Design Psychology

Using behavioral and cognitive psychology knowledge to create experiences. EX: Gamification, inclusive design, immersive research, content choices, etc.

Empathy at Work: Explaining the Who, What, Why and How

Empathy is a hot topic in business lately. Teams who go outside their organization to develop empathy for their customers are crafting winning products that deliver on the wants, needs, and desires of their audiences. But empathy not only plays a critical role with those we serve; it also has a vital role inside the team–collaboration is enhanced and individuals are empowered when their own needs and goals are understood.

How Web Design can Save Americans from Poverty in Old Age

Thirty years ago, most American employees could rely upon a pension to cover 60% of their retirement expenses - the other 40% coming from Social Security. But the shift from paternalistic to self-directed retirement saving has resulted in decreased financial
security. Americans often end up postponing savings for reasons including fear of being too far behind to catch up, anxiety, and feeling overwhelmed by the complicated decisions.

Visual Perception and Product Design

Human visual perception is limited, imperfect, and subjective. Humans perceive the world by organizing and attaching meaning to sensory stimuli in our environment. Understanding and applying principles of visual perception to our designs will enhance a user's  experience. We can better predict and understand how users will interact with products. We can create a more holistic design that communicates our intended message to the audience.

User Experience Design of Virtual Training Environments

As new technologies are developed, we need to adapt and apply UX methods based on a deep understanding of the new domain and context. Designing virtual environments for healthcare training is a challenging application of UX principles. Interface and interaction requirements are elicited from not only a usability standpoint, but also an instructional standpoint, guided by a real-world need for skills training.

Mothers, Daughters and Smartphones--Oh My!

We so often hear the negatives regarding children and phone use, but what are the other, often positive, implications of using technology across generations? How is the household dynamic impacted when parents and children text each other to communicate?

This poster presents findings from a study designed to understand how parents and children use text messaging in order to communicate with each other.

Key insights:

Unconscious Design: Constructing Interfaces for the Untapped Psyche

The most successful products are the ones that people love. But what makes us love these products so much? Legendary designers throughout history have found ways to capture people’s hearts and imaginations by creating products that truly resonate with people. Over the course of decades and even centuries, these designers have gradually built up a catalog of timeless principles that apply universally across many areas design (ranging from architecture, to mechanical engineering, to software).

Faulty by Design: A Psychological Examination of How Our Decisions Are Guided and Made

In this talk, we will examine the psychological variables influencing decision making and highlight how these factors affect a user’s performance navigating the many decisions embedded in our products and services. The heart of the problem is that the act of complex decision making often exceeds our thinking capacity. To accommodate this resource shortfall, the mind regularly employs a wide array of simplifying heuristics and biases that are typically “good enough” for the more mundane aspects of life but that result in less-than-optimum decisions in critical situations.

What can social psychology teach us about (better) UX research?

Social psychologists experiment on people, and carefully consider how small changes to situations can elicit huge changes in behaviour. Sound familiar? By drawing upon social psychology research techniques, UX research can go from merely good to methodologically unassailable. I spent six years getting a PhD, but session attendees will learn how to approach UX like social psychologists in just sixty minutes.

Designing for an Aging Population

If a website or app’s target audience includes older adults, certain aspects of its design become more important. This talk describes age-related factors that affect ability to use websites and apps, and presents design guidelines that reflect the capabilities, usage patterns, and preferences of older web users.


How do Asian and Western websites differ, and why? Recent findings in experimental psychology implicate basic differences in cognitive processing.

Anyone who has done UX work in Asia knows that Asian websites typically feature more visually complex designs, with a greater density of information and interactive elements, than those from America and Europe. Observers have offered a number of explanations for this difference, including a greater cultural need for security and information, higher Internet bandwidth, a less mature UX ecosystem, and more complex urban environments.