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Psychology, Content, Design - SMXL 2017


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As a content marketer, I have always considered #design as the best friend of content... Can better design bring more conversions and content consumption? The simple answer is yes.

In the past, when working on the creation of #contenthubs, #blogs, newsletters and content destinations of known international firms, I realised I was going beyond the boundaries of content marketing and design, touching a new ‘undiscovered' domain.

Why do web visitors and content consumers behave the way they do? What can drive readers' behaviour and facilitate content consumption? I realised soon enough that the domain I was investigating was no longer content strategy: it was psychology. Even better, it was psychology applied to content and design with the objective to facilitate and attract visitors’ attention.

Other questions came soon to my mind:

- How can I apply psychology to design?
- Isn’t persuasion a bad word, or even a dark art?
- And what does it look like to design without considering users’ psychology?

This presentation answers some of these questions.

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Psychology, Content, Design - SMXL 2017

  1. 1. 13-14-15, NOVEMBER 2017 How to win new visitors applying psychology of design to social media & content marketing Giuseppe Caltabiano Consultant, Speaker, Author Head of Content Marketing Advisory Services, NewsCred
  2. 2. #SMXLmilan The Speaker
  3. 3. #SMXLmilan Agenda • Introduction • Psychology, Design, Behaviors • Three psychology models • Examples, examples, examples
  4. 4. #SMXLmilan Introduction How to win new visitors applying psychology of design to social media & content marketing
  5. 5. #SMXLmilan The goal of this session This presentation focuses on psychology and how you can apply it to content and digital design in order to influence visitor’s behavior. What you WILL learn • How to apply psychology principles to design • How to facilitate visitors’ behavior (help people do what they already want to do) • Three models What you will NOT learn • How to force a user into doing something they wouldn’t otherwise • Basic design principles • Psychology of colors
  6. 6. #SMXLmilan Psychology, definition
  7. 7. #SMXLmilan Two words on Persuasion “Utilizing dark patterns or tricking a user into doing something they wouldn’t otherwise do is not persuasion. It’s being an asshole” Victor S. Yocco. “Design for the Mind”
  8. 8. #SMXLmilan We will review three models 1. Elaboration Likelihood Model (ELM) applied to Design (Petty, Caciocco) 2. Fogg Behavior Design (E.J.Fogg) 3. Cialdini’s Persuasion Principles applied to Design (Cialdini)
  9. 9. #SMXLmilan Elaboration Likelihood Model How to win new visitors applying psychology of design to social media & content marketing
  10. 10. #SMXLmilan Elaboration Likelihood Model, definition • Central route processing means your audience cares more about the message. They’ll pay attention and scrutinize quality and strength of the argument. • It is appropriate to use this method for products or services that are generally considered high involvement purchases. • Peripheral route processing happens on a more superficial level. • Your audience will pay less attention to the message while being influenced by secondary factors, such as source credibility, visual appeal, presentation, and enticements like food, sex, and humor.
  11. 11. #SMXLmilan Example of Central Route
  12. 12. #SMXLmilan Example of Peripheral Route
  13. 13. #SMXLmilan Example of Central Route Amazon example – see article on ALAP
  14. 14. #SMXLmilan Example of Peripheral Route Amazon example – see article on ALAP
  15. 15. #SMXLmilan Example of Central Route
  16. 16. #SMXLmilan Example of Peripheral Route – Tudor
  17. 17. #SMXLmilan Example of Peripheral Route – Tudor
  18. 18. #SMXLmilan Motivation and Ability • What promotes central route processing and high elaboration? • Researchers have explored two main factors: motivation and ability • This leads to the next model: Fogg’s Behavioral Model Information about product or other content High ability to process information High motivation Strong attitude toward the product or content Low ability to process information Low motivation Weak attitude toward the product or content Central Pheriperal
  19. 19. #SMXLmilan Fogg Behavioral Model How to win new visitors applying psychology of design to social media & content marketing
  20. 20. #SMXLmilan Behavioral Design: Motivation, Ability, Triggers • Behavioral design is where psychology and technology meet • Fogg Behavior Model explains that three elements must come together at the same time for a behavior to occur: motivation, ability and trigger. • When a behavior does not occur, at least one of those three elements is missing Behavior = motivation x ability x trigger B = mat
  21. 21. #SMXLmilan Motivation • When motivation is high, you can get people to do hard things. But once it drops people will only do easy things • Status, Access, Power, Stuff can help boosting motivation Reward users the right away
  22. 22. #SMXLmilan Motivation - Duolingo
  23. 23. #SMXLmilan Motivation - Vitality
  24. 24. #SMXLmilan Motivation - AXA
  25. 25. #SMXLmilan Ability & Simplicity • In order to perform a target behavior, a person must have the ability to do so. • There are two paths to increasing ability: 1. You can train people, giving them more skills (ability) to do the target behavior. 2. The better path is to make the target behavior easier to do (simplicity) • By focusing on Simplicity of the target behavior you increase Ability
  26. 26. #SMXLmilan Simplicity - Oscar
  27. 27. #SMXLmilan Simplicity…? - Generali
  28. 28. #SMXLmilan Simplicity enables Ability – Barcelona’s web
  29. 29. #SMXLmilan Complexity prevents Ability – Milan’s web
  30. 30. #SMXLmilan Complexity prevents Ability
  31. 31. #SMXLmilan Trigger • The third element of the Fogg Behavior Model is Triggers. Without a Trigger, the target behavior will not happen. • Sometimes a Trigger can be external, like an alarm sounding. • Other times, the Trigger is internal and come from our daily routine: walking through the kitchen may trigger us to open the fridge Behavior = motivation x ability x trigger Triggers = CTAs
  32. 32. #SMXLmilan Trigger – Ceros
  33. 33. #SMXLmilan Trigger – Addison Lee
  34. 34. #SMXLmilan Example of Peripheral Route Amazon example – see article on ALAP
  35. 35. #SMXLmilan Cialdini’s Principles of Persuasion How to win new visitors applying psychology of design to social media & content marketing
  36. 36. #SMXLmilan Explaining Cialdini’s model • As Cialdini puts it, we’re in the age of information overload. We don’t have time to process all of the information and then to make informed decisions. • This incapacity makes us look for signals (shortcuts) - signals that help us decide if we want to do something. Reciprocity Consistency Scarcity Social Proof Liking Authority and:
  37. 37. #SMXLmilan Reciprocity – FreshBooks
  38. 38. #SMXLmilan Reciprocity - Basecamp
  39. 39. #SMXLmilan Status Quo/Consistency – Blue Apron
  40. 40. #SMXLmilan Scarcity – Amazon
  41. 41. #SMXLmilan Scarcity –
  42. 42. #SMXLmilan Social Proof – MarketingProfs
  43. 43. #SMXLmilan Social Proof – Content Marketing Institute
  44. 44. #SMXLmilan Social Proof – Freeshbooks
  45. 45. #SMXLmilan Social Proof – Basecamp
  46. 46. #SMXLmilan Summary Ability (Simplicity) Motivation Triggers (CTAs) Reciprocity Scarcity Social ProofConsistency
  47. 47. #SMXLmilan References and final notes All images of this deck comes from ‘A List Apart’ Design of the Mind, Victor S. Yocco, Manning, 2016 Three blog posts series on