Does evolution affect User experience?

Alright, there is a possibility that this might be a little far-fetched in terms of user experience and rather silly too, but a lot of things that we feel and do today are due to the habits that have been inculcated by our surroundings and habits of our ancestors.

In this article, I will discuss examples and scenarios regarding the idea of how human evolution has affected the way we interact with our digital experiences

Starting from the most basic example, almost every phone and laptop and comes with a blue light filter that is to be used during the night-time, and you can clearly notice that when you turn it on your screen becomes slightly orangish.

This is because Blue light, whether from the sun during dawn or from your personal laptop and mobile, is very effective at inhibiting melatonin production — thus reducing both the quantity and quality of your Sleep.

And on the other hand, warmer colors such as orange and red, just like the light of the sunset, helps you sleep by triggering an increase of melatonin in your body.

You might have also noticed this form of mood lighting while traveling in airplanes.

Hence this brings an interesting edge to keep in mind while choosing colors for your next design.

Probably Not a good idea to have an alarm app with blue colors.

I found Another interesting correlation while going through an article, Research from psychological scientists Geoff Cole and Arnold Wilkins from the University of Essex suggests that Trypophobia which is basically a fear of holes in patterns may occur due to a specific visual feature which is found among various poisonous animals and plants. For trypophobes the sight of clusters of holes in formations can lead to intense unpleasant reactions. Almost 16% of people suffer from Trypophobia, others may still tend to find it unpleasant.

These findings suggest that there may be an ancient evolutionary part of the brain telling people they are looking at poisonous animals or plants.

But the question I wanted to ask myself is that what happens if we try to put the same formations on our webpages, will it trigger a similar response?

here's what the Google homepage would look like with a repeating circular pattern similar to what trypophobes are repelled towards.

Looks like the Google homepage caught a disease

And finally, one of the 10 Heuristics by Jakobs Nielsen state that the user must have control and freedom over the state of the application because users often make mistakes and need to be provided with a clearly marked exit to leave. There is a possibility that this is due to what the researchers call flight or fight response, The term “fight-or-flight” represents the choices that our ancient ancestors had when faced with danger in their environment. They could either fight or flee. In either case, the physiological stress response prepares the body to react to danger.

In response to acute stress, the body’s sympathetic nervous system is activated by the sudden release of hormones. your heartbeat quickens, you may start breathing faster, and your entire body becomes tense and ready to take action, I certainly felt it when I uploaded the wrong file for my assignment. Hence in my opinion the #3 heuristic by Jakob Nielsen is one of the most important if not the most, it provides a sense of calmness to the fact that mistakes can be undone.

Imagine not having an unsend message option on Instagram or delete for everyone on WhatsApp!

Hence, these were just some examples that crossed my mind when I thought about how our thought processes are affected by our ancestors and surroundings and could there also be a correlation with UX.

A computer science student, passionate about user experience and data analytics