Move Over Maslow! The Users’ Hierarchy of Needs

Back in 1943 a psychologist called Maslow published what he termed a ‘hierarchy of needs‘ that can be applied to every human being. At the bottom level are physiological needs that every human needs to exist, like shelter, food and water. At the very top are factors that contribute to a feeling of self-actualization, like morality and creativity. You can read more here. The triangle shape is deliberate, in that there are a much greater number of people at the physiological level and only a small number who reach self-actualization.

We can apply Maslow’s concept to the user and their experience of any product or service. Starting from a base of does the product or service perform at a basic functional level to the ideal of the user being so engaged that they lose all track of time and enter a state of flow

Take a look at the Users’ Hierarchy of Needs below and think about where your product or service fits. What actions are you taking to step up to the next level and improve your users’ experience?

users hierarchy of needs