5 Psychological Principles For Better UX Design

Psychology is a fundamental part of the User Experience design process. Understanding how people interact with the product and how their decisions can be influenced or manipulated are the topics covered by UX designers. And great UX designers are often great readers of the human mind they understand how users perceive a design and classify it into good or bad.

Principles for better UX design

  1. Jakob’s law

This is exactly what Jakob Nielsen thought. You may recognize him as the co-founder of Nielsen Norman Group, a famous UX consulting firm. He knows a thing or two about interfaces, as he worked for IBM, Microsoft and other technology giants. The idea behind Jakob’s law is simple. Your users already know how to interact with other websites.

  1. The principle of least effort

We’ve mentioned desire paths above also a great illustration of the principle of least effort. As the name suggests, it means that people will do as little work as possible to get something done. There is a brilliant evolutionary explanation of this phenomenon. Our resources, including the cognitive ones, are limited. In order to survive, we shouldn’t be using more energy than needed.

  1. Law of proximity

One of the Gestalt principles, law of proximity is often visible in UX design. As we’ve mentioned above, it means that elements located close to each other are perceived as one group. Have a look at this simple All the pricing plans are described within a separate column. Thank to clear structure and hierarchy, the pricing is easy to understand.

  1. Law of figure ground

Another important Gestalt principle is the law of figure ground. It states that an element can be perceived either as a figure distinct point of focus or as a background. This is often explained with this famous optical In terms of UX design, this principle can be applied through contrast, brightness or colors.

  1. Law of similarity

Just like two previous principles, the law of similarity also comes from Gestalt psychology. The idea is that if two elements are similar, they are seen as parts of the same group. This rule is often used when describing multiple features, like in the case.


Psychology can be a goldmine of information and ideas for UX designers and researchers. Sticking to psychological principles can help you come up with more relevant design solutions.