Psychology of Products - How To Get Users Engaged using Triggers

When we think about products, there's a lot of psychology involved.

We use certain products, because they solve our core needs, but there's a lot of products that could solve the same need.

The psychology behind those products is what really differentiates why we use some and not others.

Instagram is a great example. They were not the first photo app, they're not the last photo app. They don't do anything technically that's really that much different than any other products.

I like the quote from one of their founders:


It’s not technology triumph, it’s a DESIGN and PSYCHOLOGY triumph.

So, they didn't have any real technical advantage, but they knew how to engage people with a product.

If you want to get people engaged with your product, you first need to think about the path that your users are taking and map it out to come up with a behavioral plan.

It's not enough to think about what's going on in their lives doing within our products, but outside of there. What's the need they have that triggers the need for this product in the first place?

Think of a story. How people get engaged with your product?

So ultimately, if we want people to use our products, we have to get them started first. You need a "Trigger".

There are two different types of Triggers, there is EXTERNAL and there is INTERNAL.

External is probably the one we think about the most. These are just notifications we get. It's something that comes into our environment and tells us we should use this product.

Rules for External triggers:

  • Make the trigger clear

  • Send at the right time

  • Make it exciting and engaging

But the bigger thing we have to think about is INTERNAL triggers.

Have you ever checked Facebook or Instagram while you were supposed to be working?

This is what urges us to use a product – the personal problem, an emotion we have that triggers us to use them.

Internal triggers could be something like boredom, hunger, depression, excitement, fear of missing out. Or sometimes people just need a dose of dopamine because they are bored at work.

So, next time you think about how to engage your customers, consider ways to use triggers to make people come back to your product for more.