Art of persuasive design


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Presentation given to IxDA Singapore on art of persuasive design.

Is your landing page conversion rate low? Do users keep missing your big “Subscribe” button? Do users miss your cross-sell popup? Chances are this lack of action has got to do with low motivation. People may not be motivated even if you make the font size bigger. Motivation is driven by internal, emotional triggers rather than external ones.

The good news is that we can use the science of influence and persuasion to motivate people to take action. We call this the art of persuasive design.

In this session, we will share examples of persuasive design strategies such as reciprocity and social proof to drive action.

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  • Introduction:
    UX journey
    Technology doctor
    UX designer – part pscychologist + part designer

    Today we will be looking at some of pscychological aspects of human behavior and how that can be translated into persuasive strategy and design
  • Introduction:
    UX journey
    Technology doctor
    UX designer – part pscychologist + part designer

    Today we will be looking at some of pscychological aspects of human behavior and how that can be translated into persuasive strategy and design
  • A lot of time people use these terms interchangeably.. Are they the same?

    What is usability?
    Error reduction

    What is UX?
  • Once users come to the site usability should assure that users can do a set of actions…but will they even come to the site and will they perform those actions?
    The answers to these question are given by persuasion principles…will do and still do..its also about their experience after they have bought the product/service..persuade them to come back again and again…
  • How do you make decisions? If you’re like most people, you’ll probably answer that you pride yourself on weighing the pros and cons of a situation carefully and then make a decision based on logic. You know that other people have weak personalities and are easily swayed by their emotions, but this rarely happens to you.

    Think of the last time you went to a store and bought something that was over the budget you had set initially

    We make decisions and then we try to rationalize them, we confabulate..
  • Humans by nature are cognitive misers. We do not like to think too much and expend resources. If we can get the information from someone else, we are happy to get it.

    Evolutionary biology-
  • Cognitive biases are many a times emotional is nature.
    Read the book by don norman on emotional design
    Talks about the basic instincts and how emotions affect our decision making

  • We have established that decision making is a complex process
    We try to simplify it by using shortcuts or cognitive biases
    Persuasion is really about using these biases to alter people’s behavior and attitude
  • Cialdini – first pscychologist wrote a book on persuasion

  • Eric Koston is a legitimate expert on skateboarding and all the clothing, hardware and other requirements that come with. Because he skateboards professionally, he is an actual Authority on skateboarding, and therefore customers are more likely to trust his recommendations for a high-quality,

    Talk about Milgram experiment

  • Imagine you are in a new city
    You want to buy cake, muffin..enter a mall with 2 bakery shops side by side..
  • Art of persuasive design

    1. 1. ART OF PERSUASIVE DESIGN Prakriti Parijat, PhD Senior UX Designer PebbleRoad
    2. 2. Agenda • A bit about us • What is persuasive design all about? • Customer’s decision making journey • Glimpse of persuasive principles in action • What we have in store for you for later 2
    3. 3. About us 3 PebbleRoad is an user experience design consultancy based in Singapore. Since 2004, we’ve been helping clients turn complex, challenging problems into elegant, innovative designs (
    4. 4. Usability vs. User Experience The Columbia Obstruction Device Electric grid 4
    5. 5. What is Persuasive Design • Designing an interface that persuades users to take action • Borrows well grounded principles of social psychology • Uses 50+ techniques Persuasion is an attempt to change attitudes or behaviors or both (without coercion or deception) - B.J.Fogg 5
    6. 6. Why Persuasive Design? Will do? Can do. USABILITY – Site interaction • Can users easily find information? • Can users complete task? • Can they interact with it? Persuasion – Beyond the Site • Do users connect with the product/ service? • Are they persuaded to take action? • Do behaviors & attitude change? 6
    7. 7. Decision Making Journey (Ref. Chris Spiek, Job-to-be-done) Are we in control of our decisions? 7
    8. 8. Decision Making Biases 8 ( Ref. A visual study guide to cognitive biases by Eric Fernandez)
    9. 9. Emotional Biases Much research has been conducted on the impact of emotions on decision making • Urge to buy a product (Impulse buying) online was strongly correlated to the positive emotion created by the website ease of use, enjoyment and communication style (Verhagen & Dolen, 2011) • Messages that elicit strong arousing emotions, for example, awe or anger are more likely to go viral (Berger, 2011) 9
    10. 10. Persuasion Uses Cognitive Biases 10
    11. 11. Principles of Persuasion Fogg’s Model Ability MotivationTrigger Cialdini’s Influence Reciprocity Social Proof Liking Scarcity Commitment & Consistency Authority HFI - PET Emotion Trust Persuasio n 50+ techniques 11
    12. 12. Today’s Focus • Obedience to Authority • Social Proof • Contrast 12
    13. 13. Obedience to Authority 13
    14. 14. Obedience to Authority 14
    15. 15. Obedience to Authority What is it? Why it works? How to apply it? • Users are more likely to act on information that is communicated by an expert • Users will follow credible, knowledgeable experts • Deep seated sense of duty or obligation (e.g. Milgram Experiment) • Highlight your experience • Highlight your expertise in the content and services you provide • Showcase achievements, success stories • Establish thought leadership • Use Authoritative figures • Use a celebrity, professional or an industry authority whom users trust to represent your brand • Pay attention to tone • Use a professional and authoritative tone 15
    16. 16. Social Proof – Asch Experiment Video 16
    17. 17. Social Proof 17
    18. 18. Social Proof 18
    19. 19. Social Proof 19
    20. 20. Social Proof 20
    21. 21. Social Proof • Users are more likely to do what everyone else is doing • Need to fit in and belong is wired into our brains and our biology • We are cognitive misers and look for information from others • Show users that people just like them are using and loving your product/service • Highlight ratings and reviews from satisfied customers • Showcase real testimonials from delighted customers • Use social media “likes” and “mentions” • Remember that a frustrating user experience is equally likely to go viral as a positive experience What is it? Why it works? How to apply it? What to watch out for? 21
    22. 22. Contrast (Ref. Ariely, Dan (2009) Predictably Irrational: The Hidden Forces That Shape Our Decisions) Ugly versions of Tom and Jerry Tom and Jerry equally attractive Jerry is more attractive than Tom 22
    23. 23. Contrast Example 23
    24. 24. Contrast • We evaluate or value things in comparison to other things • People need an anchor and not see things as absolutes • It creates attention and affects the perception of facts • Give users ways to compare a product with others (cost, features etc.) • Use “Ugly Jerry” strategy to highlight one product • Make it easier for users to compare between choices by giving clear information • Be mindful that people delay action when presented with too many choices What is it? Why it works? How to apply it? What to watch out for? 24
    25. 25. Back to Customer Decision Journey Social Proof 25
    26. 26. Back to Customer Decision Journey Contrast 26
    27. 27. Back to Customer Decision Journey Obedience to Authority 27
    28. 28. What we have in store for you 9 more interesting principles • Argue against self interest (T) • Reciprocation • Commitment & Consistency • Power of people we like • & more Case studies • Walkthrough of real life case studies utilizing the persuasive design principles Put them into practice • Hands-on training on applying the principles to a real life case study 28
    29. 29. Suggested Reading 29
    30. 30. Thank You! Any questions? 30