1. AvailabilityThe availability heuristic means that the easier it is to think of an example of something—an event, entity, whatever—the more probable it is. We think: “I remember this, so it must be important.” It’s a classic subjectivity-is-not-reality moment. We typically remember things we’ve heard about recently, or frequently. So the relative importance of these facts is of little to no significance. For example, 2011 was called the “Summer of the Shark” due to increased media coverage of shark attacks, not an actual increase in shark attacks. And the last time you thought of buying a lottery ticket? Probably happened soon after you heard about someone else winning.
What availability teaches us about user experienceRemind a user of a problem they face, and they’ll consider it a problem worth solving. Try these three things to keep their problem top of mind.
- Focus landing page design and copy on the problems your product solves, not what it does. “Get dinner delivered faster” is better than “Fast food delivery online.”
- Give users positive feedback when they solve a problem, and remind them what it was. “Congrats—you’re one step closer to inbox 0!” is better than “Congrats!”
- Cut irrelevant info from your design. Every irrelevant message dilutes the relevant ones.