Online Choices How it affects us.
We can find anything on the internet, the convience of websites makes it possible for us to experience new content and that is how we satify our fasniation when it comes to choices from buying and communicating with others.
Why do people tend to read a particular article on a news site while skipping another? When browsing through dozens of recipes on the web, what compels people to choose one over the other? What are the odds you’ll finish reading this article?
“ To understand the psychology driving human behavior, it’s important to note that incidental variables affect the way visitors evaluate a product more than one might imagine. ”
Often, browsers are not aware of the environmental cues affecting their online decision-making. If asked, website visitors will generally explain their decisions as completely rational and based on a logic thinking process. However, when web users choose between several options, most of the time their decisions are based on automatic evaluations that occur without conscious awareness. They are often unaware of the variables that influence automatic decisions.
When dealing with a cognitive task, we subconsciously evaluate the amount of cognitive resources required for that specific task. If we have the available resources and motivation for the task, we will move forward with it. If, on the other hand, we don’t have the available resources or motivation for the task, we will skip it.
When Making Online Decisions, Visitors Tend to Choose the Easiest Way Possible
People are more likely to engage in a given behavior based on the amount of effort it requires. Thus, online visitors rely on the fluency of the information process to determine how they feel. People often misread the difficulty associated with processing information as indicative of their feelings about a product, and this misperception directly impacts their willingness to purchase a product or service, or to engage with a certain article.
When making online decisions, most visitors are applying a low level thought process, which is used when one is unable or unwilling to execute the cognitive assignment. For example, no matter how pleased a shopper is with a brand or product, the invisible cues delivered from online forms and questionnaires might cause the shopper to feel too mentally exhausted to fill them out. The low level process is governed by rules of thumb called heuristics, to infer the validity of the content that one is exposed to. Examples of such rules might include: “Messages with many arguments are more likely to be valid than messages with fewer arguments;” or “A message coming from a man dressed like a doctor may seem more valid than the exact same message coming from a guy in shorts.”
Online users tend to choose the easiest route possible and try hard to avoid high level processing. The surprising finding is that most users do so even when dealing with insurance websites, which demand high cognitive efforts. We’ve found that the lion’s share of online visitors base their decisions on simple intuitive calculations instead of going deeply into the details . Internet users prefer to make decision as quickly and effortlessly as possible.
For example, when comparing e-commerce product pages with detailed information with a new version of the page that seems exactly the same, but has the information hidden behind tabs , the percentage of visitors who added the product to their cart was significantly higher.
Exposure to too much information and data forces customers to invest cognitive resources that they weren’t planning on investing. Although in reality they do not have to read all of the product data, once they are aware that additional information exists, most customers won’t allow themselves to overlook it. People misread the effort required by the cognitive process of reading the information as heuristic (or indicative) of how they should treat the purchasing process. The detailed information is thus used as an indication that the visitor should invest more effort in the thought process.
We also noticed that the look and feel of the home page directly affects its bounce rate. Home pages that contain a high level of visuals, pages that are text heavy, have an asymmetric layout (symmetric layouts are easier to process) and don’t contain white spaces generate higher bounce rates, as visitors are unconsciously overwhelmed by the dense amount of stimulation that they are being forced process. If they have not accessed the website for a specific reason, they’ll often leave the website altogether.
When designing your company’s website or evaluating its effectiveness, keep in mind that the likelihood of engaging in a certain mental activity online is heavily influenced by incidental factors. People are sensitive to their feelings of ease or difficulty, but unaware of what triggers these feelings. As a result, they misattribute the experienced ease or difficulty to whatever is in the focus of their attention. That causes them to delay decisions or avoid purchasing or reading, simply because the print font makes the information difficult to process or the way content is presented seems too time-consuming.