The Brandeis GPS blog

Insights on online learning, tips for finding balance, and news and updates from Brandeis GPS

Tag: Cognitive and Social Psychology

How psychology can change user behavior

In a world where websites and digital ad networks serve us nearly one million marketing messages each year, it’s becoming increasingly difficult to capture the attention of web users going about their daily business. As content consumers, we tend to be task-oriented and ignore the things around us. “Banner blindness” occurs when users automatically ignore the ad-heavy right side of web pages.

As most of us tend to skim web content quickly, bulleted lists and short paragraphs to break up text are considerably effective at keeping users engaged. When it comes to online marketing, understanding the psychology behind web user activity is crucial to successfully promoting a product or running a business.

These topics are furthered explored in Brandeis University’s Cognitive and Social Psychology of User-Centered Design spring 2017 course. As part of the MS in User-Centered Design  graduate program, this part-time, fully online course will examine the psychological and social aspects that impact human interface interaction in both physical and virtual environments. Topics will include:

  • Signal Detection Theory, Gestalt Theory, Cognitive Load Theory and various motivational theories
  • The cultural and social implications of design
  • Cognitive and social psychology principles that will impact the use of a particular design

By the end of the course, students will be able to make reasonable predictions of human behavior with regards to a user interface and/or design and offer design solutions that will ensure effective user experience based on these principles.

Those interested in the course who do not yet wish to pursue a full master’s degree can still participate. At Brandeis GPS, you can take up to two online courses without officially enrolling in a program. This is a great opportunity to get to know our programs and approach to online learning. View our full course catalog here, and preview our spring 2017 courses here.

Questions? Questions? Contact our enrollment team at gps@brandeis.edu or 781-736-8787.

Brandeis University’s Graduate Professional Studies division (GPS) is dedicated to developing innovative programs for working professionals. GPS offers 11 fully online, part-time master’s degrees and one online graduate certificate. With three 10-week terms each year, Brandeis GPS provides exceptional programs with a convenient and flexible online approach. Courses are small by design and led by industry experts who deliver individualized support and professional insights. For more information on our programs visit the Brandeis GPS website.

How to stay current in your field in 2016

Technology’s impact on the world around us is undeniable and constant. From content marketing to wearable sensory systems, dabbling in the digital space is no longer optional for the majority of today’s industries. For those of us whose career advancement relies on staying on top of the latest trends and tools, flexible professional development options can be a saving grace.

The following fully online, part-time courses are designed for people who recognize the importance of staying current while balancing personal and professional commitments. There are no required pre-requisites, and students can eventually apply the graduate-level credits they earn toward a master’s degree.

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#1 Wearable Technologies

As the shopping season comes to a close, wearable technologies, like the FitBit, are still at the top of everyone’s list. According to Business Insider, Fitbit’s company “is the fastest-growing meaningful company in the world…” This Wearable Technologies course will explore current trends, like FIT, and considerations needed with designing a wearable sensor system.

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#2 Cloud Security

In today’s high-tech world, data protection is important to both companies and consumers alike. Back in September, IBM announced a way to adopt Cloud Security for better and more secure navigation among users. In this Cloud Security course, you’ll learn about how this and other technologies and security concepts are necessary for meeting the demands of the ever-growing cloud computing industry.

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#3 Writing for Digital Environments

Companies are always seeking ways to be better, faster and stronger to gain an edge over their competition. With developing technologies and growing staff, it’s important to have the skills needed to excel in a digital world. According to the Huffington Post, “by 2018, the U.S is expected to have around 1.5 million managers and analysts who lack sufficient technical and digital skills to stay up to date.”  Writing for Digital Environments is a great course for learning how to excel in the art of content marketing for a digital audience. You’ll also learn to craft copy and messaging for a variety of online formats.

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#4 Cognitive and Social Psychology of User-Centered Design

We all use websites every day,  whether it’s ordering something from a retailer or doing research for an employer. Providing a great user experience online can make or break any business transaction. According to Tech Crunch, “it is the person who designs the environment in which we live in who has the most influence on our decisions.” In this Cognitive and Social Psychology of User-Centered Design course, you will gain a deeper understanding of the social and psychological aspects that influence how users respond to design.

Students interested in eventually pursuing a master’s degree with Brandeis GPS can take up to two courses before applying. Contact our advisors to learn more.

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