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Editor's note: Nir Eyal is the founder of two start-up companies and is a consultant to several businesses and incubators in the San Francisco area. He is also a lecturer at Stanford University Business School (Stanford graduate parochial of Business) and has a strong understanding of the interdisciplinary fields of psychology, technology and business.
Tencent Science and technology piano Island
Create products should be as simple and easy to use, this is the science and technology circle to follow the same principle. The rise of Design thinking (as illustrated by the case of the iphone as a design win) starts to make people feel that developing a nice interface is a sign of good design. However, as with all attempts to establish absolute rules for the interaction of human science and technology, the principle that design should reduce the user's workload is not absolutely correct. In fact, it is a key factor to create a product that is deeply loved by users and to involve users in it.
Many studies have shown that the effort to work on a task seems to inspire our commitment. For example, when buying Lotto, players will have two choices, one is to choose a group of numbers, the other is to randomly select a group of numbers. To be sure, both options have no effect on raising the winning rate. Traditional thinking predicts that users tend to be more relaxed in a way that doesn't take much effort.
But that is not the case. Although it takes a lot more effort to choose a lotto number (the process is like filling out the S.A.T), we find that the user's input is higher. Users here are not just influenced by their perception of luck. According to Ellen Langler's classic case study, even when players are explicitly informed of their chances of winning, they tend to be more time-consuming to pick their own numbers.
All of these cases can be explained by the term input escalation (escalations of commitment), which means that even if the mind has already understood that the decision is wrong, it will invest more energy and bury more investment costs. It will make the human brain tend to interesting things. For example, many people die because they are addicted to video games, and many people love to do it because of this principle; The sense of engagement is far-reaching, and it has a big impact on how we do things, what we buy, and what we perceive about ourselves.
I have done research on custom-formed technology products (habit-forming product), where the last step in "desire-driven" should be user input. When a user is motivated to generate action, and get timely feedback, it will spontaneously enter the user input phase, that is, start to join the product. In this case, users usually make value feedback to the system in the form of contributing time, money, physical strength, social capital or personal data.
As with any other feedback loop, signal, action, and reward feedback loops are reflected in a series of behaviors. Whenever users want to get feedback, they do some specific action. For example, what is the reason for you to read this article? You may feel a bit bored and want to look for some interesting reading content. You get a boring signal and you have the action to read the article now, and you want to get some feedback.
However, this is somewhat different from the mechanism by which the product attracts users. The human brain has a unique system that allows us to constantly seek feedback, and the brain slowly adapts to new things. Slowly, something that looks new and interesting before it becomes commonplace and boring. In order to provide continuous fresh stimulation to the brain, products should be constantly upgraded to attract users to reuse. Therefore, the user's input phase is critical.
With the expectation of the future feedback, the user's contribution to the product and the action of the standardized feedback loop are different, the input involved is the user's expectation of the future feedback, rather than the timely satisfaction. With a little effort, users are more likely to continue using the product in the future. Twitter, for example, is focused on the specific form of user input. When users are stimulated by something new and interesting, they begin to engage in action--focusing on some new and interesting users. Of course, the attention will not be timely feedback and satisfaction, but this will make this service more valuable, the next time users will be more likely to patronize.
LinkedIn is another example of how important it is to get users involved in the web's contribution to the success of a product. As the company's early senior product manager, Choshi Elman, said, "If we can get users to contribute a little bit of information, they will be much more likely to come again." We ask users to enter their current job title when they sign up, and that will entice them to come back again. "Some of the user's contribution to information and the system can provide users with the work of information to attract users to visit."
Consider attracting user input as a strategy
There is an intrinsic trigger in the theory of habit formation, which makes people eager to use products and form spontaneous movements. Whenever a particular emotion or situation is triggered, users will spontaneously use the service. Putting it here is like a line that pulls the user back. The goal is to allow users to form spontaneous unconscious return visit habits. To this end, the development of products based on custom formation technology can add value to the product. Value will be added to the system in two ways.
Each time a user enters data, it creates a storage value. Evernote, Salesforce and Pandora's product case, while not involving the user's strong desire to use, they give users a habit of putting a bit of work into the community. Habit refers to the behavior in the absence of consciousness or a little consciousness, and it seems that these products also satisfy the concepts discussed here. People use these products to store value so that they become part of everyday life. The more users invest, the less aware they are of the action. Evernote's "Smile Atlas" shows that people's activity is changing as users spend more time on Evernote.
The game is another application of the value of the principle of storage technology products, to promote a more crazy user products, because it will let the player every time on the line must be invested. Players have to earn more points, upgrade, and earn money to buy virtual goods, such as buying cattle for their own farms and buying clothes for their virtual characters. If the player stops, these things are gone. Here, the storage value of the game elements must depend on time consumption or cash purchase.
As the number of users increases, the value of the product itself is increased, and the network effect begins to work. Such companies with network effects are generally more likely to impress investors because they are seen as having the potential to become industry standards and to rival rivals. Like the traditional fax and telephony industries, Ebay, Skype, AirBnB, Pinterest, and some veteran technology companies will be better off if they attract more users to the Web.
Storage value + Network Effect = Killer
As storage value and network effects play a role at the same time, user input becomes more valuable. Facebook and Pinterest Two services are useful value storage products, and as the network effect begins to grow, product use begins to explode. These two products are used to form technical products, can attract a large number of users spontaneous return visit. The combination of storage value and network effect, as well as the contribution of the user (referring to adding content on a regular basis), attracts a large number of users to visit.
When this mode of triggering, action, feedback and input drives the user's behavior, the habit-forming technology begins to play a role, and the product continues to add value. The more the user contributes to the product with a small amount of input, the service is more valuable to their lives and the user is more satisfied with the product.
Of course, users will not always indulge in your product. Although many companies are doing well today, the next big event on the Internet is inevitable, and we should use a better way to attract the input of users. In the current context of creating a simpler and more user-friendly user experience, we should keep in mind that the more users use the product, the greater the value of the service.
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