The Basics of Personality-Oriented Design

10minutes read
personality design

We give preference to some social networks and ignore others for a reason. It’s believed that knowing which social network is a favorite for a person, you can say a lot about his character and habits. However, one can only partially agree with this opinion. We are all different, and the goals of our presence on social networks also differ.

Hundreds of new apps are released every day, and popular apps are updated almost every week. Thus, there is a constant update of the technology, but do we improve applications? Does the novelty itself bring about an improvement in the user experience? To answer this question, designers must create products based on user behavior, needs, and priorities.

Creating personality-oriented design means being open and consistent in design work, covering the product’s entire lifecycle, identifying user needs, and creating a product that meets those needs. When you understand the users and then design the product from their perspective, you develop unusual answers. Personality-oriented design is how you think and what you do. It’s essential to establish deep empathy with whoever you’re designing for. This article will share what personality-oriented design is and what the main personality types of users are.

What is personality-oriented design?

The first attempts of design for the users’ needs were noticed in the 1980s when designers and developers began to focus on the technical side of software development. As a result, the market has slowly but surely transformed to a system that adapts to a person. One of the best examples of that time, and even now, is Apple. Steve Jobs once said, “You’ve got to start with the customer experience and work back toward the technology – not the other way around.”

Personality-oriented design is a design that takes into account the needs at every stage of the design. Such a design understands the psychological type of person, develops attractive solutions, and adapts to the user’s needs. Many companies have incorporated personality-oriented design into their organizational strategies. For example, IKEA, Lego, Google, Facebook, Microsoft, and Apple have relied on the emotional and psychological relationship between the product and the consumer.

Top five user personality types in design

The generally accepted approach to describing the target audience is not as perfect as it may seem to many. Marketers from all over the world keep repeating this. To accurately understand the needs and desires of the user and meet their requirements, only demographic and social data about the user is not enough. If you know the psychology of your audience, motives, goals, and desires, you can easily create your brand, application, or website design.

When you understand your audience, you will find all the contact points with your user while increasing sales and increasing conversion rates.

In this article, we want to briefly tell you about the most common types of user personalities. Our division into types is based on values, lifestyles, behavior, and user priorities. Well, let’s get started?

1) Materialists

Materialist users (also called conservatives) are people whose life values aim at family, health, material well-being, and security. This is a reasonably large stratum of the population who perform ordinary types of leisure. Many people will think that middle-aged and older people belong to this category, but many young people today have a conservative outlook on life. If your product or service is aimed at a large audience, then materialists will prevail. This type of user prefers quality products and familiar brands.

Conservatives are accustomed to a prosperous and calm life. Therefore, they like products and services that have been tested by time and many people before them. Consequently, they will buy the product only after it has been tested and approved by other users.

What design do materialistic conservatives expect?

This is not the type of user to impress and hook with something. On the contrary, materialists prefer restrained design and colors without unnecessary bells, whistles and surprises. The primary purpose of coming to the site of materialists is to get acquainted with the product/service, see the price, prominent advantages, and all the necessary information for the purchase. That is why you should create a soft, calm, and flowing design without unnecessary embellishments.

UI design for this type of user should be as intuitive, logical, and straightforward as possible. Materialists will not waste time figuring out how to use the specific function on your web/app design.

It’s better to use real photos in personality design for materialists than pictures because conservatives prefer photos of real products or people to be more loyal to your products. As a result, the chance of buying will be much higher. And also, be sure to back up your products with honest reviews so that users understand that your products are reliable and practical.

Here’s an example of materialistic design:

materialistic design example
here is a materialistic design example

2) Hedonists

Hedonists are people whose goal is to enjoy life. They know well their “wants,” know how to implement them and enjoy the results of these achievements. The hedonic theory of human behavior substantiates how an “economic man” seeks exclusively to obtain maximum benefit for themselves, subordinating their actions to the “arithmetic of benefit.”

These are almost always very emotionally expressive people, so any of your value propositions should carry a certain emotional message.

‍What design do hedonists expect?

Here, you can design as you wish! You can come off to the fullest 🙂 Here creativity comes into play. Hedonists love everything new, unusual and extraordinary, salted with the emotional presentation.

When creating a personality design for hedonists, you can give free rein to your imagination, but remember that you should not make an interface like a quest. However, hedonists love everything unusual – they don’t like to wait like any other person and waste time looking for the right product or service.

A hedonic design should be aesthetically minimalistic, based on uniqueness and high contrast. Anything related to speed, satisfaction, and positive emotions is something that hedonists will surely enjoy.

hedonist personality-oriented design example
here is a hedonist design example

Then, when a conservative needs a reliable and sound house, a car, and equipment, the hedonist needs the brightest car, the best apartments, and the most extraordinary device in the pocket. That’s why if your target audience is hedonists, emphasize in your personality design the uniqueness and exclusivity of your products. And the presentation of your products should be bright and emotional.

3) Sophisticates

This type of user likes visually beautiful and aesthetically pleasing, cozy things. These are the people who, in real life, prefer covers, packaging, and exquisite labels. And in the same way, when choosing an interface, they choose beautiful pictures and attractive brands.

Most sophisticates are women and girls, as they choose products and services based on the visual component of the product rather than functionality, quality, or price. However, there are also male sophisticates who prioritize design over everything else.

sophisticates design example
here is a sophisticates design example

What designs are sophisticates expecting to see?

This type of user follows the so-called Japanese kawaii design, which means “cute” in Japanese. This design is very soft and cozy, and often over the years, it even began to be used in designs for materialists. Very often, kids are drawn to this kind of kawaii website design.

Even though this category of users loves soft, sleek and cozy designs, this doesn’t mean that it should be a pink watery design since you will not always have a female target audience. This type of user loves thoughtful designs with many small details and decorative elements.

Still in doubt that design is valuable in project development? Then read our article What is the value of design for your business and dispel all the doubts!

4) Non-materialists (individuals)

The category of non-materialist users is usually people who prefer non-material values, in contrast to conservatives. They can also be called individualists because they strive to be themselves. Usually, there are fewer such users than conservative materialists, but non-materialists are open to new brands and products and are more active.

This group of people also cares about the well-being and spiritual harmony, education, and training. They want to improve themselves and strive for personal growth. They like to invest not in some material purchases but more in their development and training. These are the kind of people who are very fond of webinars, courses, and all types of educational or entertainment subscriptions. Non-materialists are positive and interested in everything new.

What kind of design do non-materialists expect?

This category of users is usually more educated than conservatives, and as a result, pickier about the design and aesthetics of the interface. These are precisely those users who love the golden mean – the personality design should be beautiful and functional at the same time. Non-materialists prefer original, trendy and unique designs, but that doesn’t mean your web or app design must be confusing. Whichever category of users is your target audience, none of them wants to be part of a lousy user flow. That is why your users should never ask the question: “How does it work?” or “Where am I?” even if your design is original and not typical.

non-materialistic personality-oriented design example
here is non-materialists design example

This category of users loves to buy a product that makes them feel special. Therefore, if you are selling a product or service, tell non-materialists why your product is unique and how it will contribute to personal growth and broaden their horizons. These users have a very subtle sense of humor, so keep that in mind when creating content for such a user.

Fun, useful content mixed with personalized, trendy designs will win the hearts of non-materialists. But also do not forget that they are entirely educated, demanding, and picky in their tastes. Therefore, designers should make an effort to please this type of user.

5) Goal-oriented person

This category of people comes to your website or application with a specific purpose and ambition. This audience has specific goals for a product or service related to their careers or occupations. Their time to visit your project is limited, and their interests are exclusively professional. These people are not about emotions at all. They crave new information and specific content without frills.

This category of people visits any specialized website or application (scientific, educational, or business). They come in search of professionally relevant information to improve their careers. They value compliance with regulations and standards, not window dressing.

What design are goal-oriented users expecting?

Just like conservative materialists, goal-oriented users prefer a discreet, no-frills design. But at the same time, they want to see a reliable and stylish design that reinforces the prestige and reputation of the company.

Here is one of the projects made by Gapsy Studio. It’s an app for Muslims where they go for a specific purpose: it tells the time of Namaz (prayer among Muslims), indicates Qiblah (direction towards the sacred Kaaba in Mecca in Arabia), makes it possible to read the text of prayers, and shows holidays in the Muslim calendar. We tried to make the design consistent with the reality of Muslims.

goal oriented Muslim app design example
here is goal-oriented design example

When designing for goal-oriented users, you shouldn’t use animation or use it to a minimum. You should present a strong design with the logo at the top of the page, the menu on the top or left, and the structured columns. The color of your UI design should not be bright, pastel-muted, or striking.

Color plays a significant role in the UI design of any product, which is why to read our article on How to Choose the Correct UI Design Colors for Your Product to Reinforce Your Business.

Let's recap

This target audience division by psychological type is solely a matter of convenience and an additional way to study your potential users in detail. The user classification will help you narrow down your target audience and better understand it. Remember your users as real people, not as marketing statistics or analytics.

Our design studio understands user psychology and knows precisely how to create a personality-oriented design. Ensure our professionalism at taking a look at our projects on Dribbble and Behance and services we provide. We can handle any of your wishes and whims. Contact us!

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