PREYING ON HUMAN TRAITS
Psychological UX design is very important and not talked about often enough. I have low tolerance for sneaky/trying to game the system UX/UI.
Yesterday, I decided to give Seamless another chance and I quickly remembered why those $10 OFF coupons are BS. Not only that, but their UX/UI is designed based on different human traits and weaknesses:
- Laziness: If they make it challenging enough to find how to delete an item from your cart, most people will just keep that item and pay for it. So they purposefully make it not user-friendly so people say “Oh fine I’ll have those fried chicken wings – it’s Saturday night, it’s been a long week…I deserve it…” (This is also a dirty little secret for subscription services – people are lazy to cancel their memberships)
- Indecisiveness: Food is a consumer good that’s not only a basic, but most of the times based on the limited time span of a craving. Going back my prior point, but also when I tried to modify my order I ended up with two pad thais in my cart. That is definitely not something I want. And when I can’t delete that second repeated item – that’s when you lose the customer.
- Trust: At checkout, their delivery fee, taxes, etc make that $10 coupon a total marketing scam. So, that’s when I go back to my entrepreneurship motto of supporting other microentrepreneurs and decide to give that % of the sale to the restaurant owner and call them up and order directly with them rather than give that sales percentage to the Seamless platform.
It obviously works and some people don’t mind it and that is why they are still in business, but also happens to be the case that that is why there are many competitors in the space that are equally as strong – because none of them are doing an amazing job at fulfilling user needs with a delightful user experience.
Using design as a tool for end user manipulation is not ethical and as Carlos Han says, “Designers need to be cautious with how they want to influence emotions,” read more here.
Be empathetic with your customers.
Unethical Persuasive Design
Behind the screens of the games we play and digital communities we interact with are psychologists and other behavioral science experts, who are hired to create products that we want to use more and more. Big tech now employs mental health experts to use persuasive technology, a new field of research that looks at how computers can change the way humans think and act. This technique, also known as persuasive design, is built into thousands of games and apps, and companies like Twitter, Facebook, Snapchat, Amazon, Apple, and Microsoft rely on it to encourage specific human behavior starting from a very young age.While defenders of persuasive tech will say it can have positive effects, like training people to take medicine on time or develop weight loss habits, Chavie Lieberreports in Vox that some health professionals believe children’s behaviors are being exploited in the name of the tech world’s profit. On Wednesday, a letter signed by 50 psychologists was sent to the American Psychological Association accusing psychologists working at tech companies of using “hidden manipulation techniques” and asks the APA to take an ethical stand on behalf of kids. (Credits: Experientia ) Learn more here
Photo Credits: Unsplash, Seamless