Q3 Psychology and visual design

“Pattern matching is the way we process everything we see from people’s faces to the written word. When visual stimuli enters our eye it immediately starts a chain reaction in the brain. We subconsciously hunt  hunting for anything similar to the current stimuli that we have experienced in the past. If the stimuli is matched to a preexisting pattern we recognize what we are seeing, otherwise the stimuli is perceived as being new. This process goes beyond recognizing forms and colors, it also triggers any cognitive associations with the pattern being matched.” – Ross Johnson

As is evident in the above quote, visual design and psychology go hand-in-hand. In order to create an effective visual designs we need to understand the psychology and mental processes of the user. The previous post looked at chunking, and how this can add the memory and in turn add the user in effectively using a device. So too can the visual aesthetic of a design. For example, if we saw the colour red we think ‘stop’ and green we think ‘go’ or ‘ok’. So when we’re using the computer and one box is highlighted red and the other green. We already know, without reading the text or instructions, that the red box is more likely to delete something or perform a similar action, so we should approach it with caution, while the green box we assume would lead on to something more productive.


Johnson, R. 10 Psychological Principles to Design With | Psychology of Web Design | 3.7 Blog. (n.d.). Ann Arbor Web Design & Graphic Design – 3.7 DESIGNS. Retrieved May 23, 2013, from http://3.7designs.co/blog/2012/08/10-psychological-principles-to-design-with/

Design Meets Psychology: Putting Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs to Work | Design Shack. (n.d.). Design Gallery, Articles & Community | Design Shack. Retrieved May 23, 2013, from http://designshack.net/articles/business-articles/design-meets-psychology-putting-maslows-hierarchy-of-needs-to-work/

Porter, J. (n.d.). Designing with Psychology in Mind. Retrieved May 23, 2013, from http://www.slideshare.net/bokardo/designing-with-psychology-in-mind

The psychology of design explained – Features – Digital Arts. (n.d.). Resource and Tutorials for Professional Digital Media Designers – Digital Arts. Retrieved May 23, 2013, from http://www.digitalartsonline.co.uk/features/graphic-design/psychology-of-design-explained/

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s