The purpose of deliberation is the decision, and the essence of a decision consists of selecting an option, in a certain context. The terms “deliberation” and “decision” are so connected that they can sometimes be mixed.
These terms imply that the decision-making person knows of :
A designer who doesn’t understand human psychologies is going to be no more successful than an architect who doesn’t understand physics — Joe Leech
The brain can rapidly create scenarios from the results of the options given to it. That means when the users select an option that doesn’t trigger the scenario imagined by them it causes frustration.
The opposite also happens, when the feedback matches their imaginative scenario a good feeling of reward is associated.
A piece of feedback can trigger two possible outcomes: Reinforcement (that increase the behavior) and Punishment (that decrease behavior)
That positive or negative outcome can be defined by somatic markers, and the somatic markers can be acquired through experience. They help the process of decision making and its precision. This way, the learning process influences, and guides the behavior and decision making of users for the future interactions based on the past ones, and the somatic markers felt.
This theory was explored by António Damásio a neuroscientist and a professor of Psychology, Philosophy, and Neurology, at the University of Southern California.
So, positive emotional responses further reinforce the interactions with the products, they compensate/offset for the usability drawbacks and make the user more tolerant.
It’s important to contemplate this data from a perspective of user experience because the punishment and reward are triggered by negative and positive somatic markers, respectively.
Let’s imagine that the user reaches their purpose but doesn’t feel glorified due to the absence of UI feedback. That may unleash a negative impact on the somatic markers even though the goal was reached. The absence of reward may be faced as a punishment and become unpleasant and interfere with the learning process.
The learning process can be affected also when encountering the absence of punishment. This means that the user may get the wrong idea and what was supposed to be a punishment becomes a reward. Reward and punishment are learning constructs.
How the Somatic Market concept can be applied at a device interaction level?
UI elements related? Feedback notification: success message, error message…
According to Don Norman, a good design addresses 3 levels of how people perceive and process the reality around them. The Reflective, Behavioural, and Visceral level.
Let’s highlight the behavioral level: Is subconscious and has to do with our interaction with an object.
The behavioral level essentially refers to the emotions that users feel as a result of either accomplishing or failing to complete their goals.
After meeting or failing to complete their goals the factual knowledge are categorized. This categorization contributes to the decision making process. The users classify the types of options, the type of results, and the connections between options and results. When confronted by a situation, this previous categorization allows us to quickly discover if a certain option or result is beneficial. That’s why it’s so important to correspond to the users’ expectations.
The IDF (Interaction Design Foundation) teacher Brian Whitworth at the “The Brain and Technology: Brain Science in Interface Design” course alleged that human feedback loops are controlled by three processing sub-systems: psychomotor, emotional, and intellectual.
All the sub-systems are important as they work simultaneously and in parallel, however, for the sake of this article let’s highlight the Emotional sub-system. This one is more adequate to support design from an HCI perspective and enable the user to understand purposes. Emotional learning primarily evolved to predict good and bad results for the user. That goes by the concept that we explored from António Damásio, the somatic learning process allows us to predict the good and bad results and are related to the most simple version from the Emotional sub-system.
Because navigation is a crucial element in user interaction, you’ll want to create the information architecture that feels the most natural to your user.
Allow asking deeper questions about their habits, behaviors, and needs so that your design takes the path of least resistance.
Heuristic evaluation or Traditional user testing
Allow to find usability problems in a user interface design so that they can be attended to as part of an iterative design process.
These exercises will help to define: Structure, Behaviour, Language and Appearance. And help to align them with the users’ expectations.