Understanding Users At the UX Psychology Tech Talk


A day in the life of a UX Designers/Engineers includes designing products, web applications, and mobile applications. This may look easy, but it’s not. There are a number of different aspects and elements that need to be taken into consideration when designing these things.

Drive Business Growth by Understanding End-user Mindset

“Bad design is bad UX”. That was the opening statement of Hasanga Abeyaratne – Founder & Chief Executive Officer at Amplifyn at the UX Psychology tech talk. Without proper UX, you end up with a product or service that has obsolete features. You’ve spent hours coding features that end up being useless. This in turn can lead to a drop in efficiency.

UX Psychology
Hasanga Abeyaratne addressing the audience

Bad UX can lead to a vicious cycle

Trying to solve this, the top management of a company may choose to redevelop the product or service from scratch. Because the UX has not been correctly addressed the cycle continues, financially draining the company.

According to research done by Hasanga, the design has a 76% impact on the quality of a product. He went on to share at the UX Psychology tech talk that the true value of a well-positioned team is to explore new avenues and opportunities. This in turn, can bring value to your company.

New features vs listening to customer feedback

Apart from the design of a product, you also have to assess if the time is right when launching a product. User feedback is an essential tool to benchmark how your product is performing. If users are unhappy with a certain feature in your product, it is vital that you address it.

UX Psychology
Hasanga continuing his session on understanding the user mindset

Rather than going full on and developing new features, it would be a much better decision to take a step back, listen to your users and see what they are saying.

Just because something looks cool, that doesn’t mean that it is useful. Be it a nice looking icon or an animation, or some other design element, if it’s of no use to the person using it, then it’s just a waste of resources.

UX Psychology
Hasanga continuing his session

This is especially true for power users who want their figures and stats at their fingertips. Adding unwanted elements to these processes is just time consuming.

A Psychological Approach to Become an Effective UX designer

Following Hasanga’s session, Muditha Hewa Batagoda was on stage. Muditha, the Senior UX Lead at 99X Technology opened with a simple statement at the UX Psychology tech talk. “User experience is one the key things we need to incorporate”.

UX Psychology
Muditha Hewa Batagoda addressing the audience on a psychological approach to UX

Muditha explained that to become an effective UX designer, you need to learn a bit about psychology. So what is Psychology? Well, Wikipedia is your friend here.

How do I make my app user-friendly?

Well, that is the all-important question. Muditha shared that by using certain principles of psychology, you can make better applications with better interactions. This results in a much better product.

Understanding Users At the UX Psychology Tech Talk 1

“The hardest part is to convince your clients that your product is the one to be used”, Muditha shared. He went on to talk about how different backgrounds can affect  a user’s experience of an app. These backgrounds can be religious, social, and personal preference.

For example, depending on the nationality of a person, they may be comfortable with certain colors. So it would be up to the developers to use what is called Empathy.

Empathy is a powerful tool

Muditha shared that another tool we can use is empathy. This is where you put yourself in someone else’s shoes to see a problem from their perspective.

Muditha also explained that there are three levels when it comes to empathy. The first is where you are not empathizing with the person. The second is when you over empathize. Here, you feel overly connected to the person. This can be problematic.

UX Psychology
Muditha continuing his session on a psychological approach to UX

Throughout the session, Muditha showed some examples of how elements such as call to actions, buttons and the layout of text boxes can affect how we interact with a website or app. The placement of each of these elements plays a large part in how we interact with the app or site. Position it in an incorrect place, and your user’s experience will not be a pretty one.

In addition, Muditha also explained about the law of cognition. Essentially, when developing an app, the time required to make decisions should be as minimum as possible. If you have too many items on a menu, your users are going to be extremely confused.

Achieving UX Psychology Practices on a day-to-day project

Following Muditha’s session, the final item at the UX Psychology Tech talk was a panel discussion. Dhanika Perera – CEO at Bhasha Lanka Pvt Ltd started off the discussion by sharing his story of setting up Bhasha. As such, he shared that they are working on Helakuru, PayHere and Hapan, aimed at children.

Hasanga Abeyaratne – Founder and CEO at Amplifyn spoke about how companies need to focus on customer onboarding. This ranges from having an attractive interface when it comes to their apps or websites, to making sure that all the customer’s needs are at their fingertips when using said app.

Understanding Users At the UX Psychology Tech Talk 2

Muditha Batagoda – Senior UX Lead at 99X Technology shared his views on the curse of knowledge or the cognitive bias. Here, we unknowingly talk about something that we think that the other person may know. In reality though, they have no clue what you’re talking about.

For example, the addressing format for a foreign client might vary greatly from our own addressing system. There are steps to overcome this though. Muditha explained that we should use simple terms in a language and also to use examples. This enables greater understanding of a particular topic.

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One particular point that Dhanika spoke about was with app monetization. Most often, developers distract the basic functionalities of an app, forcing people to pay for the full version. As such, users look for alternate apps to use.

While ads are a good way to earn extra cash, Dhanika explained that they are not the best method if you’re targeting the local market. If you’re capable of figuring out an innovative business model, you can find a way to get revenue without discouraging a customer.

With a few more questions from the audience, the UX Psychology tech talk drew to a close


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