INSIGHTS FROM FIELDS SUCH AS BEHAVIORAL ECONOMICS AND COGNITIVE PSYCHOLOGY CAN HELP DESIGNERS BUILD BETTER PRODUCTS.
WRITTEN BY Nikki Pfarr
In the design world, the term “persuasive design” tends to be met with a mix of intrigue, skepticism, and occasionally repugnance. (Doesn’t persuasion imply that we’re forcing people to do things they typically wouldn’t want to do?) And yes, it’s true that persuasive design, like many tools, can be used for good or for evil.
But the reality is, regardless of whether we label a piece of work as “persuasive design” or not, most of the things we design–from toothbrushes to tablets to road signs–are influencing people’s decisions and behaviors in some way. We may not intend it to happen, and we may not be aware of it, but it’s happening.