As I’m scrolling through my email, I come across an email subject line that gets my attention: “Unusual Spending In Your Grocery Budget.” It’s a notification from Mint, an app I use to manage my personal finances and budgets. Without hesitation, I opened up the email to read the rest of the message. “You have spent X amount of money within the last 30 days. You normally spend X…”. While I’m not shocked that I’m over budget this month, I still feel that glimmer of disappointment and guilt in myself.
The case for persuasive technology
But…wait a minute…this is a piece of software that’s reminding me of my budget. How am I letting an app dictate my emotions? Behavior change researcher Dr. BJ Fogg coined the term “persuasive technology” and even wrote a book 15 years ago that basically predicted how computers would become a more permanent fixture in our day-to-day actions. Persuasive technology is broadly defined as “technology that is designed to change attitudes or behaviors of the users through persuasion and social influence, but not necessarily through coercion.” As humans, we understand and retain experiences in the physical realm based on a series of verbal and non-verbal behaviors, like visuals. And guess what? The digital world is no different. In digital marketing, visual cues are attributed to assets like web pages, banner ads, text messages, etc. that users interact with. However, when looked at through the lens of digital experience optimization, they can stitch together interactions that go far beyond an ad click.
Through due diligence of understanding, discovery, and create/test/refine models, a behavioral design approach can help organizations become true user-centric innovators in whatever space they inhabit.
Behavioral Design should be a core component of almost all disciplines that interact with technology. To quote author Samuel Salzer from his recent Medium post “Behavioral Design: 2020 and Beyond”:
“The world is also yearning for more products and services that understands and empowers the end-user, as evidenced by the continuously growing self-development, -hacking and -growth movements. This is an exciting space where behavioral design could certainly play an important part.”
Digital experience optimization certainly embodies this framework through the close examination of user interactions while keeping in mind desired business goals or outcomes. Through due diligence of understanding, discovery, and create/test/refine models, this approach can help organizations become true user-centric innovators in whatever space they inhabit.
Handling consumer data responsibly
However, in that same vein, organizations do have a responsibility to their consumers as these digital experiences begin to lean more into user data. In my next article, we’ll discuss some ways and theories on how organizations can become more “digitally responsible” during the proliferation of first-party data needs.
Interested in learning how to use these techniques in creating an optimal digital experience for your customers? Get in touch with us to find out how your organization can level up in behavioral design.