back to them immediately.

Human’s Science Of Habits

A repeated experience is nothing else but a form of addiction. If your product isn’t used frequently, you’ll never be able to form your hook, and it won’t become a habit. According to Nir Eyal's Hooked, an experience that connects your users’ problems to your product with enough frequency will form a habit.

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He explains the four key components of the hook.

  • A Trigger: What’s the internal trigger that your product is addressing? What’s the user’s desire? What’s the external trigger that prompts users to action? 

  • An Action: What’s the simplest thing the user can do to get an immediate reward?

  • A Reward: The reward phase is about how we can scratch the user’s itch while leaving them wanting more.

  • An Investment: What’s the thing the user does to increase the likelihood of the next pass through the hook?

The amazing part about habit-forming technology is that it appreciates: it gets better and better with use. This is why it’s so important to understand human psychology. It allows Designers to ask the right questions, get valuable responses, and ultimately design great products. 

We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act, But a Habit. - Aristotle

Human’s Brain relation with Stories

Storytelling releases dopamine in the brain to make it easier to remember 22x times. For social humans who regularly affiliate with strangers, stories are an effective way to transmit important information and values from one individual or community to the next.

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Research Says “Personal stories and gossip make up 65% of Human conversations.” Humans enjoy a good story, whether it’s a novel, a movie, or simply something one of our friends explaining to us what they’ve experienced. It’s quite simple as A story can put our whole brain to work. When we are being told a story, though, things change dramatically, according to researchers in Spain. From a story-telling perspective, the way to keep an audience’s attention is to continually increase the tension in the story. Whenever humans hear a story, They want to relate it to one of their existing experiences. That’s why metaphors work so well with them. While humans are busy searching for a similar experience in their brains, they activate a part called insula, so it generates empathy which helps them relate to that same experience of pain, joy, or disgust.

Human’s Fear of Loss

Using fear of losing the best discount, deal, or offer is a common way to lead profit. We often talk about creating positive emotions through design; we look to make humans happy and comfortable, etc. but rarely do we talk about making them afraid.

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Fear is programmed into the old brain and that’s the part of our brain that deals with instinct. Fear can be a powerful motivator to do something… or not to do something. If a designer can convince users of their ownership of something, they are more likely to resist losing ownership of that item. For example, a user may find the values of a product with a free trial. If they might not pay for the product, that would mean abandoning it and thus losing it. It can lead to buying a subscription instead of losing it. 

In conclusion, human behavior is a multi-faceted and dynamic field of study, requiring many points of inquiry to produce insights. Learning processes lay the foundation for determining many of our behaviors, although we are constantly changing in response to our environment. Understanding our behaviors is a tricky task, but we are getting ever closer to accomplishing. The above 7 methods will help designers to set human behaviors in use to make products usable and effective. There are more topics to cover such as concession, choices, human visual language, affordance, dopamine, reading level, color blindness, human factor load, competition, vision & brain, chromostereopsis, limitation of memory, relationship with technology, regret effect etc.

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