I am neither a trained economist nor an expert in the field of user experience, but I recently found myself examining the similarities between the two fields. In an attempt to get people to act a certain way, economists(everyone from central planners to grocery store designers) create financial incentives to guide people towards favorable behaviors. Similarly, UX designers try to guide users through certain actions. Both practices give the user the freedom to make their own decisions, but try to funnel people down the happy path.

I recognize that the connection is pretty loose. Both fields are vaguely defined, and maybe it’s possible to define any field in economic terms. I have a hunch that the connection goes deeper than surface level similarities, specifically I imagine a lot of UX is derived from behavioral economics. I consider myself an amateur in both fields, so the connection is something I’m hoping to clarify or disprove as I continue to explore both fields.