Going beyond Usability: The need to design for Persuasion, Emotion, and Trust

12 Jul 2009 - 11:24am
5 years ago
23 replies
1832 reads
Sachendra
2005

Dr. Eric Schaffer, founder and CEO of Human Factors International
talks about his new design approach christened PET Design. It offers a
new approach to help companies influence and deepen their interactions
with online customers through Persuasion, Emotion, and Trust.

http://sachendra.wordpress.com/2009/07/12/going-beyond-usability-the-need-to-design-for-persuasion-emotion-and-trust/

Eric talks about the evolution of software from the early days, when
software, hardware were differentiators which have now become a
commodity… similarly, he says, usability was a differentiator but it’s
now become essential. You have to have great software and hardware and
it has to be usable. The differentiator now, he believes, is to make
the software more persuasive and engaging.

Although I completely agree with Eric, I don’t think this is a
revelation… you obviously need to design products that engage the
customers so that you can meet business goals, and I can’t think of
any Product Manager or UX designer not trying to do that from the
outset.

Is it just me or do you think that this is what we’ve been doing all
along anyway?

--
Sachendra Yadav
http://sachendra.wordpress.com

Comments

12 Jul 2009 - 12:48pm
Phillip Hunter
2006

I haven't read the book, but I did sit through a presentation about
it from HFI and have read a couple of essays.

I think that what he's done is two-fold: A) put some decent
packaging around a set of concepts that, as you say, have been part
of design forever (though with various levels of realization by
practitioners); and B) help bring the ideas a little further out of
the fuzziness that they tend to have around them so the discussion
can be more convincing and eye-opening.

Many of us in this field have already learned about these things
through other means (there are many good books about them), but
Schaffer seems to help focus the concepts better on our specific
issues.

ph

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12 Jul 2009 - 6:59pm
Chauncey Wilson
2007

Hello Philip,

You mentioned a book in your note. What book was that? B. J. Fogg's
book, Persuasive Technology takes principles of persuasion from
Marketing and Social Psychology and discusses how they can be applied
to the design of technology. Technology can be usable, but not
persuasive.

If there is another book out, I would be curious to read it. There is
a book by Robert Cialdini who is the guru on persuasion in the real
world and I would highly recommend that. Just search for "robert
cialdini persuasion" and it should pop up.

Chauncey

On Sun, Jul 12, 2009 at 7:48 AM, Phillip
Hunter<phillip at phillipwhunter.com> wrote:
> I haven't read the book, but I did sit through a presentation about
> it from HFI and have read a couple of essays.
>
> I think that what he's done is two-fold: A) put some decent
> packaging around a set of concepts that, as you say, have been part
> of design forever (though with various levels of realization by
> practitioners); and B) help bring the ideas a little further out of
> the fuzziness that they tend to have around them so the discussion
> can be more convincing and eye-opening.
>
> Many of us in this field have already learned about these things
> through other means (there are many good books about them), but
> Schaffer seems to help focus the concepts better on our specific
> issues.
>
> ph
>
>
> . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
> Posted from the new ixda.org
> http://www.ixda.org/discuss?post=43652
>
>
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12 Jul 2009 - 7:07pm
Phillip Hunter
2006

Chauncey,

Actually I was thinking of Cialdini. Both that book and his Yes! that
came out fairly recently. I also think books such as The Tipping
Point provide much food for thought about what it takes to get
something to "take" with a large, diverse group of people.

Of course, I should have also mentioned Norman's Emotional Design.

Phillip

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13 Jul 2009 - 10:29am
Brian Mila
2009

One of the other researchers at HFI, Susan Weinschenk, recently
published a book called "Neuro Web Design - What makes them click?"
It was a good read and covered 9 different persuasion techniques.
My only complaint is that I wish it covered even more.

To the points made by others, I agree, and think that in addition to
having it all "packaged up" another benefit is that it gives us the
vocabulary to start the discussion with regarding persuasion
techniques.

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13 Jul 2009 - 10:31am
Adrian Howard
2005

On 12 Jul 2009, at 18:24, Sachendra Yadav wrote:

> Is it just me or do you think that this is what we’ve been doing all
> along anyway?

It's certainly not new (even to folk who are just doing "usability"...
when _did_ that get redefined into such a narrow domain... but I
digress... ).

Folk seem to often miss it anyway. So approaching it from another
angle may help who knows - especially if it's attached to some
specific techniques.

Cheers,

Adrian
--
http://quietstars.com - twitter.com/adrianh - delicious.com/adrianh

13 Jul 2009 - 3:42pm
Shima Kazerooni
2007

I recently took Susan's HFI PET design course (design for persuation, emotion and trust) course and really like it.  It was a 3-day couse and she covered a lot in it.

Shima

________________________________
From: Brian Mila <brian.mila at trizetto.com>
To: discuss at ixda.org
Sent: Monday, July 13, 2009 9:29:40 AM
Subject: Re: [IxDA Discuss] Going beyond Usability: The need to design for Persuasion, Emotion, and Trust

One of the other researchers at HFI, Susan Weinschenk, recently
published a book called "Neuro Web Design - What makes them click?"
  It was a good read and covered 9 different persuasion techniques.
My only complaint is that I wish it covered even more. 

To the points made by others, I agree, and think that in addition to
having it all "packaged up" another benefit is that it gives us the
vocabulary to start the discussion with regarding persuasion
techniques.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
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13 Jul 2009 - 6:54pm
Ian Chan
2005

Don't forget social interaction design ideas. Especially if the
interaction model is communication-based. "Persuasion" could then be
divided into commercial or strategic persuasiveness, and mutually-
reciprocated persuasion (implying understanding or even agreement).
When two parties are involved in a mutually persuasive outcome, you
have an intersubjective interaction model. E.g. human communication.

a

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14 Jul 2009 - 1:18am
dszuc
2005

Questions:

* Doesn't persuasion assume that people are persuaded to go to the
product in the first place?

* What makes that happen?

* What other factors that make up the success of a product?

* So yes we can persuade through the interface itself but what else
do we need to do to increase people's chances of using something and
letting other people know about how good it is?

For example, is there anything persuasive about the Twitter UI? Or is
it that the conversation itself in Twitter persuades me to continue to
use it?

Is this covered as part of PET Design or other like books, articles?

rgds,
Dan

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14 Jul 2009 - 1:51am
Anonymous

>
> For example, is there anything persuasive about the Twitter UI? Or is
> it that the conversation itself in Twitter persuades me to continue to
> use it?
>
>

Have a look at slide 129 of Sebastian Deterding's Reboot presentation here -
http://www.slideshare.net/dings/persuasive-web-design-how-to-separate-users-from-their-bad-behaviours-
he's identified a number of the techniques/principles/patterns in the
Twitter interface, in the context of social persuasion.

If you have time, it's well worth looking at the whole presentation, as it
summarises very clearly a lot of ideas (old and new) and thinking around
persuasive design on the web and in real life.

___________________________________________________________________________________
Dan Lockton MPhil BSc(Hons) FRSA | Design for Behaviour Change research |
Brunel Design
Brunel University | London | UB8 3PH
http://danlockton.co.uk | http://designwithintent.co.uk |
http://designandbehaviour.com | @danlockton <http://twitter.com/danlockton>

14 Jul 2009 - 9:22am
Brian Mila
2009

@Daniel:

# Doesn't persuasion assume that people are persuaded to go to the
product in the first place?
# What makes that happen?

Well, yes the user needs to visit the site before they will be
effected by any persuasion techniques you build into the site.
However, getting new users to that site could be a matter of
persuading existing users to engage new people.

# What other factors that make up the success of a product?

Keep in mind, the techniques for persuading people aren't limited to
getting someone to buy a product. The focus is on getting people to
take an action. That action could be to buy a product, but it could
also be to donate to charity, fill out a survey, etc.

# So yes we can persuade through the interface itself but what else
do we need to do to increase people's chances of using something and
letting other people know about how good it is?

There are a host of techniques , if you want to learn more you should
go to humanfactors.com (I think they listed around 80 of them). Some
of them that I remember from one of their webcasts are:

social validation
cognitive convenience
contrast
momentum
psychological reactance

Brian

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14 Jul 2009 - 10:21am
Robert Hoekman, Jr.
2005

>
> One of the other researchers at HFI, Susan Weinschenk, recently
> published a book called "Neuro Web Design - What makes them click?"
> It was a good read and covered 9 different persuasion techniques.

Weinschenk's book, I thought, was awful. All she did, *really*, was rehash
Cialdini's work and show a few examples along the way of how it can be
applied to web design, something any designer could have extrapolated on
his/her own by reading Cialdini's books, *Influence* and *Yes!*. Beyond
that, it was poorly written — choppy and meandering. I hate to bash a fellow
New Riders author, but I just can't recommend this book unless you're having
a hard time getting people to read Cialdini's work (Weinschenk's book is
much shorter) or you're dealing with people who can't apply concepts unless
shown how to directly.

HFI, frankly, appears to be a firm with run-of-the-mill talent that happens
to have a good marketing angle. They created a certification and gave
themselves an academic sounding name, and bang, we've had countless threads
on this list from people asking if the cert will help their careers. It's
such an obvious move — they just used the same tactics they preach. Creating
a certification made them look like an *authority*. It doesn't mean they're
the best out there, nor does it mean the cert will do a thing to improve
your life. All it does is create a sense that the organization has a high
level of expertise, which in turn encourages people to take a mental
shortcut and trust them without further evaluation. The irony is
that Cialdini's work represents the basis for all HFI does, but if you've
read Cialdini's books, you can easily see through it.

Want to make your firm famous? Coin a process and create a $20,000, 3-day
course around it that culminates with a test and a the receipt of a
certificate. You'll be raking in the dough in a matter of weeks.

-r-

14 Jul 2009 - 10:53am
dszuc
2005

Thanks Brian.

To drill down further, does persuasion assume that the "core value"
of a product has already been identified? So if people are already
using the product, some form of persuasion has already occurred both
in and outside the product?

So if I know why I am using something in the first place persuasion
becomes easier after that point?

rgds,
Dan

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14 Jul 2009 - 1:07pm
SteveJBayer
2008

The video seems interesting. Great viewpoint for newcomers to web
design. HFI courses did catch my eye when I first discovered
usability can be practiced professionally.

However, PET sounds as though its yet another form of marketing
implemented in web design. The PET technique seems well implemented
in the video though. I am persuaded to study a course at HFI, I'm
emotionally driven to learn from HFI and HFI seems worth trusting my
education with.

Fat chance that I would ever considering joining a course from HFI or
even recommend them ever though. I got a huge chip on my shoulder from
when I did try to join a course with them. A rather flimsy schedule
meant I could not be certain I could attend a course until a few days
before the course started. Anyways, when I was certain I could attend
the course, I flew over to a branch city (Bangalore) since I wanted
to do some sight seeing too. I applied for the course half expecting
the answer to be 'your too late' but the reason for not being
accepted for the course was that I wasn't sent by a 'company' even
though I was able to foot the bill and had prior experience (a couple
of months at the time) as a junior uxd/ia and the pre-requisites for
the course I applied for stated 'None.'

I'm fairly certain an organization trying to promote usability would
want to educate everyone who was interested in learning more about
usability and could foot the bill. Seems odd when organizations say
that they want to increase the number of practitioners yet at the
same time increase barriers of entry such as pricing introductory
training courses high enough that corporate sponsorship is required
implicitly.

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14 Jul 2009 - 3:25pm
Brian Mila
2009

Daniel,

Persuasion is really about convincing people to take an action (or to
avoid taking an action). In marketing terms the measure of success of
persuasive techniques is the number of products sold. I would assume
that you would already know what the "core value" of a product is
before you sell it. On the other hand the goal of your persuasive
technique could be to get people to try a new product prototype, to
find out what its "core value" is.

To your other question, yes persuasion is easier if you are already
using the product, which is why companies spend so much time tweaking
their brand and building a loyal customer base. Existing customers
need less "convincing", if they already have a positive perception
of the brand.

Brian

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14 Jul 2009 - 5:06pm
Ian Chan
2005

What's persuasive in design terms differs from what's persuasive in
terms of interaction. When the interaction is communication, it
consists of an open-ended series of transactions. That's persuasive
enough for most to make themselves available to communication, if not
interested and actively attentive to it. In short, yes, communication
is itself a "persuasive" mode of interaction, but at the risk of
changing what we mean by persuasive.

If persuasive is applied more strictly to design and architectural
choices, then persuasiveness in user experience would comprise of
elements in the designers original control: things part of the design
process. Communication wouldn't fit here: we don't control
communication itself, only its medium.

There are aspects of twitter's design that exhibit what we mean by
persuasive design: number of followers, which ties to social rank,
personal status, individual social competence and relevance,
influence, and other things signified by the number. The number is not
just a number, but is a sign: it is a number in absolute terms but
also a sign of social status in relative terms.

Also notable in twitter's design is that twitter places your message
in line with those of people you follow. An accurate design would
place your post in line with people who follow you. Those are the
people who will see you and your post. People following you are in
fact the people who would read and respond to your tweet. Design wise,
twitter and apps like seesmic and tweetdeck are an example of
persuasive design in how they achieve this sleight of hand: you tweet
and see the people "in front of you" (who you follow), not the
audience "behind you" which in fact sees your tweets (who follow you)...

In general persuasion seems to me a good shift of emphasis for some
product designs to affect, emotion, and nuanced connections a consumer
may establish with a product based on projection, internalization,
identification and other ways in which we externalize feelings and
mediate them and their expression through objects.

Strictly speaking i don't think persuasion should be applied to
communication and social interaction environments, lest we confuse
design elements with actual interpersonal exchanges.

adrian

415 516 4442 Twitter: /gravity7
Social Interaction Design, Expertise, Consulting (gravity7) (gravity7
blog) (slideshare)
Sr Fellow, Society for New Communications Research (SNCR)
Adhocnium Member (adhocnium)
LinkedIn (www.linkedin.com/in/adrianchan)
Facebook (www.facebook.com/adrianchan)

On Jul 14, 2009, at 12:18 AM, Daniel Szuc wrote:

> For example, is there anything persuasive about the Twitter UI? Or is
> it that the conversation itself in Twitter persuades me to continue to
> use it?

14 Jul 2009 - 7:38pm
dszuc
2005

Thanks Adrian and helps :)

> If persuasive is applied more strictly to design and architectural
> choices, then persuasiveness in user experience would comprise of
> elements in the designers original control: things part of the
> design process. Communication wouldn't fit here: we don't control
> communication itself, only its medium.

Thats the heart of it. When designing for persuasion, does it extend
to the whole piece? To the whole channel strategy? To the whole UX?

For example:

- Web
- Page Components
- Architecture (physical and platform)
- Copy
- Retail
- Pricing
- Sales techniques
- Call Center
- IVRS
_ Brochures
- Add your own

Each should feed into the other to help persuade a person to do X? Or
persuade a person to love your brand?

It all seems part of an overall "communications strategy" (its not to
deceive but to communicate in a way that moves people towards the
goals you set for the business etc). When done right, it feels right,
like everything is moving as one to give you just what you need, when
you need it. Rather than broken pieces, developed in silos frustrating
people.

rgds,
Dan

On 15 Jul 2009, at 7:06 AM, adrian chan wrote:

> What's persuasive in design terms differs from what's persuasive in
> terms of interaction. When the interaction is communication, it
> consists of an open-ended series of transactions. That's persuasive
> enough for most to make themselves available to communication, if
> not interested and actively attentive to it. In short, yes,
> communication is itself a "persuasive" mode of interaction, but at
> the risk of changing what we mean by persuasive.
>
> If persuasive is applied more strictly to design and architectural
> choices, then persuasiveness in user experience would comprise of
> elements in the designers original control: things part of the
> design process. Communication wouldn't fit here: we don't control
> communication itself, only its medium.
>
> There are aspects of twitter's design that exhibit what we mean by
> persuasive design: number of followers, which ties to social rank,
> personal status, individual social competence and relevance,
> influence, and other things signified by the number. The number is
> not just a number, but is a sign: it is a number in absolute terms
> but also a sign of social status in relative terms.
>
> Also notable in twitter's design is that twitter places your message
> in line with those of people you follow. An accurate design would
> place your post in line with people who follow you. Those are the
> people who will see you and your post. People following you are in
> fact the people who would read and respond to your tweet. Design
> wise, twitter and apps like seesmic and tweetdeck are an example of
> persuasive design in how they achieve this sleight of hand: you
> tweet and see the people "in front of you" (who you follow), not the
> audience "behind you" which in fact sees your tweets (who follow
> you)...
>
> In general persuasion seems to me a good shift of emphasis for some
> product designs to affect, emotion, and nuanced connections a
> consumer may establish with a product based on projection,
> internalization, identification and other ways in which we
> externalize feelings and mediate them and their expression through
> objects.
>
> Strictly speaking i don't think persuasion should be applied to
> communication and social interaction environments, lest we confuse
> design elements with actual interpersonal exchanges.
>
> adrian
>
> 415 516 4442 Twitter: /gravity7
> Social Interaction Design, Expertise, Consulting (gravity7)
> (gravity7 blog) (slideshare)
> Sr Fellow, Society for New Communications Research (SNCR)
> Adhocnium Member (adhocnium)
> LinkedIn (www.linkedin.com/in/adrianchan)
> Facebook (www.facebook.com/adrianchan)
>
> On Jul 14, 2009, at 12:18 AM, Daniel Szuc wrote:
>
>> For example, is there anything persuasive about the Twitter UI? Or is
>> it that the conversation itself in Twitter persuades me to continue
>> to
>> use it?
>
>

14 Jul 2009 - 9:45pm
Vytas Gaizutis
2008

Robert Hoekman Jr wrote:
"Weinschenk's book, I thought, was awful. All she did, really, was rehash Cialdini's work and show a few examples along the way of how it can be applied to web design, something any designer could have extrapolated on his/her own by reading Cialdini's books."

Well, that's your opinion. I find it refreshing that this book underscores the importance of the amygdala in understanding the nature of emotions (and actually much of human interaction). It's a very interesting approach at actually seeing what's behind the actions people take, something all serious designers should become familiar with.

BTW, I suggest you read a bit of Joseph LeDeux, who is a leading researching working with the amygdala. You'd be surprised how much of that knowledge is applicable to what we do.

Cialdini's work is superb. I'm an advocate. Weinschenk puts this in her book and there's nothing wrong with that. All knowledge is built upon a foundation (on the shoulders of giants, as they say).

There is good value in her work and the book is definitely worth the read.

14 Jul 2009 - 9:48pm
Vytas Gaizutis
2008

That first paragraph above was intended to have quotes (I was quoting Robert's post above). I expected the blockquote tag to work.

Alas, it did not :(

14 Jul 2009 - 9:57am
Jason Pamental
2008

Another book worth mentioning is 'Subject to Change' from the people
at Adaptive Path (including Peter Merholz). The focus on experience
design and user empathy is really compelling, and has had a big
influence on my thinking as a designer.

Cheers-

Jason

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16 Jul 2009 - 9:27am
Jared M. Spool
2003

On Jul 14, 2009, at 6:06 PM, adrian chan wrote:

> Strictly speaking i don't think persuasion should be applied to
> communication and social interaction environments, lest we confuse
> design elements with actual interpersonal exchanges.

I'm sorry, Adrian,

I don't understand this at all.

How can we avoid it?

In appropriate social environments (such as corporate idea markets and
innovation forums), wouldn't we want to persuade individuals who would
otherwise be reluctant to communicate and interact?

Don't we want to persuade individuals to use appropriate etiquette and
follow social norms? (How many of us have accidentally replied-to-all
or broadcasted private messages because of poorly designed reply
functionality?)

I think, in communication and social interaction, persuasive design
techniques are highly desirable.

Jared

Jared M. Spool
User Interface Engineering
510 Turnpike St., Suite 102, North Andover, MA 01845
e: jspool at uie.com p: +1 978 327 5561
http://uie.com Blog: http://uie.com/brainsparks Twitter: @jmspool

16 Jul 2009 - 1:28pm
Robert Hoekman, Jr.
2005

>
> I don't understand this at all.
>
> How can we avoid it?
>

Agreed.

It's foolish to think like an engineer when dealing with human beings.
People don't follow light-switch logic — the don't operate in 1s and 0s. In
the same way that it's impossible for a journalist to be truly objective,
the very act of your designing a solution means you're persuading and
influencing behavior one way or another. This notion isn't to be shunned,
it's to be embraced.

-r-

16 Jul 2009 - 1:29pm
Anonymous

As pointed out by Thaler and Sunstein in their excellent book
"Nudge," all interactions have an element of persuasion, whether
intentional or not. And, there are often social benefits to
designing for persuasion beyond the obvious business incentive (what
they refer to as "libertarian paternalism").

My impression of the HFI PET approach was that they needed to update
their old testing model which was based solely on "usability" best
practices that didn't really resonate with ecommerce clients. I
agree with many on this post that most of us have been doing this
along (how could we not?). HFI didn't "invent" it, they're just
reminding us that now they "get it."

-David

David Kozatch, Principal
DIG
marketing research and user experience testing
david at digsmarter.com
http://www.digsmarter.com
blog.digsmarter.com

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27 Jul 2009 - 4:33am
SteveJBayer
2008

I don't mean to take the discussion about PET off track but in
reference to my earlier post:

I've been recently contacted by the training coordinator at HFI and
it seems 60% of the participants at HFI courses are self sponsored.
Apparently my experience was just an incident of miscommunication.

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