18 April 2012

Applying behavioral economics and cognitive psychology to the design process

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Artefact is, like Experientia, a UX design consultancy that is strongly inspired by cognitive and behavioral modeling, and uses all kinds of inputs from cognitive and social science to enrich their design work:

“At Artefact, we’re becoming increasingly aware of the fact that regardless of the type of design challenge we work on, all of the decisions we make on a given project have the potential to influence human behavior – whether we intended them to or not.

As we outlined in our 21st Century Design paper, the toolkit of the modern designer is rapidly expanding. Design practice is maturing, and what was once a focus on aesthetics and usability is broadening to incorporate interdisciplinary knowledge from a variety of fields like4 behavioral economics and cognitive psychology. These disciplines shed light on the factors that impact human decision-making and motivate our behaviors.

Knowledge from these fields can help us better understand why people behave the way they do, help us design to reinforce or change that behavior, and help us make more informed predictions about how people will behave when faced with new decisions in the future.”

Artefact researcher Nikki Pfarr is now exploring the topic in more depth with a video that introduces some of the principles and tips coming from the fields of behavioral economics and human-centered design. We agree with her that these topics could allow us to better understand human behavior, and to design products and services that facilitate better decision-making.

Pfarr also wrote a short paper “Applying Behavioral Economics and Cognitive Psychology to the Design Process“ on the topic.

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