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What is User Behavior in UXUI Design?

04
Sep
2023
What is User Behavior in UXUI Design?

A lot of work goes into UX/UI Design to ensure products meet user expectations and are successful in the market. A crucial aspect of this is understanding user behavior. In this article, we’ll look at how UX/UI Design can influence user behavior. First, we’ll discuss human decision-making frameworks and behavior strategy classifications to further dive into their UX/UI Design applications. And finally, we’ll cover some strategies you can use to change user behavior. Are you ready to see how users’ minds work? Let’s dig in.

About Human Decision-Making Frameworks

Decision-making frameworks are tools that help UX (User Experience) designers by assisting them in the creation of adaptable UIs (User Interfaces) for different user needs and preferences.

In this context, there are two main types of decisions: informed and risky. Further, several decision-making models fall under those two categories. According to some experts, three main models work together: rational decision-making, insight-driven decision-making, and experimentation-based decision-making. 

Nonetheless, within UX, other experts consider three different models. Here, the compensatory model focuses on systematically weighing pros and cons. Next is the non-compensatory model, which aims to make quick decisions using shortcuts. Finally, the satisficing model has users select the “first available option that meets their minimum criteria.”

Human decision-making frameworks include the Fogg Behavior Model, the CREATE Action Funnel, and the Dual Process Theory. As you may have guessed, other factors, like cognitive biases, emotions, and information overload, influence human decision-making. 

Examples of Human Decision-Making Frameworks

Now that we’ve covered the concepts of human decision-making frameworks and behavior strategy classifications, it’s time to look at some examples. 

1. Fogg Behavior Model

This model, created by psychologist B.J. Fogg, considers three main elements in user behavior: motivation, ability, and triggers. According to this model, UX/UI Designers must balance these three factors. You should understand what drives your users, implement appropriate triggers, and ensure the actions you wish them to perform require the least effort possible.

2. CREATE Action Funnel

Designed by Stephen Wendell, the CREATE Action Funnel seeks to turn web visitors into customers. This outcome is achieved by understanding user mindsets, developing an optimal user flow, and testing and refining the user experience. The CREATE in this model is an acronym for “Cue, Reaction, Evaluation, Ability, Time, and Experience.”

3. Spectrum of Thinking Interventions

This spectrum helps you structure the UX/UI Design process. There are four main categories within the scope. The first is guidance, such as visual cues, while the second is explanation, such as infographics. Likewise, after explanation goes exploration, with interactive simulations, for example, and creation, like customizable UIs.

4. Dual Process Theory

This psychological theory revolves around human thinking functions on two different levels. There is an intuitive, fast level and a deliberate, slow level. To be successful, UX/UI Design should cater to both levels. This dual approach means making tasks simple and intuitive and minimizing errors. It also includes adjusting different thinking styles and providing visual cues.

What is a Behavior Strategy Classification?

Before discussing behavior strategy classifications, let’s review some concepts.

Behavioral Science revolves around human behavior and decision-making. It draws from psychology, economics, and sociology, among other disciplines. In the UX/UI Design context, this science field helps industry professionals understand how users behave with a particular product or service.

Within Behavioral Science, Behavioral Design takes users' conduct into account. It explores why people make certain decisions and what motivates users. Therefore, Behavioral Strategy Classifications enclose the strategies used to change or affect user behavior. 

How to Drive User Behavior with UI/UX Design

We’ve got all the theories down, but what are some of the actual strategies you can use to change user behavior? We go over six of these below.

1. Nudging. Nudging is a strategy to influence a user’s behavior without coercing them. You can do this by presenting information in a specific way. Examples include changing the default option, highlighting social norms, or simplifying decision-making. In this way, you lead users to make certain decisions without removing their freedom of choice.

2. Gamification. Gamification has been a prevalent strategy over the last decade. It consists of applying game dynamics to everyday non-game activities. You can gamify user behavior by offering rewards or setting goals and competitions. Another popular strategy is providing encouraging feedback. We know that gamification leads to increased engagement and motivation, improved learning, and user retention.

3. Incentives. We’re pretty sure you are familiar with incentives. Like throughout life, these can be used in UX/UI Design to encourage certain behaviors. They can also be positive or negative. Incentives should be clear, relevant, well-timed, and consistent to ensure your desired result. Positive incentives include promotions, social approval, and monetary rewards. You can implement penalties or consequences for undesired behavior on the negative side.

4. Framing. How you present or package information is crucial and can influence decision-making. You should do this in a relevant and meaningful way to users. There are different types of framing, including positive, negative, neutral, and comparative frames. Whatever you do, you should keep things simple, have a clear and consistent message, give the user meaningful information, and make the best out of your visuals.

5. Social Proofing. We have all considered our peers' opinions about buying a product or downloading a specific app. Social proof means proving that other users are taking specific actions or making certain decisions. As you know, we humans tend to follow the crowd, which is a great way to get users to do the same. Social proofing strategies include reviews and ratings or creating a best-seller category.

6. Defaulting. Another way to influence user behavior is by pre-selecting options or settings based on the choices users are most likely to make. Defaulting is convenient for the user, reduces confusion, and promotes desired behavior. You should always be transparent about your defaulting and regularly review and adjust the defaulted options and settings.

Examples of Behavioral Design

We have discussed human decision-making frameworks and behavior strategy classifications. We have also given you examples and strategies for the former. Now, it’s time to explore some real-life applications.

1. Duolingo. The Duolingo Language Learning app has mastered the art of gamification. It uses levels, badges, and rewards to encourage and engage users.

2. Adidas. The footwear giant has included a Creator Club feature in its app, which works with incentives. It turns money spent on Adidas shoes into points with the potential to unlock extra features and grant access to exclusive products and events.

3. Instagram. No one does social proofing quite like Instagram. Who doesn’t enjoy getting likes, comments, and sharing notifications from their Insta? Or seeing the most popular pics and reels, even if it means scrolling through some sponsored posts?

4. Amazon. Amazon is a nudging expert. The eCommerce platform uses default options, limited-time or deal-of-the-day tags, and low-stock warnings. All of these strategies help motivate user purchases.

5. Fitbit. Another champion at nudging and incentives, Fitbit, does a great job of rewarding users’ accomplishments. For example, once they’ve completed 10,000 steps, they get a reward for a well-done job.

Final Thoughts

There are countless tools to make your UX/UI Design the best. In this article, we’ve gone over the human decision-making frameworks you can use. We’ve also shared a few helpful behavior strategies that, as we saw in the examples, are known to work. We hope this article has given you the tools to drive user behavior through UX/UI Design!