UX Equation: Give > Get

Make it easy for people to see the value of your product before asking them to do extra work.

At Facebook, we love inspiring our community by finding fun and simple ways to share our research insights and findings. In this series, we ask our researchers to define their favorite “UX Equation” — a simple mathematical way of showing how they build great experiences for people. This week’s guest star: Raman Hansi.

Some products ask us to do a lot of customization or other work before we can really try out the product or assess if we’ll want to use it on regular basis. Whether I’m using a product or working with a product team to design and build one, questions often come up about how much work people should have to do in the upfront stages of app use.
In research, people sometimes say they feel like they’re giving more than they’re getting. Such frustrating experiences can easily lead them to abandon a product before they really get to know it.
There are usually valid reasons to request more effort — for example, it can personalize the product experience and help with marketing efforts. But when I find myself getting caught up in such considerations, I try to remember Give > Get. This simple principle reminds us, product designers, that we need to give more to the people that use our product before we ask them to expend effort.
It’s on us to enable people to download the app, get past its initial use, and try it out without requiring extra effort, steps, or information. In short, we need to meet customers where they are at — and start building trust — by giving more than we’re getting. Once they find value, they’re much more likely to invest their time and effort in our product.

Raman currently works on Facebook products that help local businesses and their customers connect to power their everyday lives, such as finding jobs and services in their communities.

Illustration: Henrique Athayde