Credit: from Georgia Tech Professional Education
Credit: from Georgia Tech Professional Education

A Guide to Psychology Principles in UX Design

Are you wondering why users don’t love interacting with their digital assets as they expect them to? Most likely, your lack of understanding of some psychological design principles lies at your frustration’s core. Why? Because users are intellectual and emotional beings. 

While they make decisions using their heads, their feelings often control their thought processes. Their emotions inspire them to determine whether that or this website gives them value for their time. 

Therefore, understanding their psychological undercurrents can save you unnecessary headaches. It also saves your users from unnecessary bad experiences. This post discusses some of these laws. Remain on this page to learn and benefit more. 

Visual Perception

Visual perception in UX design follows Gestalt’s theory. This theory says our brain processes information by making us subconsciously group separated items to perceive them as a whole. This theory has the following core components: 

  • Symmetry. Symmetry is the visual appeal that pleases our minds to make us see objects we look at as symmetrical shapes. 
  • Proximity. This element applies to items placed close together and makes us perceive them as groups. Therefore, different objects appear as one object when placed closer.
  • Similarity. This component makes our minds perceive similar objects placed together as one unit. 
  • Figure and ground. This component allows users to switch between objects and their surroundings representing the ground to perceive different images. 
  • Closure. It states that while objects might be incomplete, our minds fill in the missing information to let us see them as complete. 
  • Continuity. This law depends on creating curved lines that let our eyes flow with the lines. It creates a psychological event when eyes freely move through one item and continue to another. 

Fundamentals of Hick’s Law

Hick’s law allows users to make decisions more easily. This law says that the time people take to make decisions depends on their available options. Designers can use it to scatter navigation items throughout their designs in small, discrete clusters. This approach narrows down huge information chunks without overloading users. Therefore, give users a few necessary options to speed up favorable decisions. 

Credit: from UX Design 
Credit: from UX Design

Fitts’s Law Takeaways for Designers 

This law says that the time it takes to hit targets depends on the targets’ closeness and size. This law requires designers to design products with larger elements for easy targeting by the eye. They should also be close enough to the eye to let it perceive it easily. 

The Psychology of Colors

Color is another vital psychological pillar to consider when designing products. It can attract attention, influence moods, and trigger psychological reactions. If you harness color effectively, you can influence users to make purchases more easily. 

Now you know most sales signs are red because red symbolizes action, stimulates the body, and incites urgency. It also encourages appetite, no wonder most eateries use it. No wonder Joshua Porter said that changing a button’s color can increase the click-through rate by up to 21%. 

Additionally, a study on color and psychological functioning revealed that promoting financial or medical services using black or blue colors would be more suitable because they represent formality and reliability. If you want to promote toys, you may use purple because it encourages creativity or red because it represents energy and action.

The Von Restorff Effect

The Von Restorff Effect is another law to use in your design processes. It states that if you see a group of similar items, you will most likely remember the one that differs from others. This principle creates a huge difference when trying to make users remember things. The law is highly beneficial in this era where most people suffer short attention and remembrance spans. 


You can also use the law of reciprocity in your UX design work. This law is beneficial for inspiring customer goodwill and positive feelings via giving. This law’s basis states that people naturally respond positively to gifts, even if they aren’t solicited or fully wanted, and feel indebted to givers. Therefore, people feel obligated to pay more attention to those who give them something they deem valuable. 

Remember, offers are critical in digital marketing. For instance, giving helpful information can be vital in triggering this principle. Websites can offer free access to white papers or other digital coupons to entice users to build a stronger connection with them. 

The Halo Effect

The halo effect is another principle UX designers can use to build trust using strong brand development and consumer trust. Applying this law can make consumers develop positive opinions of brands after positive experiences with their products or reputation. Their positive perception produces a psychological effect called the halo effect

Customers experiencing this effect are most likely to feel positively toward a manufacturer’s other products. This way, a brand can boost customer loyalty and strengthen its place in the market. Its opposite, the “horn effect,” can make dissatisfied users view the company’s other products less favorably after a negative experience with another offer. Therefore, digital marketers and designers should ensure users see and feel the connection between their offers to strengthen their brands. 


Lastly, you can use anchoring to boost your UX design. This law focuses customers’ attention on vital points. The principle states that humans tend to latch onto one primary piece of information when viewing products. This initial point shapes user perception of a product’s value and buying choices. User responses here are automatic. 

This principle is beneficial when seeking to establish expectations and feelings. For instance, discounted price labels on new vehicle windows make consumers feel they get bargains on vehicles even if their final prices are higher than those of similar but used cars.

You can utilize this principle in different ways in UX design, beginning with how you present and underscore information. 

Final Thoughts 

Psychology affects every UX design aspect. This guide shared the top psychology principles you can harness to give users the best experience they deserve while interacting with your offers. The ball is in your court to leverage them in your next design project to give users the best value for your money, time, and effort.