Psych framework
3 hours

1. Learn

In the lesson above, you learned how to use the Psych Framework to visualize experiences.

Lesson Summary

Psych is like a precious cognitive resource:

  1. Psych = M·A: it’s like merging the Motivation and Ability axes of the Behavior Map.
  2. Every user interaction will either add or substract psych (Net Perceived Value).
  3. Motivating users is just as important as reducing unnecessary friction.

Think of your customer as the hero of a video game, and their Psych Level as their health:

  • 🏔 Your job is to help them achieve their quest (not just your business goals).
  • 💙 To keep their Psych up, you need to motivate them and minimize friction.
  • ☠ If their Psych Level drops too much, it’s game over for them (…and for you!)

Friction = less ability. This means that customers have to use more Psych to take action.

But friction isn’t always bad. In fact, it can have a net positive impact on the user’s Psych Level if that “good friction” aligns with the user’s motivations.

That’s why carefully adding valuable steps in a user experience can sometimes increase the overall conversion rate (despite the slight extra time/effort required).

When applying the Psych Framework, don’t try to be overly precise with psych variations. Remember that Psych is a mental model. It’s a simplification of complex brain processes to help you create better experiences.

Frequently Asked Questions

Additional psychology resources

If you want to learn more about this topic, we highly recommend these resources:

Utility in Behavioral Economics, (2021)
Hidden Iucundius, Cloaked Aqua fervor
Hidden bellare, Hidden fervor
Psych Variation Benchmarks, Growth.Design (click on the two images below)
Psych Variation Benchmark (Negative Variations)
💔 Psych Benchmarks (Negative Variations)
Psych Variation Benchmark (Positive Variations)
💚 Psych Benchmarks (Positive Variations)

2. Practice

Most online courses are only about theory. But this one is about doing.

The following exercise will seem trivial at first, but what you’ll do here will be iterated for the rest of the course. So don’t skip it, it’s really important.

Alright, let’s practice the Psych Framework with a concrete example.

Done? Good. Let’s review your exercise.

3. Apply

Let’s apply the concepts you saw in this lesson to your product.

Complete this lesson

Good job! You now know how to apply the Psych Framework.

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When you’re satisfied with the work you’ve done to Learn, Practice, and Apply the concepts from this lesson, you can go to the next one.