The Complexity of Designing for Human Behaviour Part 5

Updated: Jun 30


Dreams Time | The Complexity of Designing for Human Behaviour. Part 5 | Design Partnership Australia
Dreams Time | The Complexity of Designing for Human Behaviour. Part 5 | Design Partnership Australia

The complexity of Designing for Human Behaviour.


So if Designing for Human Behaviour comes down to simply Designing to the patterns to which users are accustomed within specific environments, where is the problem? Sounds simple right? Not so fast. The problem with this approach is first that one needs to be extremely mindful and certain of the exact context and behaviour one is setting out to frame.

This in itself can take a bit of time and restraint so as not to fall victim to the cognitive bias that exists with both client and designer, called the “The curse of knowledge” i.e. the tendency to jump to "informed" conclusions around projected rational or logical behavioural patterns based on one's personal experience and knowledge.


This is because behaviour is all too often illogical and irrational. This being said, behaviour in very specific settings and environments is also in fact quite predictably irrational. Author and Professor of psychology and behavioural economics at Duke University, Dan Ariely, the founder of the research institution, The Center for Advanced Hindsight has written three New York Times best sellers, Predictably Irrational, The Upside of Irrationality and The Honest Truth Dishonesty, all dedicated to exploring our repetitive behavioural traits. We will cover more of this later.



Predictably Irrational: The Hidden Forces that Shape Our Decisions | By Dan Ariely·2009 | Design Partnership Australia
Predictably Irrational: The Hidden Forces that Shape Our Decisions | By Dan Ariely·2009 | Design Partnership Australia

Finally for the most part there are a tremendous amount of intangibles. Having all the information at hand does not necessarily mean that you are now equipped and ready to design a highly popular, highly successful space, interface or building for example. Far from it. There is a part to this entire journey that also requires some art, some magic and some boundless intuitive leap into the creative abyss to bring magic to the product. To make people really care about your design.., to love your design it needs to be "beautiful"as subjective as that may be. It has to be relatable to the core audience. The design has to be human and therefore has to elicit emotion no matter how functional or usable it may be.


Beautifully designs get half of their credibility because of their visual appeal. Humans are hardwired to process visual information with 30% of the cortex devoted to visual stimulate enabling the brain to identify visual images in as little as 13 milliseconds. 65% of people are visual learners. Most people, therefore, believe that if it looks good, it is good.



“Usability is not everything. If usability engineers designed a nightclub, it would be clean, quiet, brightly lit, with lots of places to sit down, plenty of bartenders, menus written in 18-point sans-serif, and easy-to-find bathrooms. But nobody would be there. They would all be down the street at Coyote Ugly, pouring beer on each other.” Joel Spolsky

More about this in our next newsletter... The problem with Design Thinking


 

Article Acknowledgements:

1. Predictably Irrational: The Hidden Forces that Shape Our Decisions By Dan Ariely · 2009

2. Dreams Time

 

Author: Callie Van Der Merwe Editor: Roberto Zambri


About the Author: Callie is an Architect turned Interior Designer turned

Human Behaviour Designer. He is also the founder of

DESIGN PARTNERSHIP AUSTRALIA


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