Bridging the Gap between User Experiences Design and Consumer Psychology: What are Archetypes and Their Role in Product UI/UX Design and Brand Success?

Archetypes in UI/UX Design

Roger Dooley, author of the book «Brainfluence,» asserts that 80% of purchasing decisions are made unconsciously. This phenomenon is attributed to the intricacies of human neurophysiology. Additionally, there are other theories that shed light on consumer behavior. For instance, Carl Gustav Jung, the founder of analytical psychology, proposed that the collective unconscious governs people’s lives. Within this collective unconscious exist archetypes—mental structures that encapsulate humanity’s experiences and shape a universal model of behavior. Can Jung’s well-known theory of archetypes be applied in the realm of digital product design, and how might it impact the future success of a product in the market?

Product design possesses its own unique personality, akin to that of an individual. Presently, product design predominantly revolves around visual communication, as the execution of a design conveys a narrative about the subject it represents. The seamless integration of quality typography, spacing, imagery, and colors collaboratively gives rise to what we commonly refer to as visual language and design mood. These elements collectively contribute to the overall storytelling aspect of a product’s design.

Similar to forming impressions when meeting new individuals, users quickly form judgments about a website based on the personality it exudes. These initial judgments hold the power to greatly influence the users’ overall experience on the site, potentially determining whether they continue exploring or disengage entirely.

Stories hold significant significance within the realm of design. When there lacks a compelling means to champion good design, the link between customer experience and product triumph may fade into obscurity. Communicating through archetypal tales serves as an efficacious method of advocacy, as they instinctively unveil profound significance. Furthermore, such stories empower designers to advocate for multiple experiences simultaneously, for archetypes underscore the salient aspects irrespective of contextual disparities and challenges. By virtue of these narratives, Organization can coalesce around a shared objective and attain prosperity. Organization can coalesce around a shared objective and attain prosperity.

Archetype and Persona in Product UI Design. What is the Difference and How to Use Them?
In the field of product design and UI design, the terms «archetype» and «persona» are often used interchangeably, but they have distinct meanings. While both concepts are utilized to address user needs, they actually pertain to different user categories.
What are User Archetypes?
Psychology in UI/UX design

In the realm of literature, archetypes are characters or situations that embody universal aspects of human nature. They serve as representations of groups of people who share common behaviors and thought patterns. In product development, there are countless archetypes, but when designing a specific product, the focus can be narrowed down. Given the human-centered approach adopted by many product UI designers, it is crucial for product designers to incorporate archetypes that are relevant to the product in order to meet the user’s needs effectively. By using archetypes, designers can establish connections between specific product features and distinct groups of archetypes.

A user archetype serves as a blueprint for identifying the anticipated behaviors and key traits of the target customer base. Essentially, it involves creating a comprehensive forecast of users’ thoughts, emotions, opinions, and reactions based on the analysis of existing patterns.

User archetypes offer insights into how current customers are currently engaging with your product or service. They provide valuable information for comprehending the user experience approach and functionality. By understanding the motivations behind customers’ usage of your product, you can prioritize and develop relevant product features that cater to their needs and preferences.

Developing a User Archetype: Step-by-Step Guide

To ensure the authenticity of your user archetype, it’s crucial to let real users shape the development process. This involves creating a realistic expectation of user behavior based on a deep understanding of their characteristics and actions.

  1. Gain a thorough understanding of the primary behaviors exhibited by your target customers or ideal customerprofile.

  2. Clearly define the ultimate goal of your product and its various features. What specific objectives can your product help users accomplish?

  3. Explore how the customer would utilize different product features to achieve their desired outcomes.

  4. Consider the contextual factors surrounding these actions, such as the time of day, physical location, and other relevant environmental factors.

  5. Uncover any psychological connections between the user and the product, understanding how the product can address their emotional needs.

  6. Conduct user research: Utilize various research methods such as interviews, surveys, and usability testing to gather insights directly from your target audience. This will provide valuable data to validate and refine your understanding of user behaviors and preferences.

  7. Identify pain points and motivations: Understand the challenges and motivations that drive your users. By identifying their pain points, you can design solutions that address their needs effectively and improve their overall experience.

  8. Consider user diversity: Recognize that your target audience may consist of diverse individuals with different backgrounds, preferences, and goals. Take into account demographic factors, such as age, gender, and cultural background, as they can influence user behaviors and expectations.

  9. Collaborate with stakeholders: Involve key stakeholders, including product managers, designers, developers, and marketers, in the user archetype development process. Their diverse perspectives and expertise can contribute to a more comprehensive understanding of your target audience.

  10. Iterate and validate: Treat the development of user archetypes as an iterative process. Continuously gather feedback, refine your assumptions, and validate your archetype through user testing and feedback loops. This will help ensure that your archetype accurately represents your users’ needs and behaviors.
By incorporating these steps, you can create a robust and actionable user archetype that serves as a valuable guide throughout the product development process.
What is a User Persona?

In contrast to archetypes, personas are archetypes enriched with specific attributes such as names, ages, occupations, lifestyles, or even visual representations like photos. If we consider UI design as a canvas and archetypes as the basic colors or paints, personas can be likened to the texture that adds character and definition to these colors. For UI designers, the intricate details that transform archetypes into personas are crucial in addressing specific design issues or product features effectively.

User personas serve as reflections of the preferences, attributes, and behaviors of individuals who would show the highest interest in your product or service. The purpose of creating user personas is to gather sufficient details that inform decision-making processes related to the product. By developing these personas, you can shape your brand’s offerings and messages in a manner that resonates most effectively with the desired target audience, thereby attracting the right individuals to your product or service.

To maximize the potential of personas, it is beneficial to craft a narrative around the user of your product. This narrative serves as an inspiration for the design team and streamlines the overall design process. It may take shape in the following manner:

Person: Alex

Age: 32

Education: university-educated.

Occupation: Designer, User Interface creator, High-income earner. Works from home.

Platforms he uses: Pinterest, Twitter, TikTok, and Instagram.

Free time and hobbies: spends his free time with his family. Likes to investigate the world of product interfaces and create something unique.

The Role of Archetypes in Product Interface Design and Branding
Archetypes in design process

Understanding your clients and potential customers at different stages of life is a valuable starting point for delving into their attitudes towards the archetypes you plan to incorporate. In this regard, it is more effective to tap into their positive desires rather than their fears.

When product design embraces archetypes, it opens up the opportunity to infuse it with psychological and emotional depth. In today’s consumer-driven society, where everything revolves around consumption, leveraging archetypes in design can serve the purpose of achieving commercial objectives. Given that design is an integral part of any commercial production nowadays, it is safe to say that the use of archetypes permeates this field as well.

Understanding product archetypes is not meant to replace extensive research but rather to complement it as a valuable technique. It serves as a creative tool to develop a brand legend, establish a product voice, and explore strategies that resonate with the target audience. Designers can extract valuable insights from archetypes, which facilitate the identification of relevant visual elements.

In the realm of product UI/UX design and branding, knowledge of archetypes is essential to:
  • Create a comprehensive client profile, understanding their motivations and barriers at each stage of the purchase journey.

  • Craft a communication style that appeals to the target audience and converts engagements into sales.

  • Cultivate a unique and harmonious product design atmosphere.

  • Develop a consistent and recognizable brand identity by aligning the product design with the archetype. This helps establish a strong brand presence and enhances brand recognition among consumers.

  • Tailor the user experience to align with the archetype’s characteristics and preferences. This includes aspects such as user interface design, interaction patterns, and content tone to create a cohesive and engaging experience.

  • Use archetypes as a guiding framework to inform design decisions and prioritize features that resonate with the target audience. By understanding the motivations and needs associated with a specific archetype, designers can create meaningful and impactful solutions.

  • Utilize archetypes to differentiate your product from competitors in the market. By identifying and emphasizing unique characteristics associated with a particular archetype, you can create a distinct brand personality that sets you apart.

  • Continuously analyze and iterate on the user experience based on feedback and data. Archetypes can serve as a valuable reference point for evaluating the effectiveness of the design in meeting the expectations and desires of the target audience.

However, when utilizing archetypes in product design, it is crucial to consider their alignment with the overall brand identity. The physical and conceptual aspects of the product should align with the values and meanings projected by the brand. Consistency in brand communication ensures effectiveness in terms of commercial success and accurate perception.

In the modern world, it is relatively easy to identify brands that can be classified as heroes, caregivers, outlaws, and more. These classifications are based on distinct characteristics and messages that shape the consumer’s perception. The brand’s narrative, discourse, corporate identity, and product design collectively form an image in the consumer’s mind. If a brand embodies the qualities of a caregiver, it can be identified as such.

When developing a product design strategy, we analyze three key areas:
  1. Product: We examine the specific features and characteristics of the product itself, considering how it aligns with the desired archetype and communicates its intended message.

  2. Market: We study the market landscape, including competitors, trends, and potential untapped niches. This analysis helps us position the product strategically and identify opportunities for differentiation.

  3. Consumer: We delve into understanding the target audience, their interests, expectations, decision-making processes, and preferences. This knowledge helps us tailor the product design to effectively engage and resonate with the intended consumer segment.

Now, let’s explore how product designers convey meanings associated with archetypes. Typically, they employ standard design elements such as shapes, colors, and materials—commonly referred to as UI design. The designer does not need to embody the entire archetypal image in the product design; instead, they focus on incorporating specific features that are associatively connected with the product’s target user.

Each interface element carries its own meaning, and these elements can be combined in various ways to form more complex semantic levels. Colors, for instance, can convey specific traits and evoke different emotional responses, from gender associations to signaling accuracy within the product interface.

By utilizing these design tools and understanding the nuanced meanings they convey, product designers can effectively communicate archetypal associations and create compelling user experiences that resonate with the intended audience.

What Practical Tools May Help To Navigate This Process Effectively?
Unveiling the secrets to crafting impactful user personas requires access to pertinent data. But where can you find these valuable insights? In this segment, we will explore three common approaches to gathering user data.
Analytics Software
Harness the power of analytics software to monitor and analyze user behaviors, providing invaluable data to drive informed decision-making. Whether integrated into a comprehensive customer relationship management system or operating independently, analytics software empowers you to visualize and interpret data effectively.

Utilize various forms to gather essential data for constructing comprehensive user personas. Surveys, questionnaires, and opinion polls serve as effective tools to collect both qualitative and quantitative responses that can be analyzed to shape your user personas.

You can distribute online forms through email invitations, embed them on your website and social media platforms, or share them as QR codes.

Numerous online tools facilitate the creation of user persona surveys, such as Google Forms, Formplus, and TypeForm.

Customer Relationship Management System

Utilize various forms to gather essential data for constructing comprehensive user personas. Surveys, questionnaires, and opinion polls serve as effective tools to collect both qualitative and quantitative responses that can be analyzed to shape your user personas.

You can distribute online forms through email invitations, embed them on your website and social media platforms, or share them as QR codes.

Numerous online tools facilitate the creation of user persona surveys, such as Google Forms, Formplus, and TypeForm.


In the realm of product design, the responsibility of assigning meanings to objects lies primarily with designers. To ensure that product designs have a profound impact on individuals, captivating their attention, leaving a lasting impression, and motivating them to make a purchase, the use of archetypes becomes crucial. Archetypes, residing at the deep level of the unconscious and grounded in fundamental mechanisms of the human mind, prove to be an effective tool for achieving commercial success and other desired objectives. In the context of product design, archetypes serve as vehicles for creating vivid and enduring images in consumers’ minds. It is important to recognize that the entire brand narrative works in harmony to shape these images, making it essential to consider design within the broader brand ecosystem.

In conclusion, the role of archetypes in the perception of product design is undeniably significant as they serve as the guiding force in the formation of the product’s image. Furthermore, archetypes extend their influence beyond the product interface design alone and contribute to the overall perception of the brand. By harnessing the power of archetypes, designers can create compelling and resonant experiences that not only drive commercial success but also leave a lasting impression on the target audience.

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