Seth Owings

Month: April 2015

Why are my users losing interest?

I was asked to determine why the clickthrough rate on an eNewsletter was decreasing in recent months. As with many such questions, BJ Fogg’s Behavior Model is a great place to start:

B=MAT
Behavior = Motivation + Ability + Trigger

Some behaviors are more difficult to perform; or, in the case of product design, elicit from users. Regardless of the difficulty, their must be adequate motivation for the user to perform the task, the user must have the physical/mental/emotional ability to perform the task, and there must be a trigger to prompt the execution of the task. Additionally, all three of these must occur at the same time in order for the behavior to occur.

If the combined weight of these three factors does not meet the difficulty threshold for the task (at the time the the task needs to be performed), then the behavior will not occur. For example, imagine you want to wake up an hour earlier than usual in order to exercise:

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The Paradox of Choice

More is better, right? Not really. Barry Schwartz has written an entire book on the subject, entitled The Paradox of Choice: Why more is less. In his book, Schwartz highlights two major drawbacks to having more choice:

  1. More options create decision paralysis
  2. We are ultimately less satisfied with the choices we make

More options create decision paralysis

Daniel Kahneman, another psychologist, is most well known for writing Thinking: Fast and Slow which popularized a dual process model explaining perception and decision making in two distinct systems:

  • System 1
  • System 2

Not exactly creative names, but they serve their purpose.

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