How Does the Decoy Effect Influence User Behaviour in UX Design ?
The decoy effect, also known as the asymmetric dominance effect, is a cognitive bias that occurs when a third option, called a “decoy,” is added to a decision-making set of options. The decoy is designed to make one of the other options more appealing by creating a comparison between them. This effect is often used in UX design to nudge users towards a particular choice and can be a powerful tool for influencing user behavior.
In UX design, the decoy effect can be used to encourage users to choose a specific option over others by manipulating the user’s perception of the options available. For example, a company may offer three pricing plans for a product: a basic plan, a standard plan, and a premium plan. The standard plan may be designed to be the most attractive option, but to make it even more appealing, a decoy option is added, which is similar to the standard plan but with fewer features and a slightly lower price. This decoy option makes the standard plan appear to be a better value, leading users to choose it over the other options.
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Another example of the decoy effect in UX design can be seen in the way products are displayed on e-commerce websites. For instance, when a user is looking for a pair of shoes, the website might display three options: a basic pair, a premium pair, and a premium pair with added features like better support or improved design. In this case, the decoy option is the basic pair, which is significantly less attractive than the premium pair with added features. By adding the decoy, the premium pair with added features appears more appealing and valuable to the user.
It is essential to use the decoy effect ethically in UX design, as it can easily be perceived as manipulative. While the effect can be used to nudge users towards a particular choice, it should not be used to mislead or deceive users. Additionally, it is important to consider the impact of the decoy on the overall user experience. If the decoy makes the user’s decision-making process more confusing or difficult, it can harm the overall experience and cause frustration.
In conclusion, the decoy effect is a powerful tool in UX design, which can be used to influence user behavior and guide them towards a specific option. When used correctly, it can be an effective way to increase engagement and conversions. However, it should be used ethically and thoughtfully to avoid causing confusion or harm to the user experience.