SalienceOpen Access

Salience

Our choices are determined by the information we're shown

Salience means awareness, and when designing anything, what we reveal, how prominently, when, or whether we instead choose to keep it hidden all affect decisions greatly.

Blake, T., Moshary, S., Sweeney, K., & Tadelis, S. (2021). Price salience and product choice. Marketing Science.

The study

Setup

Setup

Over 10 days, millions of people using online ticket marketplace Stubhub were put into two groups, where 15% ticket fees were either made salient up front during ticket browsing, or hidden until checkout.

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

Results found that for those with delayed salience of the fee, revenue increased by 21%, with a quarter of this due to higher priced tickets being bought.

Study graph
np_read_2490885_000000

Blake, T., Moshary, S., Sweeney, K., & Tadelis, S. (2021). Price salience and product choice. Marketing Science.

Key Takeaways

1
1

What is seen is what is done

Surfacing key information in a timely fashion can prompt us to do more of what we aspire to. For instance, Amazon have redesigned their Kindle so that when it's not in use, the screensaver becomes the cover of the book you're currently reading. This acts as a salient reminder to read as one notices the Kindle throughout the day. We can use the same approach to boost healthy eating, having a bowl of fruit on the kitchen table over one filled with salty cashews. What do you want users to do more of? How do you want them to feel? What unique or delightful features can you surface that will help inspire action and make Tiny Habits that much more likely to form?

Takeaway image
2
2

More knowledge isn't necessarily better

There's a trade-off between what's presented to us now and making good decisions for our future. For instance, cryptocurrency exchange Coinbase choose to omit the % gained or lost from one's investments. Research shows that if they instead showed this, people may incorrectly sell coins that have increased in value, while keeping coins that have dropped in value, known as the Disposition Effect.

Takeaway image
3
3

Differentiate by removing information

Whereas knowledge can be power, it can also demotivate. For example, weight loss scales Shapa does away with the number telling you how much you weigh, instead providing 5 colour bands denoting averaged performance. Omitting the number shifts us away from short term fluctuations in weight that can lead to feelings of failure causing us to give up. What information or options could you hide that could otherwise lead users to short term or harmful outcomes? What can you remove that could confuse or overwhelm?

Takeaway image
4
4

Delayed salience can trigger shock

Also consider the ethical implications of hiding key information, as in the study above. In this case, any reactance felt will be relative to the proportion of the extra fees incurred, customer expectations, industry norms and how frequent the transaction is. Hidden fees on more regular transactions like grocery shopping will be subject to higher levels of reactance than one-offs like a car purchase. There is an art to surfacing such painful information at the correct time in order to generate a sale. Try adding an explanation of why the fee exists to reduce drop-off, like Airbnb do.

Takeaway image

Delayed salience can trigger shock

Also consider the ethical implications of hiding key information, as in the study above. In this case, any reactance felt will be relative to the proportion of the extra fees incurred, customer expectations, industry norms and how frequent the transaction is. Hidden fees on more regular transactions like grocery shopping will be subject to higher levels of reactance than one-offs like a car purchase. There is an art to surfacing such painful information at the correct time in order to generate a sale. Try adding an explanation of why the fee exists to reduce drop-off, like Airbnb do.

Takeaway image
Salience

Salience

Our choices are determined by the information we're shown

Salience means awareness, and when designing anything, what we reveal, how prominently, when, or whether we instead choose to keep it hidden all affect decisions greatly.

The study

Setup

Over 10 days, millions of people using online ticket marketplace Stubhub were put into two groups, where 15% ticket fees were either made salient up front during ticket browsing, or hidden until checkout.

Results

Results found that for those with delayed salience of the fee, revenue increased by 21%, with a quarter of this due to higher priced tickets being bought.

study graph
np_read_2490885_000000

In detail

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Open access, foundational Nuggets

Scarcity

Scarcity

We value things more when they’re in limited supply

Social Proof

Social Proof

We copy the behaviors of others, especially in unfamiliar situations

Prospect Theory

Prospect Theory

A loss hurts more than an equal gain feels good

Reciprocity

Reciprocity

We’re hardwired to return kindness received

Framing

Framing

We make very different decisions based on how a fact is presented

Loss Aversion

Loss Aversion

We feel more negative when losing something than positive when we gain it

Default Effect

Default Effect

We tend to accept the option pre-chosen for us

Anchoring

Anchoring

What we see first affects our judgement of everything thereafter

Fast & Slow Thinking

Fast & Slow Thinking

We make knee-jerk spontaneous decisions that can cause regretful damage

Dynamic Norms

Dynamic Norms

We’re more likely to change if we can see a new behavior developing

Salience

Salience

Our choices are determined by the information we're shown

Connected to

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Certainty Effect
We crave clarity over chance and make costly sacrifices to get it

Like it or not, we're all hard-wired to seek out information that helps us reduce uncertainty over the future. We'll explore:

• How Certainty works as a behavioural concept

• Examples from the wild that use it well

• How you can use certainty in your work to improve experiences!

So join us. It'll be fun and engaging. You can be certain of that!

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Certainty Effect
We crave clarity over chance and make costly sacrifices to get it
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