Good design makes users happy
Let’s be honest. When we think of big decisions, we think of logic, right? Buying a new car, opening a new bank account, deciding where to go to college, these are all decisions we do a lot of research and try to make very rational decisions about. The key word being there to try. However, at the root of most major decisions there is emotion, not logic.
Why is this important? This means that when we create the frameworks with which people make decisions, we actually have to design how the human brain and instinct actually work, not how we would have liked them to work. We need to make sure that when our emotions and instincts take over, the experiences through which we make big decisions protect us.
How Focusing on Feelings Improved Chime‘s Conclusion
Chime provides our members with a service called SpotMe, which allows them to overdraw their accounts at no charge. When a member swipes their debit card and there is not enough money in their account to cover the transaction, Chime flags them the money for the transaction (up to a predetermined amount). This money is refunded to Chime the next time the member receives their paycheck. As part of the SpotMe experience, we occasionally ask members to tip Chime to show their appreciation for the feature and to help us keep it free.
Our original tipping experience featured a long message explaining why we were tipping, along with three large buttons with different tip amounts to choose from. There was a de-emphasized button for not tipping, and the whole experience felt fairly obvious and straightforward, if not somewhat sterile.
This is where the emotion comes in: in an experiment, we redesigned that experiment in three ways. First, we made the original request less utilitarian and more fun by removing the copy and adding artwork. Second, we’ve made the no-tipping option more obvious. Third, we’ve evolved the experience when someone chooses not to tip. Instead of the advice card disappearing, the experiment acknowledged their choice and said “thank you anyway”. It was a small change and one that, at first glance, didn’t seem worth the extra investment. After all, the member had already chosen not to tip. Could this emotional design approach actually have a positive impact on our bottom line?
Spoiler alert: it does. We saw an increase in tip revenue, and that was after making the “no tip” button more obvious. Not only did we see an increase in revenue from initial tips, but we also saw an increase in revenue from members who tipped. the next time. The little we added to say ‘no problem’, that shred of levity and compassion that emanated – it changed the way our members made decisions, and it did so in a way that provided them with validation and created a positive impact on the business.
In this experiment, our tipping earnings increased by 11.3%, and we saw a 4.51% increase in second tip rate from members who did not tip the first time.
With great design power comes great design responsibility
Designing for emotion, done right, creates experiences that are good for the end user and good for business. Designing for emotion, done poorly, can be good for business, but exposes the user to vulnerability. This is often seen in dark UX models.
What are dark UX models? These are tricks used in experiences that encourage or trick a user into doing something they don’t want. A good example ? That popup you see every time you open a shopping site tells you that you’ll get 10% off your first purchase when you give them your email address. How often is the “undo” or X so hidden that you feel like you to have give your e-mail address to close the window? How often does this cancel option say something like “No, I’d rather pay full price” (also known as “confirm shame”)? Do you realize that when you give out your email address, you don’t just get a coupon code in your email, you sign up for all of their marketing emails?
One of my favorite examples of dark UX happened during lunch with my husband the other day. I’m not even going to lie, I had already written this article, but had to add this paragraph after seeing this use of dark UX first hand. We split our check and received our bill, and even though each of us only paid for half the meal, our recommended tip amounts matched the entire bill. My husband got screwed — he tipped twice what he should have, until i noticed and told him! (Don’t tell him I spilled the beans here.)
At worst, a dark template can trick you into signing up for marketing emails or doubling your tip on a bill, but at worst, dark templates can trick users into taking out loans they didn’t want to take, buy insurance they didn’t want or buy recurring subscriptions they can’t afford. For example, how many times have you seen a credit card advertise a 0% interest rate, only to learn the hard way (or hopefully in the fine print) that the interest rate will go up after the first year ?
Dark UX patterns are not always intentional and not always malicious. That’s why our regulatory risk friends are great partners. At Chime, we work closely with our legal and compliance teams throughout the design process. Together, we ensure that when we design experiences designed to be intuitive and helpful, we don’t unwittingly direct our members to experiences they can’t understand, that put them at risk or harm them. Especially in the world of finance, we want to make sure our experiences create positive emotions and don’t use shame or fear tactics to guide behavior.