The Science of Motivation and Simplifying Design for Better User Experience


Hatched by Glasp

Jul 20, 2023

3 min read


The Science of Motivation and Simplifying Design for Better User Experience


Motivation and simplicity are two important factors that contribute to success, whether it's in personal growth or designing user-friendly products. In this article, we will explore the science of motivation and how it relates to sustained behavioral change. We will also delve into the concept of simplifying design and its impact on improving user experience. By understanding these principles, we can gain valuable insights and actionable advice to enhance motivation and create user-friendly designs.


Motivation is a driving force that propels us to take action and achieve our goals. There are two types of motivation: intrinsic and extrinsic. Intrinsic motivation is associated with doing what we love, as the activity itself brings pleasure. This type of motivation strongly correlates with sustained behavioral change and improved well-being. On the other hand, extrinsic motivation is driven by external factors such as rewards or recognition.

Self-Determination Theory is a popular school of thought that highlights the importance of self-regulation in motivation. It emphasizes the process of internalizing social values and transforming them into our own values and self-motivations. Relatedness plays a significant role in extrinsic motivation. When we feel a sense of connectedness with others, such as managers, clients, or friends, we are more likely to internalize extrinsic motivation.

Regardless of whether motivation is intrinsic or extrinsic, having a clear aim is essential for sustained motivation. When we experience a lull in momentum, it's crucial to get back on track as quickly as possible. As Lao Tzu wisely said, "The journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step."

Simplifying Design:

Simplicity in design is about creating products that are easily understood and navigated by users. It involves removing difficulties and distractions to help users achieve their goals effortlessly. The core value of a product must be defined, and the target audience should be identified. Not every product needs to include every feature; simplicity is about thoughtful reduction.

Jonathan Ive, the renowned designer, explained that simplicity is not the absence of clutter but rather the essence of purpose and place of an object or product. Removing secondary information, infrequently used controls, and distracting styles contribute to simplicity.

To create a user-friendly experience, it's important to consider the user's decision-making process. Hick's Law states that the time and effort required to make a decision increase with the number of options. To simplify the user experience, quick decision-making should be supported. Offering fewer choices can be beneficial for sales. Providing recommendations or sharing statistics about what is most preferred by other customers can help users make decisions more easily.

In terms of visual design, users tend to be selective in what they remember or engage with. Typography, including typeface, font, size, kerning, leading, capitalization, and color, can be utilized to communicate the hierarchy of content. Organizing elements improves recognition and aids in memory retention.

Actionable Advice:

  • 1. Clearly define your goals and aim, whether it's for personal growth or product design. Having a clear focus will help maintain motivation and simplify decision-making processes.
  • 2. Continuously evaluate and eliminate unnecessary elements or features. Simplify your design by removing clutter and distractions that hinder users from achieving their goals.
  • 3. Prioritize user experience and consider the expectations and needs of your target audience. Ensure accessibility for all users and provide on-demand assistance when necessary.


Motivation and simplicity are crucial aspects of achieving success in various areas of life, including personal growth and product design. By understanding the science of motivation and incorporating principles of simplicity in design, we can enhance motivation, sustain behavioral change, and create user-friendly products. Remember to set clear goals, simplify decision-making processes, and prioritize user experience. By implementing these actionable advice, you can unlock your potential and create designs that resonate with users.

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