Default Effect

We tend to accept the option pre-chosen for us

As we’re unlikely to deviate from default options presented to us, our decisions can be greatly dictated by the system’s creators.

Johnson, E. J.; Goldstein, D. (2003). Medicine: Do Defaults Save Lives? Science 302 (5649): 1338–1339.

The study

Setup

161 people were told that they’d just moved to a new US state and that here, the default was (or wasn’t) to be an organ donor. They were then asked to accept or change this donation status.

What’s a Rich Text element?

The rich text element allows you to create and format headings, paragraphs, blockquotes, images, and video all in one place instead of having to add and format them individually. Just double-click and easily create content.

Static and dynamic content editing

A rich text element can be used with static or dynamic content. For static content, just drop it into any page and begin editing. For dynamic content, add a rich text field to any collection and then connect a rich text element to that field in the settings panel. Voila!

How to customize formatting for each rich text

Headings, paragraphs, blockquotes, figures, images, and figure captions can all be styled after a class is added to the rich text element using the "When inside of" nested selector system.

Results

Results showed that only 42% donated when the default was to opt out, but 82% when defaulted to opt in. 

np_read_2490885_000000

In detail

Key Takeaways

Defaults are powerful. They’re chosen because consumers take mental shortcuts (especially when tired) and because there’s implied trust that they’re the ‘right’ choice. Defaults also act as a reference point against better or worse options. (Dinner et al., 2011). 

Defaults can be set around anything: from the standard package you offer to new subscribers, to the pre-set top-up amount for your mobile wallet, to whether each order of pizza should come with salad. Each default can dramatically affect conversion levels and behavior.

Get the balance. Ensure your defaults feel natural and in line with consumer aspirations. The more extreme the default you set (i.e. defaulting to the most expensive option), the more effort consumers will expend weighing up the cognitive / emotional costs of not choosing the default, impacting their experience and reducing overall trust.

Default Effect

We tend to accept the option pre-chosen for us

As we’re unlikely to deviate from default options presented to us, our decisions can be greatly dictated by the system’s creators.

Johnson, E. J.; Goldstein, D. (2003). Medicine: Do Defaults Save Lives? Science 302 (5649): 1338–1339.

The study

Setup

161 people were told that they’d just moved to a new US state and that here, the default was (or wasn’t) to be an organ donor. They were then asked to accept or change this donation status.

Results

Results showed that only 42% donated when the default was to opt out, but 82% when defaulted to opt in. 

Key Takeaways

Defaults are powerful. They’re chosen because consumers take mental shortcuts (especially when tired) and because there’s implied trust that they’re the ‘right’ choice. Defaults also act as a reference point against better or worse options. (Dinner et al., 2011). 

Defaults can be set around anything: from the standard package you offer to new subscribers, to the pre-set top-up amount for your mobile wallet, to whether each order of pizza should come with salad. Each default can dramatically affect conversion levels and behavior.

Get the balance. Ensure your defaults feel natural and in line with consumer aspirations. The more extreme the default you set (i.e. defaulting to the most expensive option), the more effort consumers will expend weighing up the cognitive / emotional costs of not choosing the default, impacting their experience and reducing overall trust.

Default Effect

We tend to accept the option pre-chosen for us

As we’re unlikely to deviate from default options presented to us, our decisions can be greatly dictated by the system’s creators.

The study

Setup

161 people were told that they’d just moved to a new US state and that here, the default was (or wasn’t) to be an organ donor. They were then asked to accept or change this donation status.

Results

Results showed that only 42% donated when the default was to opt out, but 82% when defaulted to opt in. 

np_read_2490885_000000

In detail

Pairings

Let popularity guide your defaults

The behaviours of others greatly inform what we ourselves will do. Taking this a step further, when setting up default choices, use what is most popular as the default option to supercharge its effect. Communicate this clearly when presenting your options to reduce analysis paralysis and provide further choice confidence, especially for new customers.

What default options do you present, consciously or otherwise? How can you use the decisions of others to add a level of confidence to them?

Going further, if you wish to change your defaults, think about highlighting the social group that best helps reinforce this. For instance, a coffee shop defaulting to a new premium espresso that is already most popular amongst its online coffee bean subscribers.

Conversion

Guide through the new and unfamiliar with predefined choices

When we don’t know what to choose, we look for guidance. Defaults offer a great way to navigate the new.

Where can you guide people so that they can take action easily?

Connected to

Running workshops?

Default Effect

is included in Box One of our physical workshop tool.
is included in Box Two of our physical workshop tool.
Box One