Neuroscience, psychology, and design. Oh my!Written by Jeffrey Bennett
As geeky as this sounds, I find it absolutely fascinating to learn about the chemical reactions in your brain with certain stimuli.
Sounds *suuuuuper* exciting, right? </sarcasm>
Let me take you on the journey of how I got to this point. It started with my interest in photography. I practiced a lot. I even got to the point where I became very confident in my abilities as a photographer.
As I learned more about composition and color, look and feel, personal style, etc, I discovered the joys of graphic design and how well it plays with my website development work.
So I learned more about graphic design. And the more I learned, the more I became interested.
Later, I discovered how psychology can make your good design even better.
"A designer who doesn’t understand psychology is going to be no more successful than an architect who doesn’t understand physics." — Joe Leech
In its purest form, design is about communication. Psychology taught me the "why’s" of design rather than the "how’s." It’s often more important to know why you should do something than how you do it.
"Your scientists were so preoccupied with whether or not they could, they didn’t stop to think if they should." — Jurassic Park
As I got better with design and psychology, I began to understand why certain elements make people feel the way they do, and why colors can affect your mood and your perception of a brand.
Like the power of red, for example. Red invokes passion, love, anger, and other intense emotions on a subconscious level. And blue suggests serenity, trustworthiness, and confidence.
But using colors in combination have interesting effects. Sometimes the result is intensified, sometimes its different altogether.
"With great power comes great responsibility." — Spider-Man
Still with me? Good. I’m so glad you’re enjoying yourself. :)
So this is where we get into really advanced stuff that goes way beyond graphic and UX design.
Understanding psychology wasn’t enough for me — I wanted to get even better. So I began researching how interactions have an impact on the chemistry of your brain, like the events that trigger the release of endorphins or serotonin (aka happiness).
Psychology teaches you how your subconscious reacts to stimuli, where the neuroscience goes much deeper than that.