Using behavioral psychology to improve user experience

Startup Stories


Over the years, behavioral psychology has attracted much interest outside of academic circles. Behavioral economics, one of the major sub-sectors, is currently influencing the strategies of major corporations around the world, and it is not surprising that many people pay close attention to their supporters. Books like Dan Erie Predictability is unreasonable They have created improvements for the entire business, changed retail models, and changed financial strategies.

Using behavioral psychology to improve user experience

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With the rapid growth of online games, the development of digital products and applications, behavioral psychology and its various branches are making a similar difference. For those who understand the concept and learn how to apply many of the insights in the digital world, behavioral psychology can drastically improve user experience and take user engagement to new heights.

Simply put, all aspects of behavioral psychology are acquired through conditioning, and conditioning occurs in everyday interactions with our environment. An important and influential sub-field examines psychological insights into human behavior in order to explain behavioral economics, economic decision-making, and predict economic patterns.

Unfamiliar to most people, major brands and businesses have been using these perceptions for many years to influence consumer behavior and establish cost-effective strategies.

Positive impact, positive responses

South Africa Insurance giant, in collaboration with Dan Erie, has developed an insurance plan that encourages its members to engage in healthy behaviors (such as exercise, healthy eating, etc.). The ultimate goal was to create a ‘Voluntary Pre-Commitment Program’, in which members of Discovery Vitality can agree to increase their purchases of healthy food by 5% from their family base and make a 25% discount online at the grocery store. James B. Duke, a professor of psychology and behavioral economics at Duke University in the United States, posted the results on his website.

“We found that 36% of the members who were offered this option agreed to participate, and these members showed an average of 3.5% increase in the number of healthy grocery items purchased every six months.

In other words, by creating the right conditions – and by establishing a specific ‘environment’, virtually – discovery has had a positive effect on the behavior of its members.

For brands, the ultimate goal is to link positive changes in nature to increased brand loyalty and ultimately to profitability.

Creating space for creative freedom

In the digital realm, and especially in online games and app development, we are beginning to see effective implementation of behavioral insights to design better and more convincing user experiences. As developers, people are inherently rational, and we tend to assume that they respond to our (deep-rooted) assumptions. These speculations have led to the release of many faulty products, games and applications to engage and delight the end user – often at the expense of the developer, business or brand behind it.

By applying scientifically proven insights into human behavior in product design, however, developers can significantly reduce the chances of missing the mark. Equipped with the knowledge and insights of researchers like Erie and other leading thinkers, we can begin to rely on product design and a more accurate and scientific approach.

Essentially, this allows brands and developers to create and shape (almost all) interactions that are guaranteed for certain responses. In the process, they are relieved of the burden of questioning whether the connections and triggers will eventually work, and developers are empowered to be more courageous and creative in how to present the relationships and how to do key things. This situation in general leads to a more encouraging and creative product design and a more engaging and useful experience for the end user and / or consumer.

Be persistent

Applying insights from behavioral psychology and sub-fields is an art and a science. As developers and designers, it has taken us many years to understand how these insights shape and improve product design and to understand the ins and outs of weaving the user experience into online games and applications. The key to success for us was to constantly challenge our own assumptions – and to question the basic logic of the past in terms of product, app and game design.

Consumers and consumers of these products are also important to keep in mind as products and practices in the digital sphere improve and change. This evolution requires constant study of human behavior and, as a result, effective and rigorous application of understanding of design and development. In our view, such perceptions are creating a clear distinction between the digital experiences that force users to engage and forbid in the future.


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