A Behavioral Approach to Product Design - Custom Software Product Development | Zibtek Blog
A Behavioral Approach to Product Design- zibtek blog

A Behavioral Approach to Product Design

One of the most challenging things to do in this world is to change people’s behavior. This is even hard when we are talking about our own behavior. We make so many resolutions every day that we sincerely desire, but we fail to accomplish them. A desire to be fit and healthy prompts many people to get a membership to the gym. And there might be others who want to become slim by following a particular diet plan. While these plans are excellent, most of us fail as we are not committed and we don’t stick to the plan.


Making and sticking to resolutions is getting easier, as there are various products as well as services that are available these days. Most of them are developed to help us achieve the goals that we set, like developing better financial habits, eating healthier food, etc. But, in reality, creating a product that can assist you in achieving these goals is quite difficult.


Many designers have realized that they cannot develop a good product by following traditional methods. These behavioral challenges are quite complex.


Solution to This Problem


It is necessary for the designers to understand both the psychology and science of how people make these critical decisions. They also need to know how people interpret the information that is available. Only after comprehending this information, you need to take further steps to deliver designs that are the most effective. Just following these methods, it is possible for us to help people change their habits for the better. There are several examples of products formed through these methods that have helped people stick to diets, save on energy bills, and much more.

Now, they were able to accomplish this feat only by following certain principles in designing the product. The framework that they used to reach this goal is simple and powerful. There are four steps in this particular framework that the designers need to follow. Here is a brief overview of each step:


Step 1: Grab People’s Attention

Many people are not sure if the product that they are going to introduce is worthwhile. Though as a designer, you might be thinking that the product that you are creating is fantastic, the main problem is how you can get the customer to recognize that. It is necessary for you to help the customer understand the benefit that comes to them by using the product.


Simple Techniques You Can Employ:


It Should be Inviting: You can draw more people when you develop aesthetics that are eye-catching.  Ensure that the storytelling that you have in place is engaging. Plan on creating a motion design that is compelling.


Evoke an Emotional Reaction: Always create designs that can stand out from the rest. You need to make sure that they stay memorable. Now, this can happen only when it is appealing to our emotions. Emotions such as surprise, curiosity, and urgency are some of the feelings that make an experience memorable.


Customize the Content: People respond most to messages that are personalized. They like content that is relevant and customized based on their interests, behaviors, and values. Airbnb, for example, is very good at creating a great first impression. The videos and images that you find on their homepage are quite compelling. Of course, the language that they use is also very inviting and warm. It is one of the main reasons why a lot of users visit and explore this particular site.


Mint, on the other hand, does a fantastic job of indicating to you if your spending patterns have changed drastically. You will get a personalized email notifying you of it. While it is alarming, it alerts you to investigate the matter further and to keep tabs on the expenses.

Step 2: Influence Decisions

Once you evoke interest and have users engaged in your product, it is necessary for you to present them with an argument that is clear and convincing. It should nudge them to take some action.


Techniques You Should Employ:

Content That Is Clear: You should eliminate jargon from the content. It is wise to keep your message simple and specific so that people can understand it with ease. The content that is available should provide answers to the questions that users have.

Provide them Suggestions: People like to receive suggestions that are beneficial to them. The options and recommendations that you give should be clear. Opower helped millions of people to reduce their energy bills by using the method of social comparison. Users were able to compare their energy habits with neighbors that had a similar house.

How to design your product
How to design your product

Step 3: Promote Action

Once the person is ready with the decision to act, it is essential for them to take action using a barrier-free and straightforward path.

Streamline the Process: By breaking down the target actions into possible and small steps, you will be able to streamline the process and reduce the cognitive load for the user.

Provide Guidance: The entire experience that the user has in a product should facilitate action. Some of the conventional methods that you may choose to include are callouts, walkthroughs, or predetermined defaults.


Step 4: Sustaining the New Behavior

The product should allow a user to take action only once. If the product wants to have a long-lasting impact, the designs should continually motivate people’s behavior.


Techniques You Should Employ:

Celebrate Progress: It is wise to reward people with positive feedback and to show them their progress so that they check it and feel good.

Build the Relationship: You should continue to send them reports on a regular basis. It should not be a one-time exercise if you want to succeed.


Emphasize Motivation That Is Intrinsic:

If you want the user to have a long-term behavioral change, it is wise to use intrinsic motivation. As per some research, people are drawn into experiences only when they feel a sense of hope and purpose. Status, self-mastery, social connection, self-expression are some other reasons why they stick with a product. You can have the users feel these emotions when you send them reports on a regular basis.

Nest is one of those products that sends its users monthly reports. Customers can identify and keep tabs on their energy use patterns. Users will know how they are saving money and reducing energy use. They also give people who are performing well badges.

As designers, it is essential for you to consider the range of experiences that users go through, especially when they begin to use products. It is critical for you to understand things that can nudge them to start caring, stay motivated and engaged over a period. By using the behavioral lens, you can identify the stages that are in the journey that work well and ones that could become better. Ultimately, all these factors should help in strengthening the designs and eradicating the risk of people forgetting your product.

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