In the wonderful world of UX, influencing behaviour and breaking consumer habits is a huge part of the equation. There’s a multitude of ways that you can guide your consumers, but before you can implement anything, you have to really understand them and their motivations.

A product or service may be incredibly useful, but if the UX developers haven’t taken the time to really get into the mindset of their audience, consumers still won’t be as engaged as they should be. Facebook’s well documented ‘2G Tuesdays’ see their staff using the platform at a limited internet speed so they can experience first-hand any frustrations that may occur for those without a high-speed connection. This is a perfect example of truly understanding your consumers and how they use your platform.

Without delving too far into pop psychology 101, it’s worth keeping in mind that there are two types of behaviour that we all feel at various times: emotional and rational. This is a great place to start when it comes to UX; does your system work and encourage users who are in both behavioural states? An example of this would be a really simple sign up process with a minimal number of steps, but along the way there are emotional triggers keeping users going, getting them excited.

You’ll also need to think about the extrinsic and intrinsic motivation for your users. An external motivation might be receiving a reward for completing a certain action, while an internal motivation would be their own sense of enjoyment or satisfaction for doing it. If a user has just created an account, immediately bombarding them with offers might not be the best approach; a common misconception is that rewards work 100% of the time, but that’s simply not the case. If you reward someone for behaviour that they already enjoy doing, this can actually over justify the action and consequently act as a deterrent, devaluing your proposition in the process.