Let’s discuss why we tend to misunderstand requirements in the process of communication.

There is an interesting example in life. At lunch time, the mother asked her child who was playing games, “What would you like for lunch?” The child replied impatiently, “Whatever.” Mother did not think twice and made a few dishes according to her own preference. Put to the table, the children are not satisfied, eat very little.

— — —

Cause and effect

If the normal problem-solving process is followed, the child makes a request: “Whatever.” The mother responds to the need, that is, does whatever she likes, and the task is logically accomplished, so why is the child still dissatisfied with the result?

This example is similar to the problem we encountered in our work. The designer worked so hard to output a perfect solution according to the requirements of the demand side, but the result failed to meet the expectation of the demand side. This is because we had a deviation in the understanding of the demand in the communication process. This article discusses with you how to solve the misunderstanding of this matter.

First of all, we look at how people form cognition of things. Medical research believes that we repeatedly form cognition of problems through physiological and psychological activities such as feeling, perception, attention, thinking and language. Sensation and perception as the means of receiving information, what is absorbed, determines how thinking, attention, and language will work. This, of course, affects the way a person understands a problem.

When a child says “casual”, the mother will receive information, feel and perceive the historical memory of “casual”, and the inexperienced mother will think that “casual” = no requirement, which leads to the unsatisfactory result of doing things according to their own preferences, resulting in the misunderstanding of needs.

How to solve the misunderstanding

The reason for this is that the core of the failure to grasp the other party’s deep motivation. How do you capture motivation? A method is introduced:

Step 1. Clarify the deep motivation chain: first distinguish what kind of motivation is the deep motivation, what kind of motivation, and then provide targeted solutions;

Hidden bias in step 2. Mining information: because of the environment, the interests of the background, may be in the process of communication, misunderstanding is not being noticed, psychology, this kind of misunderstanding is called hidden bias, made clear the other motivation after what kind, also to avoid the hidden bias, can effective solution is given finally.

Step 1. Identify the deep motivation chain

There is a deep motivation behind every requirement, and we want to output a satisfactory solution by first identifying the deep motivation for each other’s requirement. Here, of course, it is necessary to return to product design. The deep motivation chain of product demand mainly includes the following types of motivation:

Take microclouds, for example, and let’s break them down one by one.

A. Competition-oriented motivation

Often the purpose of such requirements is to get a handle on where the market is going and launch features before competing products. To grab the first seed users before the market turns into a red sea, and beat the competition with new features.

/ How to deal with: quick response /

Because the product form and process of such requirements are usually quite clear, designers only need to grasp the basic design principles and skills and quickly output the design draft when dealing with them. Meanwhile, they can try to innovate at the micro interaction level.

B. Drive consumption motivation

User’s consumption behavior is dominated by motivation, motivation comes from need, need is a kind of lack of state caused by objective stimulus acting on human brain. Product managers often talk to designers about how to create these stimuli in their products, and I want to focus on this area, which is where designers can do most of the work.

/ How to deal with: motivation breakdown /

We might as well continue to refine, consumer psychology drives consumption behavior into two types of motivation: emotional motivation, rational motivation.

The emotion motive

What is emotional motivation

This is a kind of purchase motivation caused by emotions such as happiness, anger, sorrow and joy, as well as emotional factors such as morality, sentiment, group and concept. Based on Octalysis(octagonal analysis) in game design, it is divided into the following categories according to left brain, right brain, positive brain and negative brain:

Let’s take it one by one

• Psychological consumption of curiosity

Curiosity usually doesn’t last long and is easily transferable, so you need to constantly update content to take advantage of users’ curiosity. And, in the search for the stimulus, they rely heavily on memory to determine whether the stimulus is familiar enough. And curiosity triggers the need to learn, which in turn affects memory. For example, novel stimuli are often accompanied by unpredictable reward properties, which can stimulate the user to learn and explore, and achieve better memory.

The goal of curiosity is usually to get rewards, and rewards involve positive feelings like happiness and joy.

In the process of satisfying curiosity, neurotransmitters in the brain link various regions into a circuit that stimulates the production of dopamine, an addictive substance, which can be considered a reward.

Many modern men have FOMO (Fearing of Missing Out), jumping from app to app and swiping the information stream for fear of Missing any news that could stimulate dopamine production. If you want to take advantage of users’ curiosity, in addition to relying on regular updates, designers can also use story-filled content between different sections to stimulate users’ dopamine production by taking advantage of the unpredictable and dramatic nature of the story itself, so as to satisfy users’ curiosity.

• Flaunting psychological consumption

The law of demand tells us that generally the higher the price of a product, the less quantity is required. But on the contrary, flaunt consumption economist thorstein bande Fan Bo Aaron goods “through” theory explains the price of the conspicuous consumption demand relations: conspicuous consumption is to display wealth and status, so the commodity prices will become an important measure, the higher the price, have strong desire to consume, the more demand.

Flaunting consumption features a positive relationship between commodity demand and commodity price, and a negative relationship between normal demand law. The psychology of showing off has become a very important economic motive force in economics.

The purpose of flamboyant consumption is not to obtain the actual use value of goods, but to show or let others perceive their social status through the purchase of goods.

Designers pay if you want to use to show off the psychological stimulation, can try out various members of the price system, for example, we try to design in micro cloud within the ordinary members and the two systems, increasing prices, super members have larger capacity and more privileges, but it is not enough, we through the nameplate on some social exposure entrance style reflects the identity, status, You can capture the conspicuous consumption user base.

• Social comparative psychological consumption

What is social comparative psychology

In other words, it is often referred to as “comparison group behavior” by sociologists. In essence, it is the consumption behavior of consumers based on their class, identity and status recognition, so as to select the group they are in as the reference. Social psychologist Leon Festinger divides comparative psychology into two layers:

1. Compare yourself socially

When people tend to choose better groups for comparison, it is the psychology of upward social comparison. The purpose of this kind of psychology is to obtain the identity and belonging of the excellent group. People tend to believe that they belong to a superior class, and can also generate self-drive through comparison psychology.

Upward social comparison can be used in cold start to create a quality product atmosphere (such as big V in use, exquisite content) so that more users can generate self-motivation and seek group identity in the product.

2. Downward social comparison

When people tend to choose poorer individual or environmental comparison, so as to reflect their superior situation, it is downward social comparison. At first glance, this may seem like a negative psychology that we should not encourage in our design. But in essence, the purpose of downward comparison is to gain positive feelings and improve one’s social situation. Designers can use this as a starting point.

Therefore, if designers can make good use of downward social comparison to design, they can also achieve better results. For example, the case of Internet speed beating xx competitors in the country takes advantage of this point breakthrough (gain positive feelings in comparison).

• Psychological consumption of group alienation

In addition to conformity consumption, consumer psychology also has a alienated consumption psychology. This kind of consumption psychology can appear in relatively young user group generally. The goal is to be unconventional by not conforming to the crowd.

The reasons for alienation can be divided into three categories: love of new and old, curiosity and creation.

Love is easy to understand, users generally tend to buy new products. Hope to advertise his alienation through new products.

Curiosity psychology is that users have never seen or touched the objects have a strong concern, desire to explore. Users want to manifest their alienation through the act of exploration.

Creative psychology is the psychological orientation of changing old things for self-expression and winning praise from others. Often users create something new to make themselves unique.

Designers can use by means of personalized user psychological alienation, such as its length according to the user’s use divided into novice users, intermediate users, as well as old customers, push services within the product, appropriate to increase the new service delivery frequency (cast), and even can make distinguished difference on the style of the interface itself (create psychological), in this way deliberately made alienation, Incentive payments.

• Feel the psychological consumption of respect

What is the feeling of respect

If users feel a high degree of respect and rights in the process of purchasing, they will pay less attention to the product price. Respected needs are also the fourth layer of Maslow’s Hierachy of needs theory, which belongs to higher needs. Psychology divides feelings of respect into two layers:

Elementary: Gain respect from others. This psychology usually requires status, recognition, fame, prestige and attention

Advanced: Self-identification. Self-identification belongs to the higher type of respect psychology. For example, people often need to recognize that they have power, competitiveness, a sense of control, a sense of autonomy.

First of all, there are three suggestions in marketing on how to make use of high-level respect psychology: embody humanistic care; Pay attention to etiquette; Give more power to users. In essence, let the user feel that they are in a high position in the app, to give the user a sense of “the product is for me”.

Secondly, how to use the primary feeling of respect? Here is a story:

One day, Konosuke Matsushita was entertaining guests at a restaurant, and they all ordered steak. When they had finished their main meal, Matsushita sent his assistant to fetch the steak chef.

The assistant then noticed that Matsushita had only eaten half of his steak and thought it might get awkward later. The chef soon came over, his face very nervous, because he knew that the person invited him is the famous Mr. Konosuke Matsushita.

‘Is there a problem, Sir? “The chef asked nervously.

“It’s no problem for you to cook a steak,” Matsushita said, “but I can only eat half of it. It’s not the cooking, steak is really good, but I’m 80 and my appetite isn’t what it used to be.”

Everyone looked at each other in bewilderment, and it took a moment to realize what was happening.

“I wanted to talk to him in person because I was worried he would be upset to see a half-eaten steak sent back to the kitchen.”

Mr Matsushita actually takes the other person’s point of view and uses empathy to satisfy his or her need for respect. In the event that has happened, let oneself enter the role of others, experience others due to the environmental background, their own physiological and psychological state, closer to the feelings and logic of others on the standard, let the other party in a high position.

If you want to capture the user’s feelings and respect psychology to stimulate consumption, designers should make good use of empathy, through observation, analysis, discussion, thinking about the above points. Can make full use of the user’s primary feeling respect psychology, so as to achieve the purpose of stimulating consumption. For example, before performing an irrevocable operation, inform the user of the consequences and ask the user twice. Properly control the push times, restrain the disturbing behavior every time, make good product logic, and deliver push to disturb users when they need.

Rational motivation

What is rational motivation

Consumers make rational choices and purchase behaviors after they have a clear cognition and understanding of products. This motivation is usually concentrated in people with certain life experience, who have developed the habit of thinking in life and bring this habit into the purchase of goods.

After comparing various cloud disk products, consumers finally decide to buy the capacity of micro-cloud, which is usually characterized by objectivity, planning and independent control.

In psychology, the type of rational motivation has a strong correlation with the attributes of the product itself and can be classified according to the purchase behavior:

/ Before the purchase motivation /

1. Practical pursuit: Consumers usually pay little attention to packaging and brand among rational motives. Demand the practicality of the product itself.

When packaging member selling points of tool products, we should focus on practical functions, and clearly inform the benefits brought by them, so that users feel value for money;

2. Security and reliability: security will become an important part of rational motivation. Rational users care about whether the product can satisfy users’ sense of security, and designers need to give priority to respecting users’ privacy.

3. Aesthetic feeling: before users make rational decisions, visual aesthetic feeling will become a very important influence point

/ Executing the purchase action /

4. Convenient purchase: With fewer choices, rational users tend to choose convenient products. Polish the payment scenario as much as possible.

Weak network environment leads to payment failure, there is no timely rollback operation, at the same time reduce the payment process to the shortest, do not let users wait too long in this link.

/ After the purchase /

5. After-sales service: After the purchase, the after-sales service of the product also determines whether the user will come back next time. The experience does not end with the end of the purchase.

Designers should pay attention to feedback and help modules in the product, which are also part of the user’s perception of the product experience.

C experience repair motivation

How to deal with: critical chain disassembly /

This type of motivation is familiar to designers, and each iteration fixes the experience accordingly. Often, experience fixing is designer-driven, but it’s a healthy phenomenon if the product has such motivation. Designers can start by breaking down motivations into local functions and global experiences:

1. Partial experience: Problems left over from the previous version. For example, the experience of the preview page was optimized in the last version of microcloud, and a problem was found in the position of an operation button in the later stage, but it was not modified in this version due to the limited implementation time. This problem can be solved iteratively.

2. Global experience: problems accumulated from history. For example, micro cloud global page transition order, warning control has a low unity problem. This type of problem has nothing to do with the functionality of the release, is a basic experience, and once modified, needs to be combed through all the scenes of the entire product.

Follow up and solve each version according to the density of demand. In Project Management, one method is introduced: Critical Chain Project Management (Critical Chain Project Management), by Eliyahu M. Goldratt. The core of the method is to use the most resources on the task with the highest priority. Management studies have found that the traditional approach of managing projects sequenced leads to a 30% waste of time and resources. When you set a deadline for completion, you are prone to student syndrome, or what we call procrastination. At the same time, only emphasizing the project arrangement mode of time nodes will increase the risk of multi-task parallelism, thus wasting resources and time in the process of high-frequency task switching.

The core of Critical Chain Project Management lies in:

1. Identify your highest priority

There are 10 experience points to optimize, which one should we do in the next version? By using the Eisenhower Rule, we can divide tasks into four quadrants: important and urgent, important but not urgent, Urgent but not important, and neither important nor urgent. The definition of importance is related to your goals. For example, with the recent expansion of the microcloud into the office, the next release’s experience points, as well as those related to online editing and sharing groups, should be counted as important and urgent in the quadrant.

2. List how many resources are involved

Which characters should be involved at each playpoint? Accordingly, how many roles (designer, refactoring, development, testing, etc.) can be involved? After evaluating the roles that need to be involved, the information should be synchronized to all the roles and formally authorized. If the other party accepts it, it will enter the follow-up scheduling and research and development work. If not, you can try to return to 1 and reach a consensus on priorities.

3. Buffer management

Provide a simple, easy-to-use view of the project’s health to ensure that the critical experience does not deviate. And in the occurrence of large deviation, take some corrective measures.

D explore trial-and-error motivation

This type of motivation is often the product manager’s desire to test the market without a clear purpose or need, as well as the reaction of users and, of course, the decision to make on the fly.

Before we talk about what to do about it, let’s look at why such incentives arise. Behavioral science has another term for exploring trial-and-error motivation: trial and error. This method usually has the following characteristics:

1. Problem-oriented: Trial and error does not discuss whether a method is reasonable, but whether it solves the problem

2. For a specific problem: Trial and error does not seek a universal approach

3. No optimization: The trial-and-error method only finds one solution, but does not find more than one solution, nor does it find the best solution

4. Minimal Knowledge required: Even with minimal knowledge of the target area, trial and error can still be used

/ How to deal with: problem oriented /

According to the characteristics mentioned above, we can find that in trial-and-error motivation, the problem orientation is very clear, and the product will pay more attention to whether the problem is solved, and relatively weaken the details of the scheme.

For example, when the office positioning in the domestic cloud disk market was not very clear, we decided the focus of office with the product manager, and tried to find Microsoft as a partner, and finally decided the entry point of online collaborative editing. The situation we faced at that time was to test the water. When we finally came to the solution, the product manager was more inclined to see whether the overall process could run smoothly and whether all scenes were covered. In contrast, it will weaken the position of buttons, control layout and other details in the popover.

So, when you get this kind of requirements, don’t first into the tangled control layout, button location such details, you can first take the design idea up a dimension, think about the following questions:

1. What problem does this requirement solve for users (problem-oriented)

2. What benefits does this demand bring to the product, such as revenue, user growth, industry direction drive (purpose oriented)

3. Whether the requirement is based on the existing user portrait (not separate from the user group, reduce the uncontrollability of the unknown domain)

Start from these ideas, do not try to find a general solution, first build a framework, collect user feedback, test the water, according to the feedback of the second stage of adjustment, refinement. You can save time on entanglements.

Summary: Based on the Step 1 approach, we have been able to have a general classification of the motivations behind the requirements, and we have been able to deal with them in a targeted way. Let’s move on to how to address hidden communication biases.

Step 2. Discover hidden biases in information transmission

What is hidden bias

Once the motivation type is identified, we also need to determine whether there is any hidden bias in the transmission of information. In daily communication, the two sides of the dialogue will take sides due to differences in interest, information mastery and information processing ability, resulting in inconsistent understanding of problems in communication, resulting in stress and conflict. During conflict, the brain activates defensive mechanisms that deceive ourselves, masking our true motives and thus misinterpreting the other person. Unfortunately, we often don’t notice this problem. In anger, there will be deliberate denial, distortion, diversion and other behaviors, which will also increase the difficulty of reaching common recognition and form a bigger and bigger misunderstanding. Simon Fisher calls this hidden bias. It was this deviation that led to the two sides’ acrimonious parting.

You finished the process design, found a page can add an interesting small animation, so overtime to drive out, to the development of the classmate, suffered a black eye: “the function can already meet the user, why add these have no animation, but also waste resources.” Right now your designer dignity thwarted, very angry, directly began PK. The two sides ended in acrimony.

Let’s disassemble:

The two sides take different sides on the issue of animation. The developer tends to realize the function, while the designer pursues the sense of design and perfection

The two sides have different degrees of information mastery. The developer knows the technology and the workload brought by animation. Although the designer can draw the animation style, he does not know the specific difficulty of development

The two sides have different information processing abilities. The stress response of the students is not because they do not want the product to have more design sense, but because of the pressure and time relationship. The designer misunderstood the other side at the first time due to the pride of the plan, and thought that the excessive resistance was actually the performance of not pursuing.

/ How to deal with: Common goals /

There is a goal behind every behavior. Communication is a means to achieve the goal. If this means will make us deviate, then we might as well return to the goal. When the two goals are aligned, the problem can be solved well.

According to Don Norman’s three levels of reflection, behavior and instinct, we can divide the target into three types: business target, user value target and feasibility target.

Going back to the above example, the designer hopes to add an animation on the basis of functions. It is not difficult to find that the commercial goals and feasibility goals differ from those of the developers. In order to improve the feasibility, we can use lower-cost animation output methods such as Lottie and Origami.

In terms of business objectives, high-quality animation can bring excellent experience, but if the other party does not reach an agreement on this point, it may be the quality of animation itself. Ask the other party to align the information, and then adjust accordingly. Avoid by all means a ambiguous angry, PK.

The method of mining hidden deviation is to take the plan to communicate, do not rush to deny, or rush to do, first to the other party’s goals, one by one alignment, as far as possible to achieve the same goal, so that the deviation will be solved naturally.


This article discusses why the solutions we come up with for each other end up being unsatisfactory. It is recommended to use two steps to solve this problem:

1. Firstly, make clear what kind of motivation will be generated by the other party in the process of product design, and adopt different countermeasures accordingly;

2. Excavate hidden deviations in communication, and achieve the consistency of goals by disassembling targets and seeking common ground while reserving differences.

It is hoped that every designer can aim at the target and hit the core motivation in the work to output high-quality design schemes.


1. MBA Think Tank, Consumer Motivation, wiki.mbalib.com/zh-tw/%E6%B…

2. Don Norman, Design Psychology, The Three Levels of Behavior, “Design Psychology”

3. Phebe Cramer, Protecting the self: Defense Mechanisms in Action

4. Medium, octagonal analysis, medium.com/uxeastmeet…

5. Wikipedia, psychological, social comparison en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Social…

6. Design with empathy, and https://www.smartlinkin.com.tw/article/2873

7. Lawrence P. Leach, Critical Chain Project Management

8. Ziming Luo, Consumer Psychology

9. Diederik A. Stapel & Hart Blanton, Social Comparison Theories

10. Milan Vojnovic, Contest Theory: Incentive Mechanisms and Ranking Methods

11. MBA Think Tank, Affective Motivation Classification, wiki.mbalib.com/zh-tw/%E6%8…

12. Andrew Parker, Andrew Derrington, Colin Blakemore, The Physiology of Cognitive Processes