In User eXperience (UX) or user-centred design, we need to understand and cater to the three fundamental human needs of Safety, Agency, and Comfort.
I am in control, I see what is going on, I know what I am doing, I have the tools and information I need, I know what is expected of me.
I don’t have to over-think or second-guess. Information and action steps are clear and relevant.
If I make a mistake, it is recoverable. The design actively helps me avoid mistakes.
Nothing terrible, unexpected, odd, or threatening is going to happen.
I am able to make informed choices. The options I have are clear and obviously differentiated.
I am able to act independently. There are different ways to achieve the same outcome.
The design instills and reinforces my sense of efficacy.
The task steps are linear and clear without too many branching or concurrent sub-processes.
The design dovetails with my existing experience, knowledge, expectations. I can build on what I already know. There aren’t too many fundamentally new things thrown at me at the same time.
I want the information I need when I want it, in an easily accessible manner. Don’t make me remember lots of things. Remind me of critical things.
I have more than enough things to think about. Don’t force me to make unnecessary decisions like deciphering cryptic menu options.
I want easy shortcuts for tasks I have to repeat often. If the design doesn’t provide them, I will make up my own.
Let me get to my task as quickly as I can. Don’t distract me with unrelated or remotely related issues.
Reassure me. Tell me when something has been completed. If there’s a mistake, explain what went wrong and how I can fix it.