While people’s patterns of behavior may not always seem rational, they’re universal and predictable. Understanding these patterns helps us design for them.
10 behavioral science techniques
Everyone wants to fit in. People often adjust their actions to match what others are doing or what they think is socially acceptable behavior.
Showing losses instead of gains increases the emotional impact of a message. It encourages people to take action and avoid loss.
People rely on comparisons to make decisions. Providing an anchor or frame of reference can help nudge users toward a desired behavior.
People want what they can’t have. Limited supply or limited time can create a sense of urgency and makes things seem more desirable.
People respond more to messages that seem tailored to their background. Everyone likes to feel special.
People pay attention to things that stand out, especially when they’re unexpected, unusual, or surprising. Vividness and specificity can also make a message more memorable.
To increase trust, try citing an expert or including social proof (for example, reviews and testimonials). People often base their decisions on the recommendations and actions of others.
Pique curiosity to increase engagement. Think Buzzfeed headlines, but classier.
People want to know what’s in it for them. Highlight any monetary incentives, rewards, or other benefits of taking action.
Make an action seem as easy as possible. Simplify the message, address barriers and concerns, and show clear next steps.