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Persuasive Design

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Beyond Usability: Designing Web Sites for Persuasion, Emotion, and Trust

The next wave in Web site design is persuasive design, designing for persuasion, emotion, and trust. While usability is still a fundamental requirement for effective Web site design, it is no longer enough to design sites that are simply easy to navigate and understand so users can complete transactions. As business mandates for Web site design have grown more strategic, complex, and demanding of accountability, good usability has become the price of competitive entry. So, while usability is important, it is no longer the key differentiator it once was.

Schaffer, Eric M. UXmatters (2009). Articles>Web Design>Emotions>Persuasive Design


Close the Sale With Persuasive Design

Persuasive design techniques focus on "getting the lead" or "closing the sale". Here are some techniques to help you do just that.

TechRepublic (2007). Articles>Web Design>Persuasive Design>E Commerce


Design for Persuasion

Five proven techniques for powerful and effective marketing design.

Blum, Sandra J. Dynamic Graphics (2005). Articles>Graphic Design>Marketing>Persuasive Design


Design With Intent

Persuasion design embeds various forms of influence and “choice architectures” in products and services to maximize the likelihood of positive behavior change. The challenge for many product designers is that persuasion design can seem full of tricks that diminish the integrity of the designer. But this approach focuses on direct outcomes, not implicit goals as is so often the case with the UCD approach.

Fabricant, Robert. Design Mind (2009). Articles>User Centered Design>Persuasive Design


The Elements of Computer Credibility   (PDF)   (peer-reviewed)

To enhance knowledge about computers and credibility, we define key terms relating to computer credibility, synthesize the literature in this domain, and propose three new conceptual frameworks for better understanding the elements of computer credibility. To promote further research, we then offer two perspectives on what computer users evaluate when assessing credibility. We conclude by presenting a set of credibility-related terms that can serve in future research and evaluation endeavors.

Fogg, B.J. and Hsiang Tseng. Stanford University (1999). Articles>Web Design>Persuasive Design


The Ethics of Computers that Persuade  (link broken)

Ethics is an important perspective from which to view computers as persuasive technologies. Adopting an ethical perspective on this domain is vital because the topic of computers and the topic of persuasion both raise important issues about ethics and values.

Fogg, B.J. Stanford University (1998). Articles>Technology>Persuasive Design>Ethics


The Five Issues that Persuade Visitors

Whenever visitors land on your web site, they consciously or subconsciously deal with five issues until they're satisfied, or better yet, delighted. These five issues will either induce the visitor to take the action you want them to take, or a lack of satisfaction may push them to find a competitor. None of these five issues is easy to measure. None has objective factors that are easily influenced. But all are nonetheless key to converting visitors.

Eisenberg, Bryan. ClickZ (2004). Articles>Web Design>User Centered Design>Persuasive Design


Guiding Users with Persuasive Design: An Interview with Andrew Chak

An easy way to define persuasive web design is to contrast it with usable design. Usability focuses on giving users the ability to complete a transaction if they so desire. A usable site makes it easy for users to complete transactions, from buying products to convincing users to read featured articles. Unfortunately, having a usable web site is not always enough to convince users to transact. Even if a user can complete a transaction on your site, doesn't mean that they will transact. To be successful, sites must go beyond Usability by focusing on Persuasive Design.

Perfetti, Christine and Andrew Chak. User Interface Engineering (2003). Articles>Interviews>Usability>Persuasive Design


Influencing Strategy by Design: Design Skills

Many design organizations seek to impact strategic decision-making by learning how to speak the language of business. But until they master these new skills, they are likely to be the least qualified people to discuss business strategy at the corporate decision-making table. Yet no one else at the table besides the design team has a complete set of design skills.

Wroblewski, Luke. Functioning Form (2008). Articles>Web Design>Collaboration>Persuasive Design


Institutional Web Sites and Legislation

The issue of accessible Web sites and legal arguments for providing them has seen much debate over the past eighteen months. In many countries across the world, anti-disability discrimination legislation has provided the acorn of an argument that service providers should provide their Web presence in a form that is accessible to the disabled community. However, like the World Wide Web Consortium’s Web Accessibility Initiative (WAI), and its associated guidelines, the providers, and indeed the designers, of the majority of Web sites have by and large ignored these arguments. However, following a recent case in Australia, there is now a very persuasive legal argument for including Web accessibility in the scope of anti-disability legislation in the UK. It is the purpose of this article to review these arguments, consider their consequences for the Web sites of Higher and Further educational institutions and, finally, to consider how the recent Special Educational Needs and Disability Act 2001 might extend these duties further.

Sloan, Martin. TechDis (2002). Design>Web Design>Accessibility>Persuasive Design


An Introduction to Persuasive Design  (link broken)

Many users are highly motivated to complete tasks before they begin and before any external motivation is provided. In other words, usability can easily be an umbrella that covers persuasion.

Rhodes, John S. WebWord (2008). Articles>Web Design>Usability>Persuasive Design


New Media Rhetorics in the Attention Economy   (peer-reviewed)

This interactive article presents results of a study examining two questions: (1) What are the material contexts in which students will need to learn critical and functional literacies of multimedia technology? and (2) What general principles of practice from emerging multimodal composing tools can be brought into the classroom to teach the effective creation of multimodal texts? Camtasia captures of student Flash essays and commercial web sites are used to discuss the shape of a functional multimedia literacy.

Ellertson, Anthony. Computers and Composition Online (2009). Articles>Multimedia>Persuasive Design>Rhetoric


Persuading People via Computer-Based Narratives  (link broken)   (PDF)

Computer technology opens new doors for researching, creating, and distributing WIN (interactivity and narrative) experiences. Increased insight in this area could create a potential to change people’s attitudes and behaviors in ways never before possible. For example, in researching WIN experiences, our online system can now test stories to identify which stories have an impact on specific types of people. Alternately in creating WIN experiences, a computer could glean information from an interaction in order to select a specific story from a large database of proven stories. From a distribution standpoint, WIN experiences could be delivered through mobile handsets, increasing reach beyond the desktop. The potential for impact is significant. Computer-supported WIN experiences could lead to large-scale interventions to improve health, enhance learning and training, boost workplace performance, and motivate participation in civic life.

Fogg, B.J., Angela Booker and Abbe Don. Stanford University (2004). Articles>Human Computer Interaction>Workplace>Persuasive Design


Persuasion in Design

Persuasion in design is often regarded as a subset of UX, but it goes beyond UX and the mechanics of traditional usability. It’s about understanding the emotions that influence people’s behavior and decision-making, and then acting on that information to design compelling user interactions. Persuasive design applies psychological principles of influence, decision-making in a consumer context, engagement strategy, and social psychology to every stage of the design process, and it identifies potential barriers and emotional triggers to elicit the desired actions.

Del Galdo, Elisa. UX Magazine (2011). Articles>User Experience>Web Design>Persuasive Design


Persuasion In Technical Communication: Applying Constructivism To Proposal Writing  (link broken)   (PDF)

Constructivism is a cognitive theory stating that people construct understanding based on what they already know or understand and that more cognitively complex people can better take and understand others’ perspectives and hence, design more persuasive messages. As the key to proposal writing is persuasion, and the key to persuasion is understanding, applying this theory provides us a general strategy for all proposal writing: first, collect information to establish our own context-related constructs and interpretive schemes and to understand those of our reader; then, make all the writing decisions based on the understanding achieved.

Xu, Jing. STC Proceedings (1994). Careers>Business Communication>Proposals>Persuasive Design


Persuasion In Technical Communication: Applying Elaboration Likelihood Model To Marketing Brochures  (link broken)   (PDF)

The Elaboration Likelihood Model (ELM) is a cognitive theory offering insights into persuasion and attitude change that technical communicators can apply to persuasive documents. The two routes to persuasion that ELM postulates (central and peripheral) closely parallel and expand a concept with which many technical communicators are familiar: attention and attraction in document design. By applying ELM to writing and designing marketing brochures, writers can identify and address the many variables that influence the central and peripheral route persuasion processes and, thereby, create more persuasive, effective documents.

Shuffield, Cathy A. STC Proceedings (1994). Presentations>Rhetoric>TC>Persuasive Design


Persuasion Triggers in Web Design

How do you make decisions? If you’re like most people, you’ll probably answer that you pride yourself on weighing the pros and cons of a situation carefully and then make a decision based on logic. You know that other people have weak personalities and are easily swayed by their emotions, but this rarely happens to you. You’ve just experienced the fundamental attribution error — the tendency to believe that other people’s behaviour is due to their personality whereas our behaviour is due to external circumstances. biases like these play a significant role in the way we make decisions so it’s not surprising that people are now examining these biases to see how to exploit them in the design of web sites.

Travis, David. Smashing (2010). Articles>User Experience>Web Design>Persuasive Design


Persuasive Architecture: How to Get Your Visitors to Take Action

The best constructions out there do more than just arrange space so you can figure out where you can go; they are built to help you go where you need to go--as that is understood both by you and the architect--in a way that appeals and delights.

Grok (2002). Articles>Information Design>Persuasive Design


Persuasive Content

Kristina finds out what “persuasive content” means when Colleen Jones patiently explains it to her. Colleen is the author of “Clout: The Art and Science of Persuasive Content”, a founding principal of Content Science, a participant of the 2009 Content Strategy Consortium, and co-founder of one of the first Content Strategy Meetups in the world.

Halvorson, Kristina. Content Talks (2011). Articles>Interviews>Persuasive Design>Podcasts


Persuasive Design

The aim of the Persuasive Design group on LinkedIn is to connect people that are interested in Persuasive Design across both industry and academia. Once or twice a year mails are send about conferences or events that might be of interest to persuasive designers.

LinkedIn. Resources>Mailing Lists>Design>Persuasive Design


Persuasive Design and Usability: What Is Our Role as Usability Professionals?

Changing people's attitudes and behaviors for the good could help us to make this world a better place. And turning this world into a better one is one of the key drivers for most of the usability people I know. Most of them don't advocate usability for the money; they want to help make things and consequently life easier.

Zimmermann, Silvia. Usability Professionals Association (2007). Articles>Usability>Persuasive Design


Persuasive Design with Spencer Gerrol

Recently I attended a great presentation by Spencer Gerrol (Human Factors International) in Atlanta entitled “Beyond Usability: The Science of Persuasive Design”. Gerrol discussed how important it is to not only make our websites easy to use, but to make people want to use them. He then discussed 6 key principles we can use to persuade our customers as well as some important persuasion tactics to keep in mind. The presentation began with a brief discussion of the difference between usability and persuasion.

Martin, Lauren. Lauren Martin (2008). Articles>Interviews>Persuasive Design


Persuasive Design: Tapping the Main Line

We love stories, recognise patterns in fractions of a second and have a set of highly developed social behaviours. In "Persuasive Design" Mike will be running through a collection of these hard-wired influence points and exploring how they can be used in the design of products, interfaces and experiences.

Stenhouse, Mike. SlideShare (2008). Presentations>User Interface>Persuasive Design>Cognitive Psychology


Persuasive Navigation

Persuasive navigation is navigation that persuades a user to do something. That something can be anything that you want the user to do—buy a product, sign up for a newsletter, or download a game. By understanding user needs and matching them up with business goals, you can persuade users to go where you want them to go, making them happy at the same time.

Lash, Jeff. Digital Web Magazine (2002). Articles>Information Design>User Centered Design>Persuasive Design


The Persuasive Power of Design Elements on an E-Commerce Web Site   (peer-reviewed)   (members only)

There was $3 billion [USD] lost on the Web last year because of poor design—sites not realizing that if they just make it easier for the consumer to buy, they'll make more sales'. James Daly, editor-in-chief of Business 2.0, echoed a similar view: 'Design is the channel for bringing a new spirit into an online shop ... creative, customer-centric, humanizing design will ultimately distinguish the winners from the losers.' Because the computer interface is often the only contact the customer has with an online company, good Web design is undoubtedly key to a company's success.

Winn, Wendy and Kati Beck. Technical Communication Online (2002). Design>Web Design>E Commerce>Persuasive Design



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