Peak-end rule

Synonyms: extension neglect, duration neglect

The peak–end rule focuses user memories around the most intense moments of an experience and the way an experience ends.


designed by Greg Ward


'peak season'


Negative experiences are remembered more vividly than positive ones. Moments of confusion and frustration are emotionally charged and have a substantial effect on the impression.


Wrong understanding of the peak–end rule typically downsteps a complex mental evaluation into a simplistic framework. Theory shows cases where peak-end rule operates not as an outstandingly good predictor.


  1. Big part of user experience is not used
  2. Bad predictor
  3. Simplification
  4. Neglect aspects
  5. Disrupted experience
  6. Episodic memory

In psychological studies and in product design, small changes have a large impact on people’s recollections. When designing interfaces and experiences, pay attention to the most intense points of a typical user journey (the “peaks”) and the final moments (the “end”)
— Lexie Kane, UX Designer at NNG

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