3 Factors in creating an engaging, long lasting user experience

  1. Extrinsic motivation: this is the result of a reward or punishment for doing — or not doing — something. Examples include: you do your best at school because you want a good grade, you have to clean your room or else your parents will punish you, or you want to make use of 50% discount quickly before it ends.
  2. Intrinsic motivation: this form of motivation is more internalized and fundamental. It refers to a notion whereby doing the activity is satisfying by itself and you don’t need any externalized reason to do (or not do) a certain activity.
  • Relatedness: ‘make me feel part of a community.’
    Peer comparison (‘other people like you did [x]’), wanting to interact with others, being connected and having a sense of social interactions, are key here. Facebook, blogging and vlogging, comparison stats, sharing videos and live chats are just some examples that contribute to a sense of relatedness.
  • Autonomy: ‘give me the feeling that I have the freedom and autonomy to make my own decisions’.
    Self-service, full mobile on-boarding, personal dashboards, presenting different options app/website layout and other forms of empowering users to make decisions whenever, wherever, are key here.
  • Competence: ‘give me the feeling that I’ve mastered the content and understand the consequences of my actions.’
    This is a very important one. Especially in finance (in which I work a lot), truly understanding financial choices and content can be very hard. That’s why people don’t risk to invest, don’t change banks (the banking sector for long has had the most loyal customers of all, and that’s mostly because switching is perceived as complicated, a tedious process and risky). Making people understand their actions, for example by visualizing behavior (e.g. visualizing different investment scenarios, or automatically showing expenditures by category). Also, gamification is a hot topic to achieve this, for example by earning badges after you got to the next level in Duolingo (a language learning app).
  • Relatedness: How can create a solution that connects and empowers users with similar user profiles?
  • Autonomy: How can create a sense of freedom and personalization in our service?
  • Competence: How can we make people that use our app, feel truly in control of […] decisions, and visualize the consequences (also called ‘feed-forward’)?



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Frank Van De Ven

Frank Van De Ven

Strategy Director @Umvel. Love innovation, technology and creating better, user-centered experiences. See https://umvel.com