How to trigger users’ action with design

There are three elements must converge at the same moment for an action to occur according to the BJ Fogg Behavior Model:

(1) Motivation: How much do you want to do it?

(2) Ability: How easy is it?

(3) Trigger: Is it the right moment?

Good Example 1: Post images on Facebook

Many people are addicted to Facebook without acknowledging it, that’s how good the Facebook design is. They know how to keep people stay and trigger people to create new content.

Motivation: Low. Either I forgot or I don’t want to post the images.

Ability: Easy to do. Facebook made it very easy to post images

Trigger: Facebook exposes the images that I took today right in my face. It encourages me to share with my friends and family online. I would be very like to do it if I just forget that I took these images today, or if I realized how easy it is to post it.

Good Example 2: Keep in touch with LinkedIn

Personally I’m not a big fan of LinkedIn design, however I really like this feature that they have.

Motivation: Medium. These people are not that close to me. I don’t really care so much when they get a new job or have a work anniversary. However I want to maintain a good professional relationship with them.

Ability: Easy to do. Only 1 click to “Like” and 2 clicks to send a message (The “Congrats on the work anniversary!” message is prefilled)

Trigger: LinkedIn displays the notifications right in the homepage with 2 big blue buttons. It’s so easy that I would click “Like” to all the people that are not so close to me, and “Message” to all the people that I really care about.

Good Example 3: FoundersKit 50% off Promotion

Motivation: Medium. As I work on my side project BetterDesign, I was looking for tools that could help me work better. I found FoundersKit offers great deals for a lot of tools that I might need. the membership is $59 per year which is not that bad but I am not excited enough to buy.

Ability: Medium. I need to go to Pricing page, create an account and add my credit card information.

Trigger: The “Want 50% off” button on the bottom right corner got my attention immediately. I clicked on it without any hesitation. It asked me to fill a form and I did it with pleasure. They successfully sold the deal to me.

We designers can identify what stops people from taking actions that we seek using this behavior model. Why is the sign up rate low? Probably the sign up process is too long? Why are not many people purchased the products? Probably they are not motivated enough?

PS: You might find spelling or grammar issue in this post as English is my second language. I try not to let this stop me from writing on Medium. Thanks for your time.