27-29 Sept.

2018 Workshop


User-centred psychology and new ideas in interaction design

To create engaging and effective digital experiences, it helps to have a solid understanding of user-centred psychology. By taking advantage of people’s perceptual tendencies, cognitive biases, and very human susceptibilities to emotional experience and social influence, designers have proven able to create compelling, even addictive, screen-based experiences.

But now we are entering a new frontier. Our digital interactions have been primarily visual, but we are now moving towards a more holistic experience – one that encompasses conversational UIs, the Internet of Things and wearable tech. How can an understanding of key psychological principles help us design effectively for these new opportunities?

In this session, we will give attendees an introduction to user-centred psychology, identifying and explaining the ideas and research findings that help designers create effective desktop and mobile experiences. We will then move beyond the screen, and explore the challenges and opportunities presented by new interfaces. Throughout, we will remind ourselves that while technology changes rapidly, human needs do not.

We will use the travel industry as a case study, and consider how providers currently use principles of perception, emotion, social influence, and behavioural economics to create engaging and persuasive screen-based experiences.

We will then look at what is available in terms of new technologies and how these could be applied to travel. Using the psychological principles discussed throughout the session, we will work in groups to 1) identify gaps and 2) come up with creative solutions that take advantage of the possibilities offered by new technologies and interfaces (e.g., voice, wearable tech).

About the speaker(s)

Abi Reynolds has been involved in research and user experience for over 10 years. She is currently a Principal Consultant at User Vision and enjoys working with clients from across industry to help them better understand the behaviour and needs of their customers and translate that into good design. Prior to joining User Vision Abi was UX Research Manager at Paddy Power, Dublin and was involved in the development of a range of gaming and entertainment products for desktop, tablet and mobile devices. Abi has a background in learning and teaching and is a popular trainer on the agency’s training courses.  

Jessica Cameron is a native New Yorker living in Edinburgh, where she is a Senior UX Consultant with User Vision. She has a PhD in experimental social psychology from Stanford University, and extensive experience using qualitative and quantitative research techniques to study people’s attitudes and behaviours. Jessica has taught undergraduate and graduate level courses at Stanford and the University of California at Berkeley, and at User Vision she has been involved in developing and delivering training courses in areas including user-centred psychology, UX benchmarking, and accessibility. As a UX researcher, she has worked with clients in a variety of fields, including financial services, public sector, travel, and e-commerce.

Jessica has come to terms with the pizza in Scotland, but has given up on ever having a decent bagel again.

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