The primary concept in design is "don't make me think".
This concept is very beneficial in many ways, as many of the products we use in everyday life, don't make us think about how to use it. When you go to open a door, you twist a handle, the door swings on a hinge. But we don't have to think about it and the design works quite well.
However, when we are going digital, where most of our lives are spent, there is a little bit of a backlash, as people's attention spans are lagging. We get used to high impact videos, flashy images and quick reward circuits. You post something, and get immediate social reward.
So, how then, do we design apps that encourage more thinking?
One of the apps that I came across recently was "Apollo's Moon Shot" by the Smithsonian Institute about landing man on the moon, helps with the aspect of UI/UX Design.
They encourage exploratory behavior.
Exploratory behavior is one of the cornerstones of "life aesthetics" (生活美学). When I visited the tea house in Beijing, they explained, when you come in, "you don't know if you should go left or if you should go right". This means, you enjoy the place and are encouraged to explore.
In their app, they use good visuals about space, some text to learn about them, and a quiz to unlock a cool short video. However, when you take the quiz, they don't punish you for getting it wrong, instead, they allow you to retry it, to see if you got it right. They also added VR to see what it would be like if you were near a real astronaut.
With their structure of UI/UX, it involves a little more thinking, should you go right, or should you go left? If you go here, what will you see? You can also take it with you, into real life, playing with astronauts. Where will you go with it?