Dr. Susan Weinschenk On How To Get People To Do Stuff, Pt. 1

The LA UX Meetup on August 15 was just as much a lesson in psychology as it was an insight into user experiences and web design. The Los Angeles web design community was lucky enough to learn from Dr. Susan Weinschenk as she discussed her new book "How to Get People to Do Stuff". However, the night was not a shameless plug for her book but instead it was a thorough explanation of her researched and studied seven drivers of motivation. The Media Contour team conducted a pre-show interview with Dr. Weinschenk focusing on user experience and marketing. Here's what the team discovered:

1.) Seven Drivers of Motivation: "Some are more powerful than others"

"Really it depends on who are the people, what is the situation, the context and what it is you want them to do," begins Dr. Weinschenk when asked which of the seven drivers is most important in targeting key demographics. She continues by explaining how it is wise to not use all seven of the motivators in one design, "We can start filtering out the ones that probably are not going to be real effective and the ones that are going to be the most powerful."

2.) Strongest Driver for Online (One-Directional) Conversations

Dr. Weinschenk proposes these important questions for web designers to consider when creating content that will convert users into buyers, "Who is it that you're trying to get to do stuff? What is it that they want to do? So the website example, they're coming to the website for a reason. What is their reason for coming? What is your reason, what do you want them to do and what is the reason for that as the owner of the website? Because often those things don't match." She used an apartment finding website as an example to detail how the seven drivers can influence the browser to register information with the website. She explains how there is always a moment when the user is on a certain page and it is then up to the web designer to have the right information on this page; it seems to follow the right place, right time principle.

3.) The Usefulness of the 30 Day Free Trial

"In general it is a good idea, there are a lot of reasons it would be a good idea. For example, reciprocity, right? You're giving me something for free and therefore I will feel, unconsciously, somewhat indebted to you to do something about it, to do something with it. But that only works if I consider it valuable, right? I think what happens is that some people sign up for thirty day trials but they don't really want it," Dr. Weinschenk said. Sometimes a thirty day trial can be effective but for users it is mostly just a “going through the motions” type of thought and something they may not remember signing up for later. Social validation, "to do what other people are doing", Weinschenk explains is one of several ways that a thirty day trial can be effective. Let people know how many other people have used the product in the trial version. Another reason people may like thirty day trials is for the sense of progress. They are learning the product. It is important for the web designer to remind users that they have downloaded the product, and how many days they have left -- offer sessions to get people to more fully use the trial.

4.) Online Evangelists: Help Get the Word Out!

The biggest driver of motivation to get people to evangelize about your website or topic is the need to belong. Once people feel a connection to your brand and notice that other people feel the same way, then it is possible for them to make everyone else aware of the satisfaction they have in dealing with your business or website. The excitement of the evangelist is also important, how one conveys emotion about a brand. She also noted that people like to pass along new ideas and brands because it makes them feel "smart" or "savvy".The MC team learned a wealth of knowledge in the pre-show interview and the presentation only added to the wealth. After the show followed a book signing and allowed guests to further discuss what they learned with Dr. Susan WeinschenkThe Los Angeles web design community sure had a lot to learn and apply after this informational session with Dr. Susan Weinschenk. Many thanks to the LA UX Meetup, Santa Barbara UX Meetup and the UX Book Club of Los Angelesfor hosting Dr. Weinschenk. Also thanks to the venue hosts at Cross Campus in Santa Monica.If you would like to learn more about the 7 drivers of motivation be sure to check out Dr. Susan Weinschenk's new book "How to Get People to Do Stuff". This is her latest book and base for the night's presentation but it is one of several other great books she has written, give them all a read! Check out our recap of Susan's presentation (PART 2).