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  • Writer's pictureHai Xiang

How Designers Make Their Works Memorable


1. To understand the world, people use their central and peripheral vision, and look for visual patterns. Since hunting time, we humans use peripheral vision to access information/colour/pattern apart from the things we are currently focusing on > that's why ads are lined up on the margins of webpages. Our central vision works differently > we try to find patterns. Example: 4 dots lining up, we will visually construct a line out of them. Even there is no pattern, our brain actively tries to find one, making it easier for us to process information.

2. You need to break down information and have a thorough understanding of memory to make a good product. Human’s brain is only capable of dealing information in bite-size chunks > so don't present too many information at once. Anytime no more than 4 elements.


3. Use stories and clear organizational systems to make ideas suitable for long-term memory. To make memory long-lasting, you have to make people use it > repetition. Categorize a large chunk of information into small chunks > use subtitles and headings. Stories are effective in capture your audience’s attention > it has chronological narrative that implied causation.


4. When making your product remember that people crave empathy and rigidly follow social rules. The premotor cortex in the front section of your brain activates mirror neurons > when you smile at somebody, he/she will smile back. Importance of storytelling > stories create images in the mind that triggers the release of mirror neurons, which in turn leads people to experience empathy.


5. People’s minds wander, but you can encourage a flow state with your design. Flow-state: 100% focused state. Eliminate distractions on the webpage.


6. People are motivated by the prospect of achieving a goal, and dopamine helps, too.

Provide constant feedback while people are using your product. The little right dot of Twitter constantly drags users back to the product. Let people know the end goal is near can motivate them proceed with your agenda > let your user earn some quick reward when he hits the journey of achieving goals.


7. People think they have control over their choices, but most decision are made unconsciously. Too many options can be good and bad > good: people feel in control of lives; bad: harder to make a decision. To balance the two sides off: provide your audience with only one dessert, but comes with different flavours > so reserve some choice for them but not too overwhelming.

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