CONNECTING DESIGN TO CONSUMERS’ DESIRES: HOW PSYCHOLOGY SHAPES OUR VISUAL WORLD
Design Strategist Larissa Topalis marries data-backed insights and design theory with visually stunning graphics. With experience in branding, web design, ad creation, and more, she knows how to create compelling, thumb-stopping work. In this subject matter expert blog, she explores the role psychology plays in influencing design decisions.
IS DESIGN MORE THAN CREATING SOMETHING PRETTY?
Absolutely. It starts with understanding that design incorporates elements of art, psychology, and technology to create solutions that are functional and aesthetically pleasing. Design is also an integral part of creativity and problem-solving for humans through every aspect of their lives. At Rebel, understanding where design and psychology interact and impact each other is how we make data-backed, informed design decisions. By learning how users perceive, process, and interact with information, designers can create products that are easier to use, and more engaging and satisfying for those who consume them.
DOES YELLOW MAKE YOU HAPPY?
The psychology of color is a very real thing. It’s the study of how colors affect human behavior, emotions, and moods. It is based on the idea that colors can influence our perception and attitudes toward a particular object or situation. Ever watch the movie Inside Out and wonder why all the different emotions in the film are represented by one specific color? That’s because different colors evoke varying emotions and feelings. In marketing, advertising, and design, understanding the psychological effects of color helps us create work that we know will appeal to our audience. A great example would be creating a logo for a client that is looking to evoke happiness and joy. The most popular association with the color yellow is the sun. In American culture, yellow symbolizes optimism, energy, joy, happiness, and friendship. In short, yes, yellow does make you happy, and that knowledge helps us evoke that emotion in our work.
HOW DOES THIS CONNECT TO REBEL’S WORK?
Rebel Interactive Group offers a wide range of services, including Design and User Experience (UX). UX refers to the ways in which people interact with and experience a product, system, or service. It focuses on the creation of products and services that are optimized for consumers’ ease of use and enjoyment. . In terms of UX design, understanding how people think, feel, and behave when they interact with a product or service is critical. By approaching the process with users’ needs, goals, and motivations in mind, designers can create products and services that are intuitive, engaging, and satisfying to use. At Rebel, connecting psychology to design is baked into several of our strategic services, such as our collaborative, in-depth Accelerate Market Position (AMP) Sessions and our user research. When we conduct AMP Sessions with clients, we are, in part, actively seeking design solutions to their business and marketing challenges. We utilize user research to gain deep, actionable insights into the wants and needs of our client’s current customers and prospects. The data we obtain through both strategies helps us make informed design decisions that lead to the creation of products, services, and content that improve the user experience, increase customer satisfaction, reduce development costs, and help our clients stay ahead of the competition.
DESIGN THINKING: LET’S DIVE DEEPER
Rebel’s process also encompasses design thinking, a rational approach that stresses empathy, experimentation, iteration, and user-centered design. Drawing on many principles from psychology — including human behavior and cognition — it involves understanding users’ needs and behaviors, and using creativity to develop solutions to design challenges (express, implied, articulated, and unarticulated). For example, when designers use these principles to develop work customized to user preferences, they will employ iteration, which involves refining ideas through multiple cycles of testing and feedback. This process is informed by psychological research on creativity and problem-solving and emphasizes the importance of experimentation and trial and error. Design thinking helps designers continually develop creative that is consistently impactful and engaging.
IT’S TRUE, PSYCHOLOGY OF DESIGN DOES MATTER
Psychology clearly plays a critical role in design, especially as it relates to the Rebel process. Our goal is to be at the intersection of best practices — such as understanding the impact of color and aesthetics and using design thinking to problem-solve from a rational perspective — and having a deep, data-backed understanding of the design aspects that resonate with the specific target audience we’re trying to reach. By drawing on principles rooted in psychology, design, and strategic thinking, we create a space in which to explore and innovate from the very start. The results? Products and services that connect with consumers’ emotions and desires, giving them an optimal experience that keeps them more closely tied to the brand behind it.