Insight of the Week
July 28, 2023

Insert Textures Near Desired Actions

A recent study found that motor actions (e.g., signing up) are easier with nearby haptic cues.

Lined pattern behind buy button


Customers perform motor actions (e.g., clicking, typing, inserting cards).

A recent study found that graspable cues might increase these behaviors.

Researchers advertised a loyalty program in a retail store. Across 7,000+ shoppers, people were 3x more likely to sign up when the poster showed a vegetable peeler with the handle on the right — toward the dominant hand of most people (Maille, Morrin, & Reynolds-McIlnay, 2020).

Leftward handle converted at 0.2%, whereas a rightward handle converted at 0.6%

Graspable images activate your muscles. In this body state, a motor action (e.g., writing) seems easier because you can simulate this action more easily.

Insert Textures Near Buttons

Red button with dot pattern below

I noticed that Target inserts a collection of dots below their main button. Customers can't imagine the feeling of a button, but they can imagine this bumpy texture. And they misattribute this interaction: Hmm, I can see myself interacting with this section. I must want to click the button.

Use Hand Graphics to Illustrate Actions

Tip jar with hand graphic donating money

These hand graphics trigger the vicarious haptic effect. Customers feel ownership of this hand, and they can imagine the behavior more easily (see Luangrath, Peck, Hedgcock, & Xu, 2022). Perhaps these graphics would increase conversions for tip jars, donation bins, vending machines, or other mediums where customers insert money.

Other New Studies

  • Digital Spotlight Effect - When you receive attention online, your perspective becomes egocentric. You believe that other people in the real world are staring at you (Hall, 2023).
  • Do You Really Need to Use Your Phone? - Researchers asked people to spend 20 minutes with 2-3 strangers in a room. Some groups could use their phones; other groups needed to remove their phones beforehand. When people removed their phones beforehand, they enjoyed the interaction more. If people could use their phone, they did. And they were less happy with the experience (Dwyer, Zhuo, & Dunn, 2023).
  • Sellers Shouldn't Flaunt Their High Status - Sellers want flashy cars and expensive watches to impress their clients, but it backfires. Clients prefer sellers who display a neutral status (Moyal & Garcia, 2023).