The Maslow Experience.


The other day I was chatting with my wife Alli and we were talking about life with a newborn.  Pretty much we are in survival mode as our little one, Harper, begins to teeth.  Which led us to chat about Maslow’s hierarchy of needs.  I mean, don’t you guys talk about this too? It helps that Alli has her masters in clinical psychology so these topics are at the forefront of our growing family. We both get excited about learning new things from sociology, psychology or intriguing stories around development.

A brief lesson in Maslow’s hierarchy of needs- in 1943 psychologist Abraham Maslow attempted to answer the question of what motivates us as humans in his paper “A Theory of Human Motivation”. This paper was the basis for what we now know as Maslow’s hierarchy of needs.

Maslow refined his theory until his death in 1970. His final version breaks human needs into eight categories. There are four basic needs:

  • biological & physiological needs
  • safety needs
  • social needs
  • esteem needs

Once these basic needs are met, there are four higher-order needs:

  • cognitive needs
  • aesthetic needs
  • self-actualization
  • transcendence

According to Maslow, we’re only capable of focusing on the next need (see above) in the hierarchy if our previous needs have been met. You’re not going to be wondering about the meaning of life and existential questions if your basic needs (food, shelter, and safety) are not met.

The logic behind Maslow’s hierarchy of needs has been a backdrop within the rise of digital products. A commonality among products providing value to users is their consideration to the hierarchy of needs. From social networks to food delivery apps, companies are tapping into a deeper level understanding of their users. Coming up with solutions that go beyond using technology as the solution.

If we take a note from the basic needs of what Maslow is addressing here we can confidently say that once our basic needs are met we crave a deeper and richer experience. UX often only addresses a part of the experience. As companies build products that tune into our psychological needs, the industry is evolving to take a more holistic approach to the design experience, creating design that is intentional and intuitive.


At Elevator Up we take on this approach to provide insight that does not stop with the user. We firmly believe in making meaningful experience whether that is tapping into our human need for self-actualization or fulfilling the need to improve the cognitive function. As always give us a shout we would love to chat more or just listen to your story!

  • Justin Heuss- Business Development at Elevator Up

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s