BJ Fogg’s Behavior Model can help product managers, designers, software developers, marketers, or anyone, understand how to encourage users to perform the behaviors they are trying to cultivate.
Fogg, founder of the Persuasive Technology Lab at Stanford University, points to three fundamental conditions that must coexist in order to elicit desired behaviors from users: the users must be motivated, they must have the ability to perform the behavior, and there must be a well-placed trigger that converts potential action to kinetic interaction. In the best mobile app UX designs, all three conditions are present.
Fogg's Behavioral Model lists 15 behaviors, each based on a combination of those three factors. The premise is that, given an appropriate trigger, a user will engage in a behavior she considers easy in spite of low motivation. And even when a user's ability to perform a behavior is weaker, the right trigger can still motivate him to follow through.
Think of the people motivated to wade through inane questions in order to post the answer on their Facebook wall to “Which Unsung Post-Apocalyptic Feminist Icon from the 80s Are You?” That's the power of the trigger.
Users get frustrated when prompted to do something too difficult for them. And they are just plain annoyed by being encouraged to do something they aren't motivated to do. UX designers can break through this resistance, not by addressing motivation, but by making tasks easier.
The takeaways for mobile app UX design are:
- Make behaviors in a mobile app easier for users to perform.
- Use intrinsic and extrinsic incentives to amplify the motivation for doing the behavior.
- Increase the number of triggers that lead to the desired behavior.