A process centred on meeting human needs, design requires consideration of the numerous factors that will affect a person’s perception, interaction and engagement with the world
Complex creatures operating in a complex world, with a finite set of resources to complete complex tasks, people use a variety of techniques to help them simplify their decision-making:
Heuristics: Rather than understand all the details of a situation, people make decisions using approximate rules of thumb.
Framing: Rather than evaluate each case on its individual merits, people often rely upon anecdotes or stereotypes as emotional filters to understand and respond to events.
Cognitive biases: There are a number of biases in the way we think, possibly as a result of evolutionary pressure – for example, loss aversion might have arisen in the context of subsistence farming, where losses can carry a very high price.
By understanding the psychological underpinnings of human behaviour, we can help people achieve better ends, by designing experiences that rely upon these insights, alongside the traditional levers of incentives and information.