Please note the difference between user and customer engagement. While both may attempt to spin our addiction cycles for profit out of control, user engagement should strive to create interactions and interfaces that cater to user needs without relying on extrinsic motivations.
5 steps to ideal to user engagement:
- Enabling users to explore, identify their interests/needs and possibilities how they can be fulfilled
- Designing usable means for users to pursue their interests
- Empowering users to deal with novelty rather than (and technology) with mundane tasks
- Empowering users to be more than mere, passive, consumers of content
- Providing autonomy and support for users and how they complete tasks rather than getting people to take actions that are not always in their best interest, without the use of force, in a predictable way.
Engagement methods that result or involve getting people to take actions that are not always in their best interest, without the use of force, in a predictable way undermine intrinsic motivations and lessen desired user experiences. “Intrinsic motivators create greatness, while extrinsic motivators are nothing more than pellets dropped for rats in a cage,” “creating virtual food pellets for you to eat“
It used to be that users were interested in tasks that a designed system/product/service was made to handle. Now, design ‘assumes’ that users are interested in tasks that their interfaces address, hijacking users’ interests and leaving little room for user autonomy and support.
User efforts aimed at achieving clearly identified goals do not require extrinsic motivation for the task completion process to be engaging. Furthermore, user control on the task completion process and support afforded to them by design enable them to deal with novelty, thereby enhancing skill and knowledge development.
The Demand/Control model by Karasek & Theorell suggests that engagement is enhanced by autonomy and support that is afforded to users as they attempt to accomplish tasks or achieve goals.
Technology on the other hand should substitute users in tasks that are simple, repetitive, monotonous, mundane, etc or for processes that feature these elements.
Education also plays a part in user engagement as via education users can be informed of activities that may be of benefit to them and thus identify goals and explore ways in which they can achieve those goals.
The surprising truth about what motivates us: