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Aligning UX Design with User Psychology

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Learn the psychological constrictions of attention, perception, memory, disposition, motivation, and social influence that determine whether customers will be receptive to your digital innovations.

Bottlenecks: Aligning UX Design with User Psychology fills a need for entrepreneurs, designers, and marketing professionals in the application of foundational psychology to user-experience design. The first generation of books on the topic focused on web pages and cognitive psychology. This book covers apps, social media, in-car infotainment, and multiplayer video games, and it explores the crucial roles played by behaviorism, development, personality, and social psychology. Author David Evans is an experimental psychology Ph.D. and senior manager of consumer research at Microsoft who recounts high-stakes case studies in which behavioral theory aligned digital designs with the bottlenecks in human nature to the benefit of users and businesses alike.


tors in design and students of psychology will learn:

  • The psychological processes determining users’ perception of, engagement with, and recommendation of digital innovations
  • Examples of interfaces before and after simple psychological alignments that vastly enhanced their effectiveness
  • Strategies for marketing and product development in an age of social media and behavioral targeting
  • Hypotheses for research that both academics and enterprises can perform to better meet users’ needs

Who This Book Is For

Designers and entrepreneurs will use this book to give their innovations an edge on what are increasingly competitive platforms such as apps, bots, in-car apps, augmented reality content. Usability researchers and market researchers will leverage it to enhance their consulting and reporting. Students and lecturers in psychology departments will want it to help land employment in the private sector. 


“Bottlenecks’ is a tight and eminently actionable read for business leaders in startups and enterprises alike. Evans gives us a rich sense of key psychological processes and even richer examples of them in action.” - Nir Eyal, Author of Hooked: How to Build Habit-Forming Products

 “Clients frequently ask our UX researchers and designers for deeper truths about why certain designs work and others fail. Bottlenecks offers practical explanations and evidence based on the idea that human cognition did not begin with the digital age.” - John Dirks, UX Director and Partner, Blink UX

 “Bottlenecks brings together two very important aspects of user experience design: understanding users and translating this into business impact. A must-read for anyone who wants to learn both.” - Josh Lamar, Sr. UX Lead, Microsoft Outlook


Part I: The Bottlenecks of Attention.-

Chapter 1: Foveal Acuity.-

Chapter 2: Task Orientation.-

Chapter 3: Attentional Focus.-

Chapter 4: Gestalt Perception.-

Part II: The Bottlenecks of Perception.-

Chapter 5: Depth Perception.-

Chapter 6: Motion Perception.-

Part III: The Bottlenecks of Memory.-

Chapter 7: Working Memory.-

Chapter 8: Signal Detection Theory.-

Chapter 9: Long-term Memory.-

Chapter 10: Encoding and Retrieval.-

Part IV: The Bottlenecks of Disposition.-

Chapter 11: Personality.-

Chapter 12: Development.-

Chapter 13: Needs.-

Chapter 14: Fun.-

Part V: The Bottlenecks of Motivation.-

Chapter 15: Schedules of Reinforcement.-

Chapter 16: Escalating Commitment.-

Chapter 17: Approach Avoidance.-

Chapter 18: Routes to Persuasion.-

Part VI: The Bottlenecks of Social Influence.-

Chapter 19: Social Capital.-

Chapter 20: Group Polar


Chapter 21: Social Influence.-

Part VII: Then we will be maximally receptive to it and reward you with a viral cascade that has the potential to reach.-

Chapter 22: Receptivity Thresholds.-

Chapter 23: Six Degrees of Recommendation.-

Chapter 24: Epilogue.-


David C. Evans is senior manager of customer research at Microsoft, where he influences the design and positioning of Office 365, Cortana, Windows 10, Skype, Outlook, Yammer, and the Office Graph. He managed GfK’s retail research for Microsoft in 44 countries, established a psychographic segmentation at Allrecipes.com, and ran the usability firm Psychster Inc. in Seattle, where he consulted for Amazon and the States of Washington and Oregon. His whitepapers, cowritten with enterprise clients, have appeared on TechCrunch, Mashable, and MediaPost, and he is a frequent guest on American Public Media’s Marketplace. Dr. Evans teaches graduate courses in usability testing and the psychology of digital media at the University of Washington. He holds his B.A. from Grinnell College and his Ph.D. in Social Psychology from the University of Iowa.

Vereinigte Staaten
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260 Seiten
“Bottlenecks is written specifically for the development of memes or digital innovations and is written from the perspective of the user with the developer in mind. … It is perhaps most useful to those groups mentioned as the intended audience (i.e., entrepreneurs, designers, developers, publishers, and advertisers). However, it would also be useful as a text or supplement in an advanced undergraduate- or graduate level course on human factors, design, or applied psychology.” (Jeffrey B. Wagman, PsycCRITIQUES, Vol. 62 (22), May, 2017) 

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