AR and VR for UX
AR and VR provide an opportunity to design a unique and highly-immersive experience for the user, unlike any other
The world of design is particularly concerned with user behavior and expectations. It is often the peculiarities of human behavior that engrosses a designer more than anything else. It tries to answer questions like what motivates the user to choose a specific product over the other, why he spends more time on a website, or why he needs more or less options to make a decision. The process of predicting and analyzing user behavior is central to what a designer does. In an increasingly digital world where user perceptions are shaped every day, designers need to be able to persuade the user to engage with the brand. One of the popular techniques they use is persuasive design.
Persuasive design applies the science of psychology and sociology into design. It is rooted in the concepts of how a person thinks, reacts and responds to external stimuli. So how does persuasive design influences user behavior? Design patterns that use psychological tools like reciprocity, anticipation, suggestion are persuasive in nature. Rather than using graphical pattern and visual representations to guide users to your websites, persuasive design is more effective, more fun and friendly way to promote your products and services and better engage with users.
Here are some simple steps you can follow to enact persuasive design in principle:
One of the key things in psychology is we are mostly driven by our unconscious feelings. We make 95% of our decisions based on the experiences of our unconscious mind. We hardly apply our conscious mind to take any decisions, which is slow, effort ful and hard. When users see a product, it does not mean they are paying the right attention. They spend less than 2 minutes with your service. When users don’t notice your product, how do you think it will create the desired impact? To negate this, you need to make the user shift from his unconscious state of mind to conscious that will allow their brain to slowly process information into their long-term memory.
Sheena Iyengar, a renowned expert on choice, conducted an interesting experiment where she placed 24 jars with different jams on one table and 6 jars on the next table. It was observed that on the table with 24 jars, 60% of people tested them, but only 3% purchased. On the table with 6 jars however, 40% tested, and 30% purchased. It contradicts the popular belief that more the options, the more chances of converting leads into sales. When flooded with options, people are less likely to make a purchasing decision. For UX designers, it is more important to give users the confidence to make a decision. Based on his past experiences, we need to confirm that the user is making the right call, and enhance their sense of control.
As humans, our psychology tends to be partial towards quickly recognizing big numbers. We unconsciously like to see big numbers. Hence, how we use numbers to show information does matter a great deal. If you display a high number first, it is more likely that you will grab the attention of the user. If they see a small number first, they will spend less. An example of this could be a donation website that frequently uses some of these aspects of design. It clearly designates the number of donations in descending order with the highest amount shown first. This motivates the user to donate more. For example; list them as $100, $75, $50 and $25 instead of the reverse (which is what is more commonly seen). Also, the numbers need to be fully written out — $7,000,000 instead of $7M.
Human are social beings - they like to connect with people to share thoughts, ideas and feelings. If you are able to encourage a sense of belonging and togetherness through your products, they are more likely to visit your website or invest in your products and services. Through small changes in the way you convey a message to the customer, you can create a sense of belonging. For example we should ask “How important is it for you to be a voter in tomorrow’s election?” instead of “How important is it to vote in tomorrow’s election?” The same logic of evoking the idea of identity and group bonding can be applied to call-to-actions. Instead of using the typical “donate now” or “join now”, instead use “become a donor” or “join our team.”
Habits are formed easier that you think. It takes a person as little as 3 days to create a habit. Nir Eyal Hook model states, “To understand habits is to understand the foundations of persuasion. Nir is a renowned behavioral design and consumer psychology expert. Designing for habits is a powerful way to repeatedly engage the user. You start to create a habit with something small and manageable, and attach it to a visual or auditory cue. In most design-related systems, it is seen that a habit is quickly formed, when it is attached to an existing habit. For example, a notification from an app like instagram or facebook is an auditory cue to let you know that your posts have been liked.
Humans are attracted to marketing offers that promise us something extra, be in the form of gifts coupons or free delivery. It is also common to see that when a product is in short supply, its value suddenly increases and more people are interested to buy the product. By using signs like ‘only a few left’or ‘limited time offer’, businesses entices user to make an appropriate investment at the right time. It happens because users are more motivated by fear of loss than anticipation of gain. FOMO (fear of missing out) is an important factor that motivates the user to make a purchasing decision.
For example,: In a grocery store, two giant jars of the same types of cookies are kept side by side, one jar that’s full and the other jar only has a few cookies left in it. Users instinctively want the cookies from the jar that’s almost empty, even if there’s no difference between the cookies themselves.
If we want to design an engaging and persuasive product, then we need to understand the customer psychology better. Today, many top ecommerce companies have maximized the use of persuasive techniques to their advantage. As humans, we are very susceptible to various psychological tactics, but it is recommended to pursue safe persuasive design to enhance the day-to-day lives of our users.