Cognitive Psychology: Mental Models4:47 with Hope Armstrong
Now it's time for a bit of cognitive psychology. We'll look at how the human brain processes information and how users approach the user interface with set expectations.
- Cognitive psychology: the scientific study of mental processes
- Mental model: an explanation of someone's thought process about how something works in the real world.
- language use
Alan Dix's four golden rules of navigation:
- Knowing where you are
- Knowing what you can do
- Knowing where you are going - or what will happen
- Knowing where you've been - or what you've done
- The Design of Everyday Things - Donald A. Norman
- Complete Beginner’s Guide to Interaction Design - UX Booth
- UX Design Glossary: How to Use - Affordances in User Interfaces - Tubik Studio
- UX Design Patterns - Treehouse course
In the next few videos, we'll explore topics that overlap with psychology. 0:00 Let's start with a quick psychology lesson. 0:05 Cognitive psychology is the scientific study of mental processes. 0:08 The American Psychological Association breaks it down into these processes. 0:14 Attention, [SOUND] language use, [SOUND] memory, 0:20 [SOUND] perception, [SOUND] problem solving, 0:25 [SOUND] creativity, [SOUND] and thinking. 0:30 This is a broad field. 0:34 So I'll just touch on the areas that are most relevant to UX design. 0:36 In this video, we'll take a look at mental models. 0:41 So we know that products are designed with interactions, 0:45 but how do they relate to one another? 0:49 As you know, patterns and relationships are important in design. 0:52 People will come to your product with their own past experiences and 0:57 expectations of how your product will work, 1:01 even if they have no prior experience with the product. 1:05 And of course, 1:08 current users will have memories of prior interactions with your product. 1:09 These are called mental models. 1:14 A mental model is an explanation of someone's thought process about how 1:17 something works in the real world. 1:22 Think of your favorite app. 1:25 Do you notice any patterns in the way that the interactions are designed 1:27 even across several screens? 1:32 For example, in a note taking app, 1:34 you may notice a consistency in the editing interactions across the app. 1:37 To edit a field, you can edit the text directly and it auto saves. 1:42 This works in the same manner no matter if you're editing a note or 1:47 changing a profile settings. 1:52 The consistency of this interaction across the app forms a mental model in 1:54 your brain and allows you to have a predictable seamless experience. 1:59 An example of a broken mental model would be if the profile settings 2:03 page had a different editing interaction than the note taking screen. 2:08 Perhaps you'd have to click Edit to enter to edit mode and then click Save. 2:12 That'd be confusing if you're expecting the other more direct auto save option. 2:18 It'd be much harder to learn how to use an app with inconsistent mental models. 2:24 And even worse, inconsistencies make users question the underlying 2:29 logic of the product and the integrity of the brand. 2:34 That's why apps tend to share similar mental models. 2:37 Products are designed to match people's mental models of what they expect to find 2:42 on your website and how they expect to interact with it. 2:47 For example, people expect to find the navigation bar at the top or 2:50 bottom of a screen, and icons for common screens such as a user profile or 2:55 settings usually looks similar to make them easy to identify and 3:01 reduce cognitive load. 3:06 For more information about interface and 3:08 behavioral design patterns, check out the teacher's notes. 3:10 Let's delve into a mental model. 3:14 Alan Dicks is an expert in human computer interaction, and 3:17 he defined the four golden rules of navigation. 3:22 Number one is knowing where you are. 3:26 This can be in the form of breadcrumbs, which are links that show the current 3:29 page in relation to where it fits with the other site content. 3:34 Number two is knowing what you can do. 3:38 This can be a back button that allows users to return to the previous page. 3:41 [SOUND] Number three is knowing where you are going or what will happen. 3:46 For example, if the user is filling out a form that spans multiple pages, 3:52 there should be an indication to show how many pages remain. 3:57 [SOUND] Number four is knowing where you've been- or what you've done. 4:01 Continuing on with that last example, 4:06 the form should indicate the previous data has been saved. 4:09 A simple feedback message to show the data has been saved will ease 4:13 any tension about losing data if they stopped midway. 4:18 Since those are the best practices, chances are that most users have been 4:22 exposed to navigation that operates in those ways. 4:27 Therefore they carry that set of expectations when they visit a new 4:31 website. 4:35 That wraps up mental models. 4:36 The next time you use an app, think about its mental models. 4:39 I'll see you in the next video where I'll explain affordances. 4:43
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