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Behavioural design

Have you ever wondered why you always seem to add that extra side when ordering food online? Or how your total seems to increase only after you pay for delivery? The behavioural design of websites could be ‘helping’ you say yes to adding that pair of jeans into your basket.

Behavioural design is about influencing and changing the behaviour of your customers, so they make better decisions, it incorporates how people think and how this influences their decision making. Humans are mostly linear thinkers, we complete tasks the way we have always done them out of convenience.

So what exactly do they do?

Behavioural Designers first look at the user’s journey, to see what obstacles individuals face when getting to their desired place, how they navigate there, and ultimately why they make the choices they do. They then get creative, designing many different pathways that fit to the needs of their website. After this, they test the designs that tick the most boxes with the consumer – this way they can see what works and what doesn’t.

Analysing your website with the lens of a behavioural designer can help you gain a better understanding into why people do what they do. When you understand that, you can create more effective solutions to problems you or your customers may be facing. Finally, you can create better sample work-flows as you will understand the behaviours you want to encourage and those you want to discourage.

Why is behavioural design important?

There are many different types of behavioural design, but we will focus on some that have helped our Behavioural Data Analyst Ethan McQuaid with our client ScoRSa and their website.

Reinforced learning can help to influence a behaviour through rewards, such as asking people to sign up to your newsletter for 10% off their next order. Cues, that help with reinforced learning are usually in the form of the CAR method, helps people to perform the action you want for the reward, which can be internal or external. CAR stands for cue, action, reward. In this example the cue would be the button, the action is the customer clicking on the button, and the reward could be a code for some % off the products on the website.

Another important behavioural design feature that most people don’t utilise is ambient communication. This ensures that the colour, size, position, anything that isn’t verbal, communicates where your customer should be looking and clicking.

However, there is a dark side to behavioural design. Sometimes, you can be tricked into sharing more information about yourself publically, such as when you get a store card and their fine print allows your information to be sold on by them. So if you’ve ever received a marketing email you didn’t sign up for, you’ve been a victim of privacy zuckering.

Or have you ever seen a bargain on a website, then when you go to check out, your basket is double the price because of delivery charges, and care charges, and other charges that were not included when you saw the item? This behavioural design is called hidden charges – and hopes you will be too fatigued by the journey to stop the purchase.

Behavioural design is a simple concept that can completely change the way your customers interact with your website. So, the next time you’re ordering online and that extra side dish seems more tasty when it pops up just before you pay, ask yourself: do I want this, or does the Behavioural Designer think I want this?

If you would like a Behavioural Designer to look over your website, click here to get in touch with Lynn.

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