How to Transform Your Wobbly User Journey into an Exciting and Smooth Waterslide

Design | Development - 22nd September 2019
By Marek Hasa

“Your user journey is like a box of chocolates. You never know where you’re gonna get,” said Forrest. Well, not quite. But if this adjusted quote applies to your digital product even in the slightest, you should seriously consider reading this article and getting inspired by the powerful synergy of smart UX design and behavioural science. Let’s talk about Friction and Motivation, the key factors determining your conversion rates.

Even if your designers had the best intentions, the route from a landing page to the desired action and conversion might have turned out a bit too wobbly or confusing. And that’s alright. Building a successful digital product is often a rather long run. But here’s a little shortcut tip for your – try applying behavioural science to the two aforementioned factors. After all, they are both present in many prominent behavioural science models such as the B-MAT (behaviour, motivation, ability, trigger) model by BJ Fogg or COM-B (capability, opportunity, motivation, behaviour) model by Susan Michie.

Let’s start with Friction. This factor encapsulates all the decision-making- and navigation-related struggles your users are facing on the web or in the mobile app. Every good UX designer knows how to make proper use of personas and user journey mapping. However, if you want your digital product to really excel, you should aim to dig deeper. Our app development agency in London carefully assesses the relevant abilities of each persona and focuses on lowering the barriers at each step of the user journey. This psychology-driven approach allows us to replace Friction with Fluency – offering users a magnificently smooth and convenient ride through a website or app instead of confusion, cognitive and choice overload, indistinctive CTAs and other frequent UX sins.

Nevertheless, only lubricating your bike chain will not do the trick – you need to pedal too (sorry for the weak metaphore, this article was written in the Netherlands and cycling is all we have on our minds all day here). After making your user journey fluent enough, the next step is to ignite the engine of your users’ actions. Behavioural science is a marvellous field for precise mapping of different types and sources of Motivation. It helps us to differentiate between short- and long- term motivations, as well as between extrinsic (aiming for an outcome of a behaviour) and intrinsic (the behaviour itself is the fuel) motivations. We apply insights from behavioural economics to understand the specific user decision-making processes our web triggers and make heuristics work in our favour.

The fascinating world of heuristics and cognitive biases offers a great source of learnings for UX designers who want to take their game to another level.

Even if your user journeys are far from fitting the intro quote of this article, your numbers can always get better. Are you curious about how rewards, framing, social norms, feedback loops or loss aversion can be of help? We’ll zoom in on specific behavioural effects and their applications in UX design in follow-up articles. Stay tuned!

Written by
Marek Hasa
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