Fear and Decisions
This is a non-political thought, inspired by politics.
I’m currently fascinated with what can be learned from watching the narrative around the election… It’s shedding light for me on how we form beliefs and make subconscious decisions.
If you observe how the stories shift and you can resist the urge to over indulge in your pre-conceived notions and beliefs, you’ll see it quite clearly.
You are going to vote for whoever scares you the least. It’s a long stated and known truth that we are more easily persuaded by avoiding pain than gaining pleasure.
I know this because I make my living most days by which headlines work the best. I know that running an email subject line or a headline with the words “Good News” never gets the same open rates as a subject line or headline “Bad News”…
Let me ask you this, if there was a candidate or a decision that went against your every belief and value you stand for, at least on the surface or in the short term, yet they were guaranteed in the long term to make your life better, could you vote for them?
I really don’t think so. I think when all is said and done and you’re standing in a voting booth looking at the list of candidate, you’re going to choose the person that you think is least likely to screw it all up.
This Matters In Product, UX, and CRO
It’s amazing today how much behavior is driven by this fear / pleasure scenario.
I think the absolute #1 decision and criteria you need to think about in design today is trust.
Weather you’re designing a mobile app’s on-boarding sequence, or a landing page asking someone to join your email list, or even a physical retail store front, you have to consider fear.
Sometimes it’s more about not doing anything that will scare people away, than it is about convincing people.