Ethical Aspects & Habit-Forming Products

Ethical Aspects & Habit-Forming Products

This is a talk I've given as part of an HCI course at the University of Victoria, summer, 2017. I tried to explain the deeper psychology of what makes certain designs habit forming, and the responsibility we have when changing user behavior.

The talk is influenced and based on Nir Eyal's blog posts and book. Images used in these slides are used for educational purposes only and I claim no credit for any of the images. Images are copyright to its respectful owners.

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Alexey Zagalsky

July 19, 2017
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  1. 1.

    Ethical Aspects & Habit-Forming Products Alexey Zagalsky SENG 310, University

    of Victoria, Summer 2017 Images used in these slides are used for educational purposes only and I claim no credit for any of the images. Images are copyright to its respectful owners.
  2. 3.

    Uber’s “Upfront” Fare Source: https://arstechnica.com/tech-policy/2017/04/uber-said-to-use-sophisticated-software-to-defraud-drivers-passengers/ “The software utilized in determining

    the upfront price is specifically designed to provide a route distance and time estimate based on traffic conditions and other variables but not to determine the shortest/quickest reasonable route based on those conditions. Meanwhile, the software utilized in the driver’s application, which navigates the drivers to the User’s destination, utilizes traffic conditions and other variables to provide the driver with a more efficient, shorter, or quicker route to the User’s destination, resulting in a lower fare payout to the driver.”
  3. 4.

    Massive-scale Emotional Experiment at Facebook Seeing positive posts influences people

    to post positive updates, seeing negative posts influences people to post negative updates, and that an absence of emotion on their News Feed leads them to post less overall. Source: http://www.pnas.org/content/111/24/8788.full
  4. 6.

    Facebook and The Ethics of User Manipulation “Having written and

    designed this experiment myself, I can tell you that our goal was never to upset anyone. I can understand why some people have concerns about it, and my co-authors and I are very sorry for the way the paper described the research and any anxiety it caused. In hindsight, the research benefits of the paper may not have justified all of this anxiety.” source: https://www.facebook.com/akramer/posts/10152987150867796
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    Source: https://techcrunch.com/2017/05/02/facebook-denies-it-sells-ad-targeting-based-on-users-emotions/ Original:http://www.theaustralian.com.au/business/media/digital/facebook-targets-insecure-young-people-to-sell-ads/n ews-story/a89949ad016eee7d7a61c3c30c909fa6 By monitoring posts, pictures, interactions and

    internet activity in real-time, Facebook can work out when young people feel “stressed”, “defeated”, “overwhelmed”, “anxious”, “nervous”, “stupid”, “silly”, “useless”, and a “failure”, the document states.
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    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9imEN5nPNm8 Social Approval Through design choices like this, Facebook controls

    the multiplier for how often millions of people experience their social approval on the line.
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    Billions of Slot Machines in Our Pockets a.k.a Variable Schedule

    of Rewards Bottomless bowls, Infinite Feeds, and Autoplay
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    Instant Interruptions vs. “Respectful” delivery Companies know that messages that

    interrupt people immediately are more persuasive at getting people to respond than messages delivered asynchronously (like email or any deferred inbox).
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    Instead of viewing the world in terms of availability of

    choices, we should view the world in terms of friction required to enact choices. Forecasting Consequences
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    Instead of viewing the world in terms of availability of

    choices, we should view the world in terms of friction required to enact choices. TripAdvisor uses a “foot in the door” technique by asking for a single click review (“How many stars?”) while hiding the three page survey of questions behind the click. Forecasting Consequences
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    The Hooked Design Pattern Based on the book “Hooked: How

    to build Habit-forming Products” by Nir Eyal
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    The Hooked Design Pattern A trigger is what cues a

    habit. Whether in the form of an external trigger that tells users what to do next (such as a “click here” button) or an internal trigger (such as an emotion or routine), a trigger must be present for a habitual behavior to occur.
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    The Hooked Design Pattern A trigger is what cues a

    habit. Whether in the form of an external trigger that tells users what to do next (such as a “click here” button) or an internal trigger (such as an emotion or routine), a trigger must be present for a habitual behavior to occur. External Triggers
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    The Hooked Design Pattern A trigger is what cues a

    habit. Whether in the form of an external trigger that tells users what to do next (such as a “click here” button) or an internal trigger (such as an emotion or routine), a trigger must be present for a habitual behavior to occur. External Triggers Internal Triggers Places, Situation, People, Routines, Emotions
  17. 30.

    The Hooked Design Pattern An Action is the simplest behaviour

    in anticipation of a reward. Behavioural Model by Dr. BJ Fogg http://www.behaviormodel.org/
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    The Hooked Design Pattern The next step is the Reward,

    but the reward is not enough, there should be some variability.
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    The Hooked Design Pattern Variable Rewards can be divided into

    3 types: Tribe Rewards of the The search for social rewards fueled by connectedness with other people
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    The Hooked Design Pattern Variable Rewards can be divided into

    3 types: Tribe Hunt Rewards of the Rewards of the The search for social rewards fueled by connectedness with other people The search for material resources and information
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    The Hooked Design Pattern Variable Rewards can be divided into

    3 types: Tribe Hunt Self Rewards of the Rewards of the Rewards of the The search for social rewards fueled by connectedness with other people The search for material resources and information The search for intrinsic rewards of mastery, competence, and completion
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    The Hooked Design Pattern The Investment phase is when the

    user puts something into the product in anticipation of a future benefit. The purpose is to increase the likelihood of the next pass through the hook, with loading the next trigger and stored value.
  23. 37.

    The Hooked Design Pattern The Investment phase is when the

    user puts something into the product in anticipation of a future benefit. The purpose is to increase the likelihood of the next pass through the hook, with loading the next trigger and stored value. Habit-forming products should appreciate with time by storing value. Data Friends / Followers Reputation
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    What Responsibility Do We Have When Changing User Behaviour? The

    Hook pattern is intended to help product designers build healthy habits in their users. By understanding the deeper psychology of what makes us click by knowing what makes us tick, we can build better products and ultimately live better lives.
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    Ethical Responsibility The first time in history, people who are

    making products that are potentially addictive can mitigate the harm. Addiction is nothing new, but now the maker of an addictive product knows who the addicts are. For example, uncapped use apps can send a weekly usage report to the top 5-10% of users Uncapped use apps should include self-regulation tools
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    Recommended Reading https://www.nirandfar.com How Technology Tricks You Into Tipping More

    Tech Companies are Addicting People. Should They Stop? Should We Worry About The World Becoming More Addictive? “Hooked: How to Build Habit-Forming Products” by Nir Eyal The UX of Pokémon GO : A Case Study Dan Ariely’s Essays on Motivation (essay 1, essay 2)
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