Learning from Persuasive and Emotional Design Studio

A paradox in designing for ‘good use’ rather than ‘just to sell the next product’

Persuasive Design Models

  • Understanding what causes behaviour change? Through the use of the BJ Fogg model. (2008)
  • Eric Schaffer highlighted usability is not enough and suggested the next wave in web design. (2009)
  • Then comes the hook model by Nir Eyal, which is basically the extension of the BJ Fogg Model, mostly used by the tech world.

Understanding Business and Design

Invest in Design = Good Return on investment (ROI)

The two sides of the buying decision

Buying rationale can involve:

  • Economics
  • Risk
  • Strategic Fit
  • Compliance
  • Politics
Source: https://moi-global.com/blog/one-emotion-twice-the-impact/

Buying psychology can involve:

  • Hopes and fears
  • Emotions and the ego
  • Experiences and expectations
  • Attitudes and beliefs
  • Behaviours and styles
  • Social and political

Logic often takes a backseat to emotions when it comes to purchasing.

What Causes Behavior Change?

The Fogg Behaviour Model by Stanford University’s BJ Fogg, says that for a behaviour to occur, there needs to be a sufficient level of both motivation and ability.
The FBM highlights three principal elements, each of which has subcomponents. Specifically, the FBM outlines Core Motivators (Motivation), Simplicity Factors (Ability), and the types of Prompts. The subcomponents define the larger elements.

Let's understand how Ability and Motivation works:


  • Time
  • Money
  • Effort
  • Cognitive load
  • Social acceptance
  • Routine


  • A desire for completion and order
  • Delight and emotional connection
  • Variable rewards

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

Persuasive design pushes designers to clearly define a Web site’s purpose — and its persuasion objectives.

Usability is no longer enough


The Hook Framework

Source: The Hook Canvas. Source: NirAndFar.com



Variable Reward:


Habit forming is a continuous process.

Baking the hook model into your product

  • What are the characteristics of such a user?
  • How often is “habitual”? While some social networks might want daily users, others might not expect users to be on for weeks at a time.
  • Think about the average user. Not the super users, or the infrequent ones, but those who would make up the bulk of your user base.

How are your users getting hooked?

Creating “hooks” is a process

Dark Patterns

Trick questions

Trammel Net


Screens showing how to disable Ad Tracking

Visibility of system status.

Match between system and real world.

User control and freedom.

To put it plainly, dark pattern design is deception and dishonesty by design.

Dark pattern = Privacy Breach

Deceptive Designs

Unsubscribe is written in the same colour and at first look it is difficult to find it.

Friction is another key tool of this dark art:

Subscribing unsubscribing

When unsubscribing still it is asking for entering the email id — which is strange!!
How will this feedback help the user and the company? & Asking so many questing while unsubscribing.
Vista Print emailer does not differentiate between unsubscribe and rest of the text.
It is easier to Opt in rather than opting out



Design Researcher; Initiator of HCI4SouthAsia; Ex-chair of Srishti SIGCHI Chapter; Startup Community Enabler

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Pranjal Jain

Design Researcher; Initiator of HCI4SouthAsia; Ex-chair of Srishti SIGCHI Chapter; Startup Community Enabler