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Jacopo Martolini

Behavioral change

1 min read


What is the most important thing that a user-facing application has to do to be useful?

Behavioral change

The behavior change can be obtained in different fashion:

  • a new way to do old things
  • a new way to do new things
  • a way to stop doing old things

Behaviors are difficult to eradicate. Motivation to change can arrive from external sources. Like a friend recommendation or marketing activities, or a coordinated combination of the two.

This has to be the lighting guide to the way we build a new product. How can I make an impact on users life, so that he starts using my products, despite fierce competition and different ways to achieve the same goal?

Each one of the core functionalities should be conceived around a behavior change.

Before the functionalities, the starting point is, as usual, a deep understanding of the user. I consider myself an early adopter, I can find the perfect mail client and think ‘this-is-it’ and then scrapping and changing for the next one in a week. I’ve seen people still using Thunderbird (sorry, I always peek at your dock bar), good luck persuading them to adopt a new service.

The moving motivators are different and influence also how you lay out your application. Show immediately the new way of doing stuff for the early adopter, take the hand of late comers.. and reassure them everything is going to be alright.

It’s difficult that a product can cover the entire span of user personalities, don’t try to chase two rabbits at once. Focus on the User (give her a name) and prioritise features by consequence.

When discussing a new functionality to be implemented we should always ask: ‘what is the behavioral change we want to achieve?’

Is this change relevant for the User? How it will impact new customers? Is it going to affect also old customers? How it will impact their retention?

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