Persuasive Design User Experience (UX) topic overview/definition


Persuasive Design: Concept Definition

Persuasive design is an area of design practice that focuses on influencing human behavior through a product’s or service’s characteristics. Based on psychological and social theories, persuasive design is often used in e-commerce, organizational management, and public health. However, designers also tend to use it in any field requiring a target group’s long-term engagement by encouraging continued custom.

Media technology, such as poster campaigns and television advertisements, has always played a significant role in influencing human intentions and behaviors. Since technology became interactive, its potential to influence behavior has increased immensely. In the 21st century, technology has the opportunity to adapt to the user’s input, needs, and context—a point which allows it to use the most appropriate social principle of persuasion (e.g., praise or reciprocation) in a specific situation. The advancing sophistication of resources available to designers means tailoring the user experience by weaving persuasive elements into it is achievable in increasingly discreet ways than were available in earlier years.

As psychological and social theories are often very broad and not adapted to design practice, the field of persuasive design is developing its own frameworks to support designers in making suitable design decisions. One of these frameworks, developed by B. J. Fogg, professor at Stanford University, is the Fogg Behavior Model (FBM). Fogg describes behavior as a product of three factors: motivation, ability, and triggers. According to the FBM, understanding these factors, along with designing products and services to optimize them, allows designers to achieve the desired behavior in users without resorting to negative tactics such as coercion or deception. Thus, the value of such frameworks lies in their ability to win customers and retain them without inviting risks of violating their trust or irritating them with Please-Don’t-Go pop-ups or Get-Back-To-Me tabs.

For your convenience, we’ve collected all UX literature that deals with Persuasive Design. Here’s the full list: