Design Psychology: Motivate Your Users


Published on class with behavioral psychologist, Amy Bucher. Learn how to apply principles of self-determination theory to product design, UX and marketing. Learn more from the experts by visiting

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  • Easiest metaphor to understand autonomy is choose your own adventure
  • Here’s an example from Mindbloom—users can determine at the outset what parts of their well-being they’d like to work on. And they can change their minds at any point in the program.
  • What does ability really mean? Sometimes it’s truly having the skills, knowledge, or tools; other times, it’s having a resource such as time, patience, or desire. Fogg definition of ability Willpower
  • Another way to create a sense of ability or competence is through normative feedback—what others like you are doing. Opower launched a normative feedback program for energy consumption. People participating in the program got a neighborhood report showing how much energy others in the area were using. People who participated ended up using significantly less energy than people who didn’t get the comparison report—about 1.4-3.3% less per measurement period. That may not seem like a lot for any one individual, but when you think about the energy savings across a neighborhood or city, it starts to really add up. We also use normative feedback a lot with health related behaviors. For example, did you know that most people who successfully quit smoking have failed about 7 times before? Use of positive/hopeful feedback vs. unrealistic or lofty feedback
  • Classic Bobo doll experiments (Bandura, 1963) Bandura and observational learning Concern about society becoming more violent due to increasingly graphic video games
  • Feedback on performance builds competence
  • The granularity of feedback also matters. Ideally, you want to give a few levels of feedback. Here in Guitar Hero, you see both feedback on each individual action, and cumulative feedback on overall performance over the course of the game
  • Used in Europe to reduce messes in men’s restrooms
  • Math class—sequencing tasks by difficulty/ability led to more motivation and achievement than a traditional, time-based approach
  • Kip Williams
  • Amazon—recommends products both based on what you purchased, and on what people like you have bought
  • Design needs to respond to users, too. When a user does something with the mouse, the site should respond to that.
  • Autonomy varies the most, especially with respect to the extent that others are included in the sense of self
  • Don’t connect people’s identities to their task performance.
  • Design Psychology: Motivate Your Users

    1. 1. presents Design Psychology: Motivate Your User AMY BUCHER
    2. 2. Amy Bucher Amy Bucher is a behavioral scientist and strategist with expertise in qualitative and quantitative methods, program design, behavioral research, and market research. With a PhD in Psychology, she designs and writes tailored web-based health coaching programs that effectively motivate and support behavior change for users. Her areas of focus include problem definition and solution development, systematic and creative research to support strategic actions, and communication across multiple formats and audience types.
    3. 3. Design  Psychology:  Motivate  Your   Users Amy  Bucher,  Ph.D. Amy  Bucher,  Ph.D.  (
    4. 4. Agenda • Psychology  &  motivation   • Fogg  behavior  model   • Self-­‐determination  theory   – Competence   – Autonomy   – Relatedness   • Additional  considerations Amy  Bucher,  Ph.D.  (
    5. 5. Amy  Bucher,  Ph.D.  (
    6. 6. Amy  Bucher,  Ph.D.  ( “It’s  not  that  I’m  lazy,  it’s  that  I  just  don’t  care.”
    7. 7. Amy  Bucher,  Ph.D.  ( Types  of  Motivation:  Self  Determination  Theory   AutonomousControlled More  likely  to  engage  in  and  sustain   behavior  change Adapted  from  Segar  &  Hall  (2011) Source:  Ryan  &  Deci  (2000)
    8. 8. Fogg  Behavior  Model Amy  Bucher,  Ph.D.  (
    9. 9. Know  Before  You  Go Amy  Bucher,  Ph.D.  (
    10. 10. Fogg  Behavior  Grid Amy  Bucher,  Ph.D.  ( GREEN   Do  a  new   behavior BLUE   Do  a  familiar   behavior   PURPLE   Increase  duration   or  intensity GRAY   Decrease  a   behavior  one   time BLACK   Stop  doing  a   behavior ! Dot   Behavior  is  done   at  one  time ! GREEN  DOT   Do  a  new   behavior  one   time ! BLUE  DOT   Do  a  familiar   behavior  one   time ! PURPLE  DOT   Increase  a   behavior  one   time ! GRAY  DOT   Decrease  a   behavior  one   time ! BLACK  DOT   Stop  doing  a   behavior  one   time ! Span   Behavior  has  a   duration ! GREEN  SPAN   Do  a  new   behavior  for  a   span ! BLUE  SPAN   Do  a  familiar   behavior  for  a   span ! PURPLE  SPAN   Increase  a   behavior  for  a   span ! GRAY  SPAN   Decrease  a   behavior  for  a   span ! BLACK  SPAN   Stop  doing  a   behavior  for  a   span ! Path   Behavior  is  done   from  now  on ! GREEN  PATH   Do  a  new   behavior  from   now  on ! BLUE  PATH   Do  a  familiar   behavior  from   now  on ! PURPLE  PATH   Increase  a   behavior  from   now  on ! GRAY  PATH   Decrease  a   behavior  from   now  on ! BLACK  PATH   Stop  doing  a   behavior  from   now  on
    11. 11. Fogg  Behavior  Model Amy  Bucher,  Ph.D.  (
    12. 12. What  does  this  explain  really  well? Amy  Bucher,  Ph.D.  (
    13. 13. Self-­‐Determination  Theory Amy  Bucher,  Ph.D.  (
    14. 14. Amy  Bucher,  Ph.D.  ( Self-Efficacy Social Learning Hierarchy of Needs
    15. 15. Amy  Bucher,  Ph.D.  ( Self-­‐Determination  Theory  (SDT):   Antecedents  of  Motivation Motivation
    16. 16. Amy  Bucher,  Ph.D.  ( Application  of  SDT Adapted  from  Scott  Rigby
    17. 17. Amy  Bucher,  Ph.D.  ( How  vs.  What
    18. 18. Perceived  Autonomy Help  people  feel  they  have  control Amy  Bucher,  Ph.D.  (
    19. 19. Amy  Bucher,  Ph.D.  (
    20. 20. Amy  Bucher,  Ph.D.  (
    21. 21. Amy  Bucher,  Ph.D.  (
    22. 22. Amy  Bucher,  Ph.D.  (
    23. 23. Pandora.comAmy  Bucher,  Ph.D.  (
    24. 24. WeightWatchers.comAmy  Bucher,  Ph.D.  ( Lunch  Builder   Cheat  Sheet
    25. 25. Amy  Bucher,  Ph.D.  (
    26. 26. Amy  Bucher,  Ph.D.  (
    27. 27. Constrained  Choice
    28. 28. Perceived  Competence Help  people  feel  they  can  do  it Amy  Bucher,  Ph.D.  (
    29. 29. Ability Amy  Bucher,  Ph.D.  (
    30. 30. Amy  Bucher,  Ph.D.  ( 2x  weight  loss  in  people  who  track  food   6+  days  per  week  vs.  people  who  track  less   than  11 1. Hollis,  J.  F.  et  al.  (2008).  Weight  loss  during  the  intensive  intervention  phase  of  the  weight-­‐loss  maintenance  trial.  American  Journal  of   Preventative  Medicine,  32(5),  118-­‐126.   2. Kruger,  J.,  Blanck,  H.  M.,  &  Gillespie,  C.  (2006).  Dietary  and  physical  activity  behaviors  among  adults  successful  at  weight  loss  maintenance.   International  Journal  of  Behavioral  Nutrition  and  Physical  Activity,  3.     3. Bravata,  D.  M.,  et  al.  (2007).  Using  pedometers  to  increase  physical  activity  and  improve  health:  A  systematic  review.  Journal  of  the  American   Medical  Association,  298(19),  2296-­‐2304.   18%  of  successful  dieters  kept  a  calorie   diary,  vs.  8%  of  unsuccessful  dieters2 People  using  pedometers  keep  their   physical  activity  at  27%  above  baseline   levels3
    31. 31.   1.4  –  3.3%  energy  use  reduction  per  household  (Alcott,  2011) Amy  Bucher,  Ph.D.  (
    32. 32. Amy  Bucher,  Ph.D.  (
    33. 33. Amy  Bucher,  Ph.D.  (
    34. 34. Feedback  Granularity Amy  Bucher,  Ph.D.  (
    35. 35. Amy  Bucher,  Ph.D.  (
    36. 36. Amy  Bucher,  Ph.D.  (
    37. 37. You’ve  Earned  a  Badge! Amy  Bucher,  Ph.D.  (
    38. 38. Amy  Bucher,  Ph.D.  ( Yelp Untappd Fitocracy
    39. 39. Amy  Bucher,  Ph.D.  (
    40. 40. Amy  Bucher,  Ph.D.  ( $26   Million   in  first  year1 1.,  retrived  October  1,  2012
    41. 41. Amy  Bucher,  Ph.D.  ( J&J  Digital  Health  Scorecard  
    42. 42. Amy  Bucher,  Ph.D.  (
    43. 43. Amy  Bucher,  Ph.D.  (
    44. 44. Amy  Bucher,  Ph.D.  (
    45. 45. Does  it  work? Amy  Bucher,  Ph.D.  (­‐study 34  Hours  of  Duolingo 1  University  Semester
    46. 46. Perceived  Relatedness Show  people  they’re  connected Amy  Bucher,  Ph.D.  (
    47. 47. Amy  Bucher,  Ph.D.  (
    48. 48. Amy  Bucher,  Ph.D.  (
    49. 49. Amy  Bucher,  Ph.D.  ( Sometimes  the  responses  are  just   acknowledgements  .  .  .
    50. 50. Amy  Bucher,  Ph.D.  ( Sometimes  the  responses   are  helpful  .  .  .
    51. 51. Amy  Bucher,  Ph.D.  ( Sometimes  the  responses  are   repetitive  .  .  .  
    52. 52. Amy  Bucher,  Ph.D.  ( Sometimes  the  responses  are  to   other  brands,  not  end  users  .  .  .
    53. 53. Sometimes  the  responses  are   deliberately  funny  .  .  .
    54. 54. Amy  Bucher,  Ph.D.  (
    55. 55. ELIZA Human:  My  boyfriend  made  me  come  here.   ELIZA:  Your  boyfriend  made  you  come  here?   Human:  He  says  I’m  depressed.   ELIZA:  I’m  sorry  to  hear  you  are  depressed.   Human:  It’s  true.  I’m  unhappy.   ELIZA:  Do  you  think  talking  to  me  will  help  you   not  be  unhappy? Amy  Bucher,  Ph.D.  ( Weizenbaum,  J.  (1966).  ELIZA—A  computer  program  for  the  study  of  natural  language   communication  between  man  and  machine.  Communications  of  the  ACM,  9(1),  36-­‐45.
    56. 56. Amy  Bucher,  Ph.D.  (
    57. 57. Amy  Bucher,  Ph.D.  (
    58. 58. Design  that  Responds Amy  Bucher,  Ph.D.  (
    59. 59. Contrast  this  .  .  . Amy  Bucher,  Ph.D.  (
    60. 60. With  this: Amy  Bucher,  Ph.D.  (
    61. 61. SDT  Applied  to  Beer Amy  Bucher,  Ph.D.  (
    62. 62. Additional  Resources Amy  Bucher,  Ph.D.  ( Glued  to  Games,  by  Scott  Rigby  and  Richard  Ryan  à links  to  academic  papers,  research Stanford  University  Persuasive  Technology  Lab    (http://   I  also  like:   ! •Influence:  The  Psychology  of  Persuasion,  by  Robert  Cialdini   •Willpower,  by  Roy  Baumeister  and  John  Tierney   •The  Power  of  Habit:  Why  We  Do  What  We  Do  in  Life  and  in  Business,  by  Charles   Duhigg From  this  presentation:  
    63. 63. Course Title   Course Title INSTRUCTOR NAME