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How to work with basic psychology for a UX Designer

UX Planet — Medium | muditha batagoda

Session 01 — Understand the Four temperaments of personality and design

I have been writing for the past year and a half on the topic UX design. I have decided to write a series of articles on topics UX design and psychology. This article is the first one the series that I am going to write. Hope you enjoy.

The user experience designers are capable of finding out solutions for problems that are exciting in the real world. Designing for humans is the most difficult objectives. Everyone wants their work simplified. Achieving simplicity will be the ultimate sophistication when come to design. As designers, we look into different aspects of humans. I came across an interesting topic called temperaments of personality.

The temperaments

The word on temperaments can be herd in the early stages of Roman Empire, and a philosopher called Galen came up with a theory for temperaments and personality.

  1. Melancholic : People who are sad, fearful, depressed, poetic and artistic.
  2. Phlegmatic : People who are shy, rational and consistent
  3. Choleric : People who are fiery, energetic and passionate
  4. Sanguine : People who are warm-hearted, cheerful, optimistic and confidant.

As Galan describes, these temperaments are based on the balance of humour. He saw a direct connection between the levels of humour in the body and emotional and behavioural instincts. The idea was to control Galan was there for more than 200 years, but when the 20th century came, there were new suggestions to the idea of temperament based psychology.

These temperaments of personalities can be understood by different persons that designers encounter in product/application design. There can be many user groups when come to designing a product that is used by different age groups, professions and many other things. Let’s have a look at the temperament categories when coming to application design.

  1. Logical users

These people are really detail-oriented, very careful and methodical in what they do. These are the people who don’t revisit or don’t re-use the applications when they are unable to complete a process in an orderly fashion. The flow of the application is much more important to this user group than anything else. They will read all the notifications and product sell pages and request a demo. Most of the time they want to see few quick reasons why they need to buy your product or service. But they might not buy the product at the first point, but they might shop around to see the best product that suits their needs. This kind of personality can be seen in many corporate level application purchases.

2. Aggressive users

These user groups are competitive in nature. They are always ready to strive to be the best by flushing out the competition. If these people see your product would put them ahead of their competitors, they will defiantly buy your product. Most of the time these user groups exists in mainly B2B transactions and people who are higher in the food chain. When you provide a great intensive to buy your product by communicating to their needs.

3. Impulsive Users

These types of users are always ready to buy your product or service. They tend to make quick decisions on buying new product and services whenever they feel like it. Their decision making is almost spontaneous when come to purchasing items. So the first impressions towards your application should give them the impression that your product is the best to buy. The process of buying your product should be really smooth since they can change their mind in between buying the product and the process of buying it.

4. Caring users

These types of user groups care about what they are buying. They are the ones who go through the feedback comments of the previous buyers who bought the product. They are the ones who talk to other people who bought your product before them. They trust what they see as a first impression. Most of the time they are impacted by the other’s opinion about the product or service that they are buying. They may refer to credible resources to find what they need about the product.

You might wonder about focusing down all these four user groups when you are trying to pitch your product to the market. In my study, I have found a method called designing for personality.

Designing for personality

Designing for personality is a topic where psychology involves more than any other design method. Personality can be a combination of thoughts, feelings, and behaviours. There have been many theories that are moving around the design community. But one of the design frameworks grabbed my attention.

Personality design framework

The framework contains six main steps to create a product that will address the personality. The designs will be able to envision why the product exists how it fits people by collaborating with this framework.

  1. State the goal
  2. Describe the personality
  3. Define the personality scope
  4. Define product architecture
  5. Define user flows
  6. Design product for personality

1 State the goal

Designing a product can be a bit annoying thing when you can’t define your own goal. As a UX designer, you should be able to think why the world needs a new product and how it is going to fit into the life of people. We should be able to have a clear vision on the context which humans are going to use this product on. The UX designer should be able to look into the significance of the product to its users.

2. Describe the personality

There can be many different personalities when come to interacting with products. Designing products to a wide range of user groups can put you in a troublesome spot. The idea is to understand which user groups and personalities we should address to reach product goals. To address personalities, you have to understand your product personalities. You can write personalities that the product is more suitable and what type of a personality the product should have.

3. Define personality scope

Defining a scope is something that a designer should do very carefully do. In this scenario, you should be able to ask a multiple numbers of questions as follows.

#Is the product is a stand-alone product that has a limited number of users or is you designing the product to the mass market?
#Does it have touch points that you need to consider? What are they?
# What are the limitations to the application and what influence those limitations?

These questions might give some idea of what scope you might need to set to the product. But I would recommend doing a brainstorming session to find out more questions and putting up a better scope

4. Define product architecture

In this case, the best thing to do is to map out like a blueprint, the general areas that the UX designer has to influence. Mapping out will help the designers to distinguish different characteristics that would guide every individual’s personality that would lead them to use the application.

5. Define the user flows

In this section, the designers can identify which potential paths that the user would go to accomplish their goals when coming to applications usage. When identifying these paths, the designers will be able to generate hypothesis on what the users would actually think and do at certain points of the flow of the application.

6. Design product personality

When I write the heading, I was wondering what I was actually going to tell on this idea. We all understand the design part. Some of us are really good at designing. Designing the personality of the application is to design contextual design that adapts to the moment. A product with personality will allow the users to have a better experience. This is where you can guide the user to finding their end goals. I understand it is quite difficult to come up with what you think and what can actually be done to achieve the goal. The discussion at the initial state of the design would help to mitigate those issues.

There can be few points that we can look into when come to designing for personality.

Do it small, do it step by step : The idea of designing small is to focus more on the key interaction points that can create the highest impact for the application. There is no need to tackle all the parts at once.
Don’t try to freeze your brain out on personality : When you design if your designs are more like conversations rather than just interactions the path you should take to create personality would become obvious to you.

Designing for personality would give birth to your designs and elevate your designs to a stage where your designs would create the superb user experience.

Hope you learned something new and your feedback is most appreciated.


How to work with basic psychology for a UX Designer was originally published in UX Planet on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story.

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