Chroma Experience


Mental Notes

Mental Notes are a collection of 53 cards that describe the psychophysiological patterns of human behavior. The cards help designers better understand user behavior and find effective solutions for creating applications. Mental notes are especially useful when brainstorming during the first phase of a project, when a lot of conceptual thinking goes into it and rational decisions need to be made. If you want to think outside the box and justify your ideas, for example to the project owner, the Mental Notes cards are a good aid.

Meeting von fünf Personen mit Postits am Whiteboard

Functions and examples

The author of the collection is Stephen P. Anderson. His book "Seductive Interaction Design", forms the basis for Mental Notes and is also recommended as further reading. Each map he creates represents a principle of human behavior and suggests ways to apply it to application development. Mental Notes are not only effective for digital product design. The principles described in the maps are universal. They are developed based on general research on psychophysiology of people and help solve various communication problems in web design, marketing, practical psychology, and even personal life. I won't describe all 53 cards, but I will present some examples and their application here:

Social Proof

In unknown situations, people follow the example of the majority. We can support the behavior by showing social activities of the application through various ways. These then unobtrusively tell the user how to behave and help them make decisions. For example, we can provide statistics (number of likes or comments), publish positive reviews, or transparently show actions and achievements of other users.

We have used the principle, for example, on the website of a regional telecommunications provider. The goal of the project was not only to make the existing website fresher and more contemporary, but also to attract new customers and create more trust among existing customers. One of the options to achieve this was to show customer reviews and tell about experiences of other customers.

Social Proof durch Rezensionen

Serial Position Effect

It has been proven with studies that we remember better the part of information that is placed at the beginning and at the end. This means that if we put the most important content at the beginning or at the end, we can influence what we want the user to remember later. The principle works for all content in an application, whether it's a series of checkboxes, a list of product features, or an entire blog article.

On the example below, we have placed the four most important benefits of the offer at the beginning. A "Free FRITZ!BOX" is not a given with every provider, so it is important to bring these features to the user's mind.

Beispiel: Richtige Position für wichtige Elemente wählen


Interacting with a system becomes more exciting when the user can see the result of the actions. In other words, how does the system react to interactions? We can use numbers, images or messages to show the results of actions.

A perfect example of this is a progress bar in a task system. After some actions for a certain task, the user is informed about the current status of this task. This allows him to understand how much he still has to do and how effective and error-free his actions were. The Progress Bar shows a progress, when completing tasks, with an animation and thus clarifies the interaction between the system and the user.

Progress Bar für die Mall-Öffnung im Tasksystem

There are two ways to get the tickets. You can order them at the following address: or download them as App from the App Store. When generating ideas in a team, it makes more sense to have the cards to be able to work together. In this case, the cards will even bring in a certain kind of gamification and relax the working atmosphere. It's also a great way to get the "non-designers" involved in the process. We like to use them after the user research phase in user flows or when creating wireframes. They help us map the business processes more effectively and take into account the needs of users.