Improve Product Design with Behavioral Science and Octalysis

Improve Product Design with Behavioral Science and Octalysis

Behavioral science design

At the heart of user experience design lies the discipline of behavioral science, which draws from various fields, including psychology, anthropology, and psychobiology. This knowledge helps us understand how people think, make decisions, and behave, which in turn informs the design of better products and services. Here, we will explore five behavioral science insights that can help you create more successful designs, using the Octalysis Framework and its decade-long track record for high user engagement with science-backed design.


What is Behavioral Science and Behavioral Design?

Behavioral science studies the cognitive processes of organisms, animals, or humans. It uses observation, scientific experimentation, and mathematical modeling to draw conclusions on how and why people or animals behave. Behavioral science encompasses psychology, anthropology, psychobiology, and more. Behavioral design, on the other hand, combines design, technology, and psychology (behavioral science) and applies it to the design process. To practice behavioral design, we must understand how people think, how and why they make decisions, and how to influence them to inform the design of products and services.


Engage the Pre-Attention Area of the Brain to Create Eye-Catching Products

The pre-attention area of the brain is the part that grabs attention – it’s known as the visual cortex. It can be extremely useful in product design, especially if one of your main objectives is to catch a user’s attention. There are four areas of the visual cortex (V1, V2, V3, and V4), and each one has a particular sensitivity. Color, angle, size, and movement are the visual attributes that are most effective in capturing attention. However, it’s essential to note that using all of these at once will not be as effective as using only one or two simultaneously.


Reach Your Target Audience with Mental Models

Mental models refer to the thought processes that people use to understand and navigate the world around them. As we learn something new, we create new neuron connections. However, from childhood through to adulthood, our brain prunes some of these connections. It’s a natural process that’s necessary for brain development. But it’s for this reason that learning a language is more difficult later on in life. This same pruning happens when we use and experience different technologies. The technology that we use as a pre-teen or adolescent sets our mental models for the rest of our lives. Therefore, to ensure the success of your product, you need to be aware of the mental models of the generation you are targeting and let them inform your design.


The Science of Decision-Making Affects the Success of Your Products

Research shows that decision-making is an unconscious process. Even conscious decisions, where we apply our logic, have an unconscious component. Emotions and feelings influence decisions, not just logic and reasoning. Emotions are so important that without them, we can’t make any decisions. It’s also worth noting that confidence plays a vital role in decision-making. The more confident we feel in a decision, the more likely we are to make it. This is where behavioral design comes in – it helps make an emotional connection with the target audience, which in turn triggers action and decision-making.


Change Behavior with Partitions and Groupings

Partitions and groupings are powerful tools in changing behavior. By partitioning or grouping a large task into smaller, manageable tasks, we can motivate people to complete the task. For instance, instead of presenting a user with a large form to fill out, divide it into smaller parts or steps. This will make it seem more achievable and will motivate them to complete the task.


Reduce Cognitive Load to Improve User Experience

Cognitive load refers to the amount of mental effort required to do a desired action in an experience. The lower the cognitive load the higher the motivation and long-term engagement you create. By simplifying user interfaces and streamlining the flow of information, you can reduce cognitive load and improve overall user experience. The key is to present information and options in an easily digestible format that doesn’t overwhelm users and supports their decision-making process.


Use Feedback and Social Proof to Improve Your Products

Humans are social animals, and we are always looking for confirmation from others that we are making the right decisions. This is where social proof comes in, and it is a powerful tool in product design. It involves the use of other people’s experiences to guide our decision-making, such as reviews, ratings, and recommendations. Social proof can increase our trust in a product or service, and it can also help us to avoid making poor choices. In addition to social proof, user feedback can also be a valuable tool in product design. It allows you to understand your users’ needs, preferences, and pain points, and use this information to improve your products. Feedback can be collected through surveys, user testing, and analytics.


The Octalysis Framework: A Comprehensive Approach to Behavioral Design

The Octalysis Framework, developed by Yu-kai Chou, is a powerful tool for integrating behavioral science into your product design process. With a focus on gamification and a proven track record of success, it provides a comprehensive approach to understanding and influencing user behavior. By applying the principles of this framework, you can create products that not only meet user needs but also drive engagement, loyalty, and long-term success.

Incorporating behavioral science into your product design can have a significant impact on the success of your products. By understanding how people think, make decisions, and behave, you can create products that meet their needs and desires. The five behavioral science insights discussed in this article, along with the Octalysis Framework, can help you create eye-catching products, reach your target audience, make better decisions, change behavior, and use feedback and social proof to improve your products. By following these guidelines, you can design products that are not only functional but also engaging, intuitive, and enjoyable to use.

If you would like to know how The Octalysis Group can help your business create highly engaging behavioral design, contact us here.


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