How Victor Yocco Uses Everyday Psychology in User Research, Testing, and Design — The Busy Creator Podcast 85

The Busy Creator 85 w/Victor Yocco

Victor Yocco, PhD (@VictorYocco) is a writer and researcher, working in the field of digital design. His background in psychology gives him unique insight into how people interact with websites and applications, which in turn helps his design team build intuitive, functional projects.

In this conversation, we discuss methods of user testing, stumbling blocks that design studies make regarding psychology, and a bit of his studio workflow and habits.

Design For The Mind by Victor Yocco book image

Design For The Mind by Victor Yocco

Use code pcyobusy to receive 39% off the cover price for Victor’s book, Design For The Mind. Catch up with Victor on his website,

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Show Notes & Links

  • Victor Yocco doesn’t like titles, but describes himself as a researcher for user experience and digital design

“Academic literature is often very inaccessibly written.”

—Victor Yocco

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“Incorporated psychology into design doesn’t have to be this huge thing.”

—Victor Yocco

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  • Design For The Mind by Victor Yocco on Manning Books
    Design For The Mind by Victor Yocco
  • Don’t Make Me Think by Steve Krug on Amazon
    Don't Make Me Think by Steve Krug
  • “You’ll find 85% of potential usability issues just off 5 users.”

    —Jeff Sauro

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    “There is a point of ‘Good Enough’ in digital design.”

    —Victor Yocco

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    “Designers are usually people who enjoy solving problems.”

    —Victor Yocco

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    • Layer Cake approach (low level, medium level, high level)
    • Respect the users’ time by making simple interfaces, functions
    • Don’t just show your designs to other designers — they think differently, which might not see what the lay person sees
    • Include additional team members, representing design, writing, project mgmt., etc.
    • Record user testing sessions to easily refer other team members to particular moments
    • Conduct a UX Assessment or heuristics Review before beginning a project


    • Build in heuristics (mental shortcuts) into your work
    • Look to Usability testing to reveal users’ instinct or assumptions
    • Provide challenges for designers and creative staff; they naturally want to wrestle with problems and their solutions
    • Search for methods to stay with a project until the end (even if you get bored with it)
    • Set aside time in the evening to write

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    About Prescott Perez-Fox

    Prescott Perez-Fox is a New York-based graphic designer and brand developer with 15+ years experience in branding, packaging, graphic design, and web design. He runs The Busy Creator.