IDEA09: The Art and Science of Seductive Interactions

by Luke Wroblewski September 17, 2009

At IDEA09, Stephen Anderson discussed The Art and Science of Seductive Interactions by looking at principles from disciplines like social sciences, psychology, neuroscience and cognitive science applied to Web application interface design.

  • LinkedIn profile completeness meter: gives you indicator of what you can do to get complete. Works because of levels & challenges –psychology drives the interaction.
  • You may have a great product that does fine in usability and has no obvious problems – but still have a high bounce rate or low adoption, not enough registered users, or remain undifferentiated.
  • How do you ease people into your system and get them to spend more time with your product?
  • iLike home page: quick sign up form, then promotion pages. Asks what artists you like –highly visual with single click actions –this grows business goals (learn about people’s tastes). Each page gets more relevant. Why did this work? Feedback loop actions modify subsequent results. Curiosity and visual imagery drive usage.
  • Recognition over recall – do not ask to recall things, let people recognize through visual presentations.
  • Increasing motivation = psychology. Removing friction = usability
  • Social proof –people tend to follow the lead of others when they don’t know what they should do.
  • People are Curious. Kids buy the mystery car (Hot Wheels) though they don’t know what it is. California Pizza Kitchen gives you “do not open” thank you cards. LinkedIn hints that some people saw your profile but to see who you have to log in.
  • Playing Hard to get. Private beta –have to get invited to use an application. Social proof helps motivate you to join private betas. Twitter constraint of 140 characters limitation encourages quick and easy responses.
  • In Cubeless you need to gather points to unlock ability to add photos, etc. 60-70% of Sabre employees use Social Q&A system. 60% of questions are answered within one hour, each question receives an average of 9 answers
  • Taking a Chance. Brighter Planet only shows one form question at a time and provides real time updates based on how people change the default numbers. Doublewide sets default of slides to span full length of video to synch to slides.
  • Ownership bias: want to ensure representations of you are accurate.
  • Delighters –Dooplr –picked an animal to represent how fast people are moving across the world. Personal annual report from Dopplr tracked your activity over time. Dopplr logo changes colors based on travel, etc. Forces you to find the pattern.
  • Find a great online experience. Think about why it works. Uncover psychology principles.
  • These principles are going to be available as a card set of 50 insights that can be used as an easy reference and brainstorming tool. Each card describes one insight into human behavior and suggests ways to apply this to the design of Web sites, Web apps, and software applications. Learn more at Get Mental Notes