Is there anything like Psychology and Philosophy of Design?

Designing is a complicated art and colossal science. Experts of graphic design know how daunting and strenuous it is to build eye-catching designs. The design you check out in seconds can be the outcome of several months’ hard work of the artist. Yes, definitely there is anything like Psychology and Philosophy of Design.

Past & Present of Design

In past centuries, society did admire designs but the fact that they were made by hand, confined it to the luxury of an elite class. The industry was not as fast-paced as it is today.

Today design is a wide profession. Information technology has boosted the design industry and has made it evergreen field. However, it has also resulted in tough competition. Minute errors can let your rivals defeat you. However, it is better to look at the bright side of the picture. With high competitiveness comes plentiful opportunities.

Design in the 21st Century

Today designs are supposed to convey messages. These messages can be as simply understandable as clear words, or as difficult to judge as riddles. The later messages are called subliminal messages, and they train the observer’s mind to become familiar with things sub-consciously. Although, that is completely another topic.

Every single element in design influences the message you are trying to convey. It is true for the actions of the observer, too. Hence, it is compulsory to understand how each line, color, and shape or font leaves everlasting impressions on the observer’s mind. The repercussions of design are un-imaginably continuous. Somewhere beneath the design lies the supreme power, which can make or break the decision of consumer about trusting or not trusting your brand.

The proclivity to creativeness and out of box approach is not the only requirements to be a designer. You must be able to thoroughly understand the psychology and philosophy of design. It would be absurd to create a stunning design that lacks the load it is supposed to carry.

Our Subject

In this post, we are going to elaborate divine psychology principles, which we should keep in mind when designing. We will be probing the depths of design psychology to find out what makes design memorable, stirring and outstanding. Once you understand this science, you can successfully foresee public’s reaction for a particular design product.

Well, some of the concepts we are going to explain are as simple as colors, shapes, etc but some concepts may turn out to be pretty difficult to grasp if you are not a design professional. We will also not go to the details of those aspects. However, we will share some links, which you can visit if you want deeper insight.

1. Selection of Colors

The basic most element perhaps is color. Human thoughts, feelings, and emotions are inextricably intertwined with colors. Various teams of researchers from all around the world have studied a lot to find out which colors intrigues what kind of mood swing. Let us look at some of the examples.

The blue color is known for soothing human senses and developing trust and peace. Maybe now you know why logos of Facebook and Twitter are blue. The red color is exciting, fervent and full of energy waves. Maybe that is why it appears in Coca-Cola, McDonald’s, Redbull, CNN, and Lego.

Combination of different colors represents infinite horizons or eternity. It shows a state of being with no boundaries. Now think about the logo of Google.

Check out an amazing info-graphic about color psychology from HubSpot.

2. Shapes & Figures

The second most influencing design element shape. Any subtle change in figures or shapes can turn the message another way around. In the real world, shapes make sense in every scene.

Shapes like circles, ovals, and ellipses symbolize things like unity, friendship, comradery. Squares convey stability and balance. Even the lines have unbelievable impacts. Vertical lines are the spokesperson of masculinity and aggressiveness. The sight of vertical lines makes the person feel calm.

3. Von Restorff Effect

Perhaps, you have heard the proverb, “Oddball gets the votes”.

This is the basis for the Von Restorff Effect. The Von Restorff effect (named after psychiatrist Hedwig von Restorff (1906–1962)), is also known as isolation effect. It claims that an item that “stands out like a sore thumb” is more likely to be remembered as compared to other items. The human mind has the tendency to remember unusual and ignore the usual.

However, not everything unusual is eye-catching too. Be careful that you make a meaningful contrast between your products, specifically when you list similar items.

4. Mental Models

When you mention Mental models, you actually mean mental maps who enables you to accurately perceive the experience that your users are going through and how well they match up to real-world basics.

Let us elucidate it this way. Imagine the folders and files on our computer; they probably are very similar to the folders and files on our friend’s computer. Though the visuals might look different, the basic principles of moving from left to right and top to bottom persist. You can check out the details here.

5. Dual Coding Theory

Some of you might know that brain processes visual information more quickly than textual. Dual Coding theory moves one-step further and suggests making use of both visual and verbal elements in the design to make things hell easy for the human mind to understand. Engaging visual and alluring words can collaborate to give the best results.

6. Cost-Benefit Analysis

Every decision made in the design sector has to go through a cost-benefit analysis. It enables designers to guess how much benefit is going to be seen for the investment made. If the costs exceed the benefits, it is not worth it. When creating websites, landing pages, and lead forms, always think about how much benefit you are going to see from the cost perspective.

7. Visceral Reactions

Have you ever randomly bumped into any design on social media and just fallen in lived with it at first sight? You saw a flyer on the road, loved it and could not figure out the reason. If the answer is yes, you probably had a visceral reaction. The impulsive reaction comes from depths of human thoughts is called Visceral Reaction.

It is not a piece of cake to build visceral reactions. You need a plethora of knowledge about design science and philosophy to create an image, which leaves its users feeling positive.

There is a completely new branch of designing known as Gestalt Psychology, which explores how elements are realized in relation to each other. Gestalt principles focus on how items are combined together.

It is impossible to overlook the psychology of design. It is no lesser crucial than being inventive and original. If your designs are not achieving desired results, check if you have followed design philosophy. Perhaps a different color scheme, new shapes or principles from Gestalt theory work out for you.

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