SpoolCast: Stephen Anderson’s Designing Seductive Business Apps: Live!

Brian Christiansen

May 19th, 2010

Duration: 16m | 9 MB
Recorded: April, 2010
Brian Christiansen, UIE Podcast Producer
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It’s becoming common to see behavioral cues in everyday web applications. Designers are looking to encourage certain actions, and are turning to the principles of behavioral psychology to achieve their goals. No longer solely the domain of social and gaming apps, you can leverage many of these in your daily work.

Stephen Anderson is the first person we think of when it comes to these kinds of interactions. Stephen is an independent consultant and creator of the Mental Notes, a set of reference cards with design insights from the world of psychology.

Stephen is one of the most popular speakers at the Web App Masters Tour and we want to share a sample of his talk, Designing Seductive Business Apps. In this portion of his talk, he presents three concepts: Scarcity, Set Completion and the Feedback Loop.

[ Download the complete set of this section’s slides and follow along. (6MB PDF) ]

Describes the principle of Scarcity.


Scarcity is a concept we’re all familiar with. When something desirable is rare—like gold—the more valuable it is. When someone is considering the purchase of something, its availability is an important factor in the decision.

Describes the Principle of Set Completion

Set Completion

Set Completion is something we see all around us. When was the last time you saw a fast food ad where the restaurant was offering a give away? Collectible glasses and kids meal toys are two common ones. Usually there are several different version of the giveaway, and you’re encouraged to “Collect all five!” The closer we are to having a full set, the stronger the urge to complete the set.

Describes the Principle of the Feedback Loop.

The Feedback Loop

The Feedback Loop is essentially “cause and effect.” When we see our actions have an immediate effect on a situation, we are likely to become engaged. Have you ever walked in front of a TV display at a retail store and noticed you were on the TV? It probably stopped you in your tracks. In web apps, the more immediate the effects of our actions are seen, the more engaging the interaction can be.

One Response to “SpoolCast: Stephen Anderson’s Designing Seductive Business Apps: Live!”

  1. The psych behind seductive apps (UIESpoolcast) « Bitratchet Says:

    […] one last Lego toy? Why do you hypermile? Why do you collect more and more twitter followers? Ah: set completion, feedback and scarcity are at play. […]

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