Social Proof User Experience (UX) topic overview/definition
Social Proof: Concept Definition
Social proof (sometimes referred to as “informational social influence”) refers to the tendency of human beings to follow the actions of others when making decisions, placing weight on these actions to assume “the correct decision.” Social proof can be used to deliver credibility to prospective users and promote adoption or acceptance in the design of products and services.
The understanding that people are influenced by other people’s actions is well established and has seen extensive, profitable use in human history. It has led to the incorporation of social proof in the user experience of many websites and applications and in the real world. While the implementation of social proof remains ubiquitous—visible, for example, at the level of seating restaurant patrons by windows—perhaps the most famous examples are the star ratings on Amazon and eBay, and the reviews of products and sellers on these sites. Highly rated and highly recommended products (and sellers) are more likely to be successful than those with poor or no ratings.
Social proof is used for two reasons in user experience design:
- To deliver credibility. If other people find a source useful or credible, we are more likely to believe that source may useful or credible for ourselves.
- To promote adoption and/or acceptance. Volumes of people subscribing to a Facebook page or Twitter feed can encourage others to do the same. Seeing large numbers of people doing something is a psychological indicator to people that they should do the same thing.
Timeless, the power of social proof is undeniable. However, designers must consider the implications it involves. For example, while an organization’s Facebook page may show 10,000 likes, the power of social proof will only be evident if a high rate of engagement with those who like the page is evident.
For your convenience, we’ve collected all UX literature that deals with Social Proof. Here’s the full list:
The Process of Persuasion — How to Make a Casual Browser an Intrigued User
Persuasion is a powerful force that changes the attitudes and behaviors of others. It’s all about influence and manifests itself in many aspects of everyday life. People can persuade themselves, too. Persuasion’s most direct portrayals may show up in such places as courtrooms, political debates, and car showrooms, but many trades rely on persuas...
Making Use of the Crowd – Social Proof and the User Experience
Social proof (sometimes referred to as informational social influence) is a psychological concept. It refers to the tendency of human beings to follow the actions of others when making decisions and placing weight on those actions to assume “the correct decision”. It’s a concept that can be used in product design for the Internet and mobile web ...
The Seven Simple Principles of Conversion Centred Design (CCD) and How to Use Them
Oli Gardner – the Creative Director of Unbounce (a landing page builder for marketers), is an advocate of CCD. He says that deploying CCD makes each page you create on a website a piece of “accountable content”. In that you can measure the impact, purpose and success of each page as that page plays a part in converting visitors into customers.De...