Last year, tens of thousands of hackers signed up to receive Hack Design, a newsletter teaching the principles of design so that those used to focusing on how things work behind the scenes could start at a point that also considers aesthetics and user-friendliness.
Today, a group of product-focused creators — “Hooked” author Nir Eyal, Product Hunt‘s Ryan Hoover, and Greylock Partners‘s Josh Elman, among others — are hoping to follow up on that newsletter’s success with the launch of Product Psychology, a weekly course on the psychology of user behavior.
Courses will arrive in the form of link-blog like posts delivered to your email inbox. Each week, one curator from the 17 psychologists, entrepreneurs, and designers involved in the project focuses on a single topic they’re especially versed in, with posts ranging from “How Scarcity & Impatience Drive User Behavior” to “Does Your Product Rely On Intuition Or Deliberation?”
The idea, Eyal tells TechCrunch, is to give people building products helpful resources for understanding “the deeper reasons underlying why users do what they do.” Each lesson should take “about a lunch break” to read, and consist of 3-5 articles, videos, and graphics chosen to get you up to speed quickly.
The course is free to sign up for (and based on the people involved, I’d say it’s pretty likely it hits Product Hunt), so I expect Product Psychology to repeat (if not outperform) Hack Design’s success last year. In a way, that’s kind of crazy — techies complain more than anyone about how much of an outdated pain email is to deal with, yet things like Hack Design, NextDraft, and Andreessen Horowitz partner Benedict Evan’s newsletter on the mobile industry continue to thrive, building ever-larger audiences on the medium we all love to hate.