Product Adoption

User Experience (UX) topic overview/definition

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What is Product Adoption?

The design process has an objective. It's not to create usable and useful products (though these are both important considerations when designing products), but rather to create products people use. Adoption is the process by which people become users of a product and it is adoption which will enable users to discover that a product is usable and useful and enable them to become long-term users of a product.

Literature on Product Adoption

Here’s the entire UX literature on Product Adoption by the Interaction Design Foundation, collated in one place:

Learn more about Product Adoption

Take a deep dive into Product Adoption with our course Get Your Product Used: Adoption and Appropriation.

Designing for user experience and usability is not enough. If products are not used—and it doesn’t matter how good they are—they will be consigned to the trash can of history.

Sony’s Betamax, Coca-Cola’s New Coke, Pepsi’s Crystal Pepsi, and McDonald’s Arch Deluxe are among the most famous products which made it into production but failed to wow their audiences, according to Business Insider. In fact, Harvard Business Review dedicated a long piece to “Why most product launches fail”—so it’s not just big brands that aren’t getting their design process right but a lot of businesses and individuals, too.

So, what is the way forward? Well, once you’re sure that the user experience and usability of your product work the way you want them to, you’ve got to get your designs adopted by users (i.e., they have to start using them). Ideally, you want them to appropriate your designs, too; you want the users to start using your designs in ways you didn’t intend or foresee. How do we get our designs adopted and appropriated? We design for adoption and appropriation.

This course is presented by Alan Dix, a former professor at Lancaster University in the UK and a world-renowned authority in Human-Computer Interaction. Alan is also the author the university-level textbook “Human-Computer Interaction.” It is a short course designed to help you master the concepts and practice of designing for adoption and appropriation. It contains all the basics to get you started on this path and the practical tips to implement the ideas. Alan blends theory and practice to ensure you get to grips with these essential design processes.

All literature

The Diffusion of Innovation – Strategies for Adoption of Products

The Diffusion of Innovation – Strategies for Adoption of Products

The diffusion of innovation is the process by which new products are adopted (or not) by their intended audiences. It allows designers and marketers to examine why it is that some inferior products are successful when some superior products are not.The idea of diffusion is not new; in fact it was originally examined by Gabriel Tarde, a French so...

  • 546 shares
  • 2 years ago
Emotional Drivers for User and Consumer Behavior

Emotional Drivers for User and Consumer Behavior

In his paper; “Conditional Reflexes” the scientist Ivan Pavlov proved that a dog could be conditioned to respond to a stimulus. He presented a dog with food and the dog began to salivate. He also rang a bell every time he presented the food. Eventually he could ring the bell and cause the dog to salivate without any food being present. The act o...

  • 328 shares
  • 1 year ago
Useful, Usable, and Used: Why They Matter to Designers

Useful, Usable, and Used: Why They Matter to Designers

Today, we’re going to take a look at three contexts of the concept of use: useful, usable and used. The first two terms, useful and usable, are bandied around a lot in terms of user experience and design while the third term, used, barely gets a mention. Yet, as we’ll come to see it may be the most important of the three terms to designers and b...

  • 309 shares
  • 3 weeks ago
How to Use the Product-Life Cycle

How to Use the Product-Life Cycle

The product life-cycle is an important tool for marketers, management and designers alike. It specifies four individual stages of a product’s life and offers guidance for developing strategies to make the best use of those stages and promote the overall success of the product in the marketplace.About the Product-Life CycleLinda Gorchels in her b...

  • 248 shares
  • 1 year ago
Appropriation and Design: A Tale of Two Concepts

Appropriation and Design: A Tale of Two Concepts

Appropriation is an unusual word for designers in that it has two very distinct meanings. Both are relevant to designers and both need careful consideration but for very different reasons.Appropriation is either: The use of pre-existing objects/images within a design or art with marginal amounts of transformation applies to them. Yet there is an...

  • 238 shares
  • 2 months ago
Social Systems and Their Role in Product Adoption

Social Systems and Their Role in Product Adoption

People don’t often make their decisions by themselves with no input from others. We turn to family, friends, media, opinion makers, colleagues, etc. to get their input. This is particularly true of decisions which may impact on our happiness to a great extent.Why does this matter in a design context? It matters because when we try to drive produ...

  • 425 shares
  • 2 years ago
Value Networks and Why They Matter

Value Networks and Why They Matter

We know, almost instinctively, that networks hold value. Human beings are by nature social creatures and our own social networks (not just those online) provide a framework for our behaviors and structure to our lives. Yet, the value of networks in business is often overlooked. Designers looking to drive adoption and appropriation of products, i...

  • 348 shares
  • 2 years ago
How to Achieve Critical Mass for a Product Launch

How to Achieve Critical Mass for a Product Launch

The concept of critical mass originates in physics; it refers to the volume of a nuclear product required to sustain a chain reaction in a nuclear explosion. However, critical mass in marketing requires a very different product – users – to ensure a “chain reaction” of sales.The idea of critical mass has been present in social sciences for a lon...

  • 325 shares
  • 10 months ago
Adoption and Design: How to Turn Prospects into Users

Adoption and Design: How to Turn Prospects into Users

It doesn’t matter how amazing a product is; if no-one is using it, then it hasn’t succeeded. Adoption is the process of prospective users becoming actual users of a product. It is adoption that is the objective of design; more so than user experience, usability, utility, etc. History is full of products that provided great user experiences which...

  • 222 shares
  • 3 weeks ago
Prospect Theory - The Economics of Design

Prospect Theory - The Economics of Design

Economists once assumed that every actor in an economic system would be rational. That people would calculate the value of what they had and what they could have in the future accurately and that they would make their decisions based on that calculation. Unfortunately, in practice this was rarely the case – in fact traditional economic models an...

  • 354 shares
  • 2 years ago
Managing the Path of Use

Managing the Path of Use

The path of use is simple and straightforward it begins with “no use” and ends in “use”. It was first described by Alan Dix, the HCI expert and University Professor, in his 2008 presentation to the University of Technology in Berlin.The purpose of the path of use is not to state the obvious; which if you give a couple of seconds thought to the i...

  • 227 shares
  • 1 year ago
The Dynamics of Use – Design Considerations

The Dynamics of Use – Design Considerations

The use of a product may be considered as a cycle. Before a user is aware of a product they exist outside of that cycle. Once they are aware of it, they may be considered as being in a state of “pre-use”. If awareness sparks interest they may begin to use the product. This may be a single event or it may be a repeated event over days, weeks, mon...

  • 400 shares
  • 1 year ago
Market Ecology and Product Adoption and Continued Use

Market Ecology and Product Adoption and Continued Use

Products do not exist in isolated universes by themselves. Just as creatures in a biological system are affected by the environment; products form part of a greater eco-system in which they are affected by their environments.Market ecology is the understanding that cultural, economic, political, social and technological environments impact on bo...

  • 409 shares
  • 1 year ago
The Lattice of Value and Product Adoption

The Lattice of Value and Product Adoption

Products must have value. It’s a key rule of design. If they don’t have value, people won’t buy them. It’s that simple. Designers have to eat and thus they must create products people will buy. There are many ways to create value; value can be both quantitative (e.g. a product provides $100 of benefits) or qualitative (e.g. a product makes me fe...

  • 380 shares
  • 2 years ago