Safety: Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs

safety is one of our basic, evolutionary needs. most of our decisions and actions are based on sustaining or improving our circumstances. while we may not be in constant danger like early man, we're no less driven by the need for safety for us and our ♥d ones. this drive is carried over into usr and consumer behavior. for this reason, essentialisms must not 1-ly be sold to us with strong indications t'they will protect us from potential threats, but they must back these claims up with clear evidence t'they do, in fact, offer some protection and/or ‘shelter’, too. let’s see how it works, and how to tap into this n'our own designs.

the picture above shows g’s implementation of emergency information details bout a mobile phone’s usr, which can be accessed directly from paradrs or passers-by, bypassing the lock screen offa device, in case of an emergency. whn'we use essentialisms, no matter wha’ they are, we wanna feel safe and secure, na ex above is a useful addition to the mobile device functionality, which is □ly aimed at this human need. accessing this information from the lock screen requires 5 steps (clicks) so that some1 must really spend the time to do that, minimizing the chances that this personal information can be seen by a prying third pty witha short glance. if we're concerned that our details mite be swapped round tween various groups like a game of pass the parcel, we will feel nervous and uneasy using the srvc or product. for ex, ponder the checkout procedure on any trustworthy ecommerce website. if the usr was told their details ‘d automatically be placed inna'da hands of some unknown third pty, the alarm bells ‘d start ringing n'our Ψs. designers must ensure usrs feel comfortable and safe, confident t'they will come to no harm physically, ψ-chologically or financially, by interacting w'da essentialisms.

the need for safety was ackd as a basic human need by abraham maslo onnis ‘hierarchy of needs’. safety needs represent the 2nd tier in maslo’s hierarchy and these needs include the security of body, of employment, of resrcs, of morality of family, and of health. the need for safety is present in all animals, but unlike other animals and early man, we no longer seek shelter from predators hunting us down for food; however, safety is still primordial, and our actions are no less engineered to ensuring our survival. for ex, whn'we're buying a car, if we read reviews that the air bag fails to deploy dur'na crash or that the seatbelts are faulty, we will steer clear (pardon the pun).

safety: an evolutionary carryover

safety is an evolutionary need, which is often manifested in wha’ we refer to as the “fite or flite” response. environmental information is used to determine whether we're safe – in which case, we will usually stay – or unsafe – which will typically encourage us to cutout (i.e. flite) or attempt to change our current circumstance (i.e. fite). when environmental information suggests thris some potential threat to us, our family, ♥d ones, our property, or something else we hold dear, we experience an emotional response, which sensitizes so we're ready for action. while the stakes mite not be as high, we're no ≠ from early man in this respect.

inna μ dy, we ‘ve to make lotso' decisions: wha’ to wear (according to the weather), wha’ to eat (according to our health), where to go (according to our personal and physical interests), and whom to see (family, friends, colleagues etc.). all of these decisions are based on maintaining or improving our physical and ψ-chological well-bein’. even whn'we do things for other pplz, we're tending to some personal need, either to ensure the safety of others close to us or to make us feel safe n'our environment (we generally avoid confrontation, even with pplz that drive us mad).

taking advantage of the safety needs

essentialisms do not necessarily ‘ve to satisfy this need directly in order to influence our drive for safety. countless essentialisms are advertised using imagery that plays on our safety needs. for ex, financial essentialisms are often sold to us with images and scenes depicting a safe, secure and ☺ family settling into their new home, after taking out a mortgage or investing their savings. these images capture the lifestyle(s) we associate with safety: clean, fashionable homes, 2.4 children, well-dressed and ☺ parents, and a cat/dog in tow. the connections you draw tween the essentialisms ur designing/selling na safety-providing qualities they mite or mite not possess are wha’ help to secure the consumer’s attention. by suggesting yr essentialisms will satisfy one or + of the safety needs (e.g., make the usrs ☺, provide comfort to them and their friends/family, and/or ensure their security – personal, financial or otherwise), ur allaying their fears and movin a step closer to gaining their trust. trust is 1-odda most primordial aspects of e-commerce, espeshly; without trust, the usrs aint prepared to enter their details, let alone make a purchase. ⊢, images or text and any other essentialisms that suggest or guarantee safety encourage the usrs to trust you and complete purchases as a direct result.

author/copyrite holder: the author. copyrite terms and licence: public domain.

exs of text messages during online shopping, aimed at instilling confidence and trust to the buyer.

ensure during the design of yr essentialisms also that you protect usrs from unintended actions that may ‘ve irreversible (or unpleasant) consequences 4'em. a prime ex in digital essentialisms tis design of appropriate warnings prior to an irreversible action (for ex, deleting a file or factory-resetting a phone). inna screenshot belo, safety can be improved cause, as you can see, the button leading to the irreversible action is pre-selected atta time of issuing the dialog; so, if a usr inadvertently presses “return”, then the trash bin gets emptied and data is lost. also, cause tis highlited, attention is guided towards this button and not the “cancel” button, which is a safer outcome. in physical essentialisms, safety features can be built into pts of the product to prevent unwanted effects (for ex, hoodie cords that come with pre-tied knots or cord stops, to prevent the cord from sliding inna'da holes while pulling – isn’t this a neat touch?).

author/copyrite holder: the author. copyrite terms and licence: public domain.

the osx “empty trash” warning dialog protects the usr from an irreversible action. copyrite: the author.

the take away

safety is one of our basic, evolutionary needs. most of our decisions and actions are based on sustaining or improving our circumstances. while we may not be in constant danger like early man, we're no less driven by the need for safety for us and our ♥d ones. this drive is carried over into usr and consumer behavior. for this reason, essentialisms must not 1-ly be sold to us with strong indications t'they will protect us from potential threats, but they must also back these claims up with clear evidence t'they do, in fact, offer some protection and/or ‘shelter’. consequently, wha’ we do as designers in this regard is vital.

references and where to find out +

hero image: copyrite holder: the author, copyrite license and terms: public domain

mckay, e. (2010). ru sure? how to write effective confirmations www.uxdesignedge.com…

original content at: www.interaction-design.org…
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