5 main principles of neurodesign

When you do not know what to do, look for simple logic from evolution. The development of neuroscience has enabled us to apply the understanding of brain functioning in so many areas. In addition to sports neuromarketing, of course, the design was not bypassed.

Neurodesign explains why our brain responds better to one design than to another. Today I’m going to describe the major principles to be learned in neurodesign.

1. Simplify. If you can simplify, simplify. Our brain does not like to waste energy, and simplicity contributes to the fact that the brain spends less energy to recognize the picture it gets.

To feel the difference, consider an example of the Mashable page from the standard news and Retronaut sections.

There is this term which is called processing fluency. If our brain’s fluency of processing a thing is high, then processing can happen only with the help of the unconscious mind. This provides neuromarketers with some exciting opportunities.

2. Smooth forms. Nature does not like sharp corners and straight lines, and our brain sees them as being dangerous. If you’ve got a chance to give the thing a smooth form, do it without a doubt. Learn from nature.

Take an example of nature, as it deals with too sharp corners.

Combine the aesthetic pleasure of your design with interesting solutions. And always bear in mind that people prefer curved shapes. It is confirmed, for instance, by the study of Moshe Bar and Maital Neta of Harvard Medical School.

3. Symmetry. We can call this point the continuation of the previous one. Our brain is so fond of symmetry that it considers symmetrical faces more attractive.

Look at Blake Lively. As you know, the original of Blake Lively is married to Ryan Reynolds, but the version with left symmetry is perhaps even better than the original.

This phenomenon is given a lot of attention, there is a great number of studies and theories on this. But from the point of view of neurodesign, everything is quite simple. For example, Rolf Reber in his study states that our brain likes symmetry because of the processing fluency.

The brain prefers objects that are symmetrical around the vertical axis to objects that are symmetrical around the horizontal axis (and all the more so around the diagonal axis). In this case, everything is similarly built on the fact that the brain is easier to process vertical symmetry.

4. Contrast. This point is likewise explained with the processing fluency. The higher the contrast of the object, the easier it is for the brain to distinguish it from the background.

Poppy is always easy to spot on the field.

A higher contrast increases the ease of perception, so our brain finds contrast objects more attractive. Just like clear lines will be appreciated by our brain more than blurred lines.

5. Color. If you want to draw attention, use a bright color. But bear in mind that the attraction of attention should be used in context. For instance, a bright product on a store shelf will get attention (due to possessing a high contrast in addition to a color), but if this color discords with the product and brand, how many will be those eager to buy this product?

In the case of a red apple, which you really want to eat, everything is fine. But imagine a rotten apple in its place. It will also stand out in its color. However, if a person does not have brain disorders, he will never choose it.

This point is really quite complicated. For example, the research by Alex Byrne and David R. Hilbert perfectly illustrates why the theme of color reality is still being discussed.

However, in the context of the current reality, two conclusions can be reached.

1) If you want to highlight your product, use a bit brighter hues than that of your competitors;

2) If you don’t aim at making your product stand out among the competitors with the help of color, use hues evoking the emotions you need.

Still find the opportunity to test the reaction of your potential customers with the tools of neuromarketing. Loss of profit due to wrong color or uncomfortable design will cost much more than simple tests.

Conclusion: when our brain scans the space in the store, it gives an instant reaction about its attitude to a particular product. Emotions are involved in these reactions; however, it is the brand that is responsible for the emotions. But apart from emotions, reactions very strongly depend on neurodesign.

When you browse the website or application, your brain also gives an instant assessment on how much the website is intuitively understandable, how familiar certain solutions are, how new some solutions are, what emotions are behind the color scale and brand priming.

As the above mentioned Harvard Medical School study showed, the basic rules are equally true for completely different products: packaging, watches, sofas, websites, fonts, etc.

How can this be used in sports? The range of neurodesign application in sports is very wide. For example:

1. Logo. There are times when the visual component can be inferior to smells and sounds. But still the logo influences the perception of the brand in an extremely serious way.

Apply the principles of neurodesign to create a logo. And do not forget to test the logo with neuromarketing tools;

2. Kit. Surely, a quality design of the kit to complement the brand makes a big difference.

But don’t forget that the logo of technical and title sponsors creates a priming that influences the brand of the club. In the long term, it is more profitable for a club to conclude not the most profitable contract with a large brand having a good reputation, rather than a profitable contract with brands that are not that good.

In this case, it is not clear whose brand will receive the greatest benefit, yours or your sponsor’s. And you can still get quite decent money from the sponsor.

For example, Hollywood actively uses the priming of film studios and the names of actors who dispose viewers to a certain perception of the movie. The same is with sponsors of sports clubs.

3. Football players. You can become popular without possessing the beauty of your face and body. Exceptions are always there. Nevertheless it is much easier to become popular having a symmetrical vertical face.

It is much easier for a football club to monetize the popularity of an attractive football player. And clubs that seek to earn money on their own players are actively guided by this principle.

Keep in mind that football is entertainment. It is often more profitable to sign an attractive player with a name than that able to play football perfectly well but having no good personal brand.

Best regards,

Leon The Alien


Originally published at www.sportsneuromarketing.com on June 9, 2017.