Daily UX Crash Course — User Psychology: 1 of 31

This year I vowed to get more people started in UX. Many of you probably found this blog via the original UX Crash Course, and every day this month I will continue my mission, focusing on User Psychology. The obvious place to start is:

What is User Psychology?


User Psychology is everything that can happen in a user’s mind when they use your design. And a few things before that. And a few after. 

Wait… let’s back up for a second and talk about psychology in general.

Just for a second.

Whether we’re discussing dating psychology, or consumer psychology, or truck driver psychology (which isn’t so popular in grad school) — we’re still talking about the same brain we all got on our first day.

There is no special “user” part in there.

UX Design can affect that brain in lots of predictable ways. And that’s what we’re gonna learn: 31 lessons about your brain, on design.

All practical, all the time.

No history, unless it matters. Nothing philosophical, because that’s not how I roll. And no Sigmund Freud, because cocaine isn’t considered a “best practice” anymore.

Just shit you can use.


Why Do We Need User Psychology?

The answer: you can’t be a great UX designer without psychology.

Design is the practice of creating non-random affect in people to solve a problem. In other words, you make them feel, think, and do stuff, on purpose.

Therefore, the more you understand your users’ feelings, thoughts, and actions, the better designer you are.

Understanding psychology allows you to answer things like: why do people share? Or why don’t they choose the cheapest option every time? Or why does the design that got 200 Likes on Dribbble actually suck the big one?

(Yes, that’s possible. Actually, it’s pretty common.)

The answers might not be what you think! Your intuition lies to you all the time. Over the next 30 lessons, we’ll learn about that.

And sometimes the same design looks different to two different people. We’ll learn about that too.

And some things that seem super personal are actually universal human behaviour. We’ll learn about that too.


Tomorrow we will learn about the biggest obstacle you face in UX Design: your perspective.