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Design for the Mind: Seven Psychological Principles of Persuasive Design

Design for the Mind: Seven Psychological Principles of Persuasive Design

Author: Victor S. Yocco

Publisher: Manning Publications


Publish Date: July 31, 2016

ISBN-10: 1617292958

Pages: 240

File Type: PDF

Language: English

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Book Preface

Psychology is all around us. It’s woven into everything we do. Nowhere is this more apparent than when you design products for human use. How will users engage with a product? Why do users behave the way they do? Which elements of your design are key to facilitating the behaviors you want users to engage in? Psychology helps answer these questions, guiding you to making effective design decisions. Yet psychological principles stem from academic research and literature, which can often be inaccessible for practitioners. I wrote this book to help you make sense of what we know about psychology and how to apply it to design.

I became familiar with many principles of psychology through my education and pre-design work history. At the time, I was learning how psychology applied to communicating environmental issues to visitors in settings like science centers and zoos. Later, I started working as a researcher with Intuitive Company (IC), a digital design and development firm. I quickly realized everything I had learned about psychological theories and research was applicable to digital settings as well, particularly the psychology of persuasion and influence.

In January 2014, I gave a presentation on the application of persuasive psychology to design to my colleagues at IC. As I gave the presentation, I felt the state known as flow—an immersive state of focus, full involvement, and energy that a person enters when performing an activity aligned with their passions. I knew I had stumbled across something I loved doing: teaching others the application of psychology to design. From there, I started writing about psychology and design. I wrote articles for A List Apart, Smashing Magazine, and UX Booth, and I realized there was more than enough relevant content to produce multiple books for practitioners. That’s when I decided to pursue a lifelong goal of writing a book.

This book grew up alongside a baby. My wife was pregnant as I shopped my proposal, which eventually found a home at Manning Publications. I signed with Manning on March 2, 2015, and our daughter Eleanor was born on March 7. You can see the influence of my wife’s pregnancy and our newborn daughter throughout the pages of this book. I hope to someday read Eleanor, Emily, and Maxwell’s books about the world and how they see it.

I’ve enjoyed receiving reactions from readers of the articles I’ve published. It’s been rewarding to witness the response of my colleagues and our clients as we discuss how our designs address key psychological principles. I’ve learned a lot about myself and about psychology while writing Design for the Mind. I’ll continue to write articles, perhaps shifting my focus some to cover content related to what I do on a daily basis— user experience research. I hope you’ll benefit as much from reading this book as I have from writing it, and that the book provides you with insight that will make your design more effective and help you understand why psychology matters when it comes to the products we design.

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