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The key to more conversions? UX and psychology – A N I T H
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The key to more conversions? UX and psychology

The key to more conversions? UX and psychology


Do you always wonder why users do not interact with your product the way you hope? It actually all boils down to understanding the reasons behind what drives users to exercise certain behaviors. Armed with this knowledge, you can create products with a more compelling digital experience and increase conversions.

In the last of our featured speaker interview series, PALO-IT’s Head of Research, Deborah Ko, explains how you can decode user behaviour, highlighting the latest UX trends to keep an eye out for, and takeaways for her talk at Tech in Asia Singapore 2017!

How does understanding user psychology help with solving UX challenges?

User experience is all about how users perceive and engage with your products and services. Psychology is about understanding people’s innermost desires, motivations, and fears. It highlights the influence that the context brings to people’s perceptions and judgments. Therefore, UX inherently should have an element of psychology to it.

For example, while people perceive themselves to like having more choices, in reality, they actually hate it. Research has shown that purchase rates increase when fewer choices are presented. This is one example that demonstrates the importance of understanding the motivations and behaviours of consumers. Many designers are guilty of following “best practices” from writers and gurus without understanding the underlying reasons behind them. Knowing the reasons gives you the freedom to apply the rules or break them appropriately given the context. Simply put, psychology makes you design smarter.

Any tips to decode user behaviour? Have you come across any interesting case studies?

Usually, when decoding someone’s behavior, we should take a few factors into account. Let’s take this scenario for an example – seeing someone walk an old lady down the street. We should consider the following factors:

  • What is the context in which they are doing that behavior?
  • What are his past helping behaviors?
  • What are his beliefs about being a good person?
  • What are his motivations for helping her?
  • What are some emotions he might be feeling when doing this?

All of these questions provide information about behaviors. In this digital age, we can refer to repeat visitors to understand past behaviors and conduct A/B testing to understand contexts. Delving deeper, measures like interview responses or biofeedback may be needed to understand beliefs, motivations and emotions. In reality, we can’t decode behavior using just one measure; it is imperative to look at all influences holistically to make judgments.

One powerful example of using psychology to understand user behavior is a case study by Motista. A retailer’s user base was surveyed on basic psychological motivators, and it was found that there was a specific type of user with high purchase rates – those who value excitement, are motivated to be socially accepted, and view purchases as a form of self-expression. This aptly-labelled group, named “Fashion Flourishers”, spend almost twice as much as the average customer and are more likely to be advocates. With the results of this study, to drive sales, they developed a shopping application with features that enhanced the feelings of freedom, thrills, and belonging to further engage Flourishers on a deeper level.

Any UX tips for startups to drive more conversions?

There are two crucial factors. Firstly, understand what motivates your user. Designing without a clear understanding of your target audience is akin to shooting in the dark. It is important to ask yourself what keeps your users up at night, what their frustrations are, and what things bring them joy.

Secondly, understand how their motivations and needs would change throughout the journey. Our designs need to influence micro-conversions – the small conversions that get customers from one step to another on the journey that leads people to purchase and ultimately leads to loyalty.

Which UX trends are you excited about this year?

I am very excited about VR and AR for the unique challenges and opportunities it brings to design and UX! How can experience be constructed in these environments with the knowledge of human perception and cognitive processing of spatial information? How will we facilitate seamless interactions? It definitely is an exciting time ahead!

For instance, with Facebook Spaces, they have created a novel way for people to meet together and share environments together. Facial expressions are even registered!

Here are the ways which psychology comes into play:

  • Communication: How do we communicate through visual cues and how does that work in VR?
  • Usability: How do we use gestures in intuitive ways and create visual interfaces within these environments so they are easy to use? What kind of feedback can help users explore or interact with their environments in nonintrusive ways?
  • Group dynamics: How can we use this medium to improve teamwork and collaboration?
  • Emotional responses: How do we provide emotional and experiential environments to our users through this medium? What elements can enhance this?

And lastly, what can we look forward to during your talk at Tech in Asia Singapore 2017?

This is the situation these days – customer expectations are super high, customer loyalty is low, and the digital age is changing our abilities to connect with our customers. Designing services and products that speak to them on a deeper level is the hook that gets users to use and love your products and services.

At the conference, I will be talking about how psychology is improving the user experience, and how we can understand users better by incorporating psychological measures. We will visit case studies and stories to demonstrate the potential and power of conducting a smarter type of user research.


Deborah has outlined a few useful concepts here to get you started. But for more in-depth psychological insights behind successful customer conversion, along with the latest UX best practices, her keynote happening on May 17 at Tech in Asia Singapore 2017’s Developer & Product Stage is a can’t-miss!

Conference passes start at USD297 (before discount), and you have one last day left to grab them at 10 percent off. To secure this discount, remember to use this code: tiasg10 at checkout before tomorrow, May 5, 11:59PM (GMT +8).

This post The key to more conversions? UX and psychology appeared first on Tech in Asia.



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