A quick Understanding of User Psychology

I came across a fantastic article the other day, 5 psychology secrets for great interaction design, and wanted to focus on a particular section that  Designing with Mental Triggers, that I wanted to talk about.

I think the 7 points in this section pretty much summed up and explained human behavior and psychology for product managers perfectly. I thought I'd go ahead and go through each of the points below:

(source: The Next Web)

(source: The Next Web)

  • Do something for other people. And they will return the favor. Look at the example above, take the quiz and you can save money.

This instinctively triggers curiosity in users, if something is convenient and related enough, users will want to find out more. 

  • People look at the behavior of others. Especially when they are not sure how to act. Include a social stream in your design to make users feel like part of a bigger group.

The sense of belonging, users take queues from others. An image for example might trigger an emotion for one person, and the image could either trigger an emotion for someone else, or the initial response trigger an emotion. An avenue of expression, through the conduit of social stream is a perfect example of empathy triggers. 

  • Users want what they can’t have. The scarcity principle is why limited-time deals work so effectively.

Forcing users to act quickly, gives them a sense of exclusivity, if the advertiser is willing to forego a sale after a limited period of time, it would force a more impulsive decision by the consumer. 

  • Users tend to fall in the middle when it comes to making choices. Most people will be drawn to the center. As recommended by Hick’s Law, more choices leads to decision paralysis, so choose carefully.

This kind of follows the previous point, and decision paralysis is something that should be avoided at all costs. Of course, A/B testing helps as well, understand what content causes more paralysis, and yes, time-sensitive triggers can mitigate some decision paralysis. 

  • People are drawn to what is relevant to them right now. Consider beacons, notifications or check in tools to be in the moment.

Push notifications and emails are also relevant here. Through intelligent engagement, you can build retention. Find users that haven't logged on for a while and encourage them by showing them which of their friends signed up, or how easy it is to meet new people, for instance. I call it deferred onboarding

Something to think about when designing your products, content and product placement, and engagement strategies.