November 2014

Nudge, Persuade, Deliver: CRO is Design for Behaviour

Delivering on our understanding of users isn’t just understanding what they want.

Real insight means getting to grips with their subconscious wants and needs. It’s all about knowing how to influence decisions, ones already made and ones bubbling under the surface.

Crafting great products and a UX to match is a big picture affair. If we want to encourage a particular action, we need to design for it. CRO (Conversion rate optimisation) is sometimes seen as an addition to UX, truth be told its at the heart of great UX. CRO is a win|win situation crafted through understanding user actions and our own.

 Applying Behavioural Psychology.

We know that user actions don’t exist in a vacuum.  Users are engaged in an activities, partake in communities and have competing motivations.  Understanding that context helps us guide them towards an action, like downloading a file or buying a product.

Behavioural psychology is a way to dig even deeper.  What can it tell us about what users find easy or tough? Uncovering what prevents users from taking action is design-defining data.

  • Motivation: why do they want to take an action?
  • Ability: are they able to take an action?
  • Trigger: what will prompt them to take an action?

Creating Action.

Behavioural aficionado, Stephen Wendel’s ‘five preconditions for action’ lay out the thought and action checkpoints. It’s all about planting seeds and prompting activity.

Cue: Something needs to spark an idea.

Maybe a push notification, an SMS invite from a friend or a TV ad.

 Reaction: Once cued, the mind will automatically react to the idea, intuitively and emotionally. This is where user insecurities, opinions or drivers can take hold.

 Evaluation. With awareness, the mind will do a quick cost-benefit analysis.

Questions of value, time and life-changing qualities arise here. Will this product make my life easier?

 Ability. The user becomes confident in their ability to take action. This could be about following practical steps or having the self-belief to embark on taking action.

 Timing. Getting users to act now, rather than giving priority to other actions, is no easy feat.

This is something that a well-designed UX and quality content can influence massively.

 By designing products so that these preconditions are met, there’s more chance that users will follow you down the desired path.

 The place where needs and values meet.

By delving into the user’s psychology, aren’t we making people do something that they don’t want to do?  Simply put, no.  It’s not about tricking people, its actually about honesty; we are honestly seek to understand our potential client and the group we can serve better than anyone else. Ultimately, we want to uncover the place where our values meet theirs.