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📌 The psychology-led design that Netflix, Airbnb use to fuel its growth
Learnings from Netflix, Airbnb and real tactics to grow your company by decoding the design behind popular features that keeps the world binging & scrolling.
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800 millions users on platforms like Netflix, Airbnb, and Spotify, using psychology-led design to win consumers over. Great design is about understanding people and their pain points. Designers/PMs have taken advantage of this to build successful products.
5 psychological-led design that Netflix, Airbnb, & Spotify use to fuel growth
1. Give To Get (Users)
Reciprocity is a social norm of responding to a positive action with another positive action. It’s why you feel indebted when someone does you a favor.
Landing Page — Netflix
Netflix designed its experiment by using an image that hinted at an extensive catalog.
Relevant “sneak peaks” > Increase % of conversion > Increase % of free trial
Giving people a sneak peek — but not the total view — made customers more likely to sign up for a free streaming trial.
Superhost Guidance — Airbnb
Airbnb uses the reciprocity principle by educating hosts on how to treat their guests well, and guests to follow the house rules.
Sharing tips on how to make your house guest-friendly
Sharing knowledge about things to do in the neighborhood.
More reciprocity leads to: Higher ratings > Higher ratings > Higher demand.
Higher demand allows hosts to charge more and thus make more money not only for themselves but for Airbnb too.
2. Trigger Relevance
The Cocktail Party Effect states that people like to focus on information that’s relevant to them.
A New Home Page — Netflix
Netflix’s “Because you watched…” category is a prime example of this philosophy in action as more than 80% of Netflix shows customers watched in the last two years have been a direct result of Netflix’s recommendation engine.
Personalization is a MOAT in product & design.
Spotify Wrapped — Spotify
Spotify Wrapped is a prime example of personalization done right. With Wrapped, Spotify is subtly reminding us of the specific ways:
We benefit from using the platform
Insinuating itself into the fond memories
Associations we hold for our favorite music.
3. Keep Them Hooked
Idleness Aversion states that people are happier when they are busier, even if they’re forced to be busy.
Autoplay Videos - Netflix
Netflix applies Idleness Aversion in an interesting way. Their experience forces you to watch trailers that auto-play when you dwell on the title.
Spotify Wrapped (Again)— Spotify
Since 2020, Wrapped has achieved a whole new level of gamification. By showing listeners how they stack up compared to others — for example, by awarding “top 1%” status — they create a sense of:
4. Create Emotional Reactions
Designing for visceral reactions is essentially designing to create a positive aesthetic impression. It takes just knowing what looks pleasing to people and what doesn't.
Home Listings — Airbnb
Airbnb uses visceral designs to capture the beauty and exotic aesthetic of travel. Although most Airbnb’s for rental probably don’t have beachside views , Airbnb uses design to connect their audience with the excitement and possibility of traveling the world.
Recent Playlist — Spotify
Spotify utilizes visceral design principles throughout their product to delight users, like their custom mixes based on a user’s recently listened-to tracks. The screens play with minimal text and iconography and let the artists, albums, and lyrics speak for themselves.
5. The Isolation Effect
Also known as "The Isolation Effect", it states that users are more likely to remember an object if it is visually different.
User Onboarding — Netflix
Netflix uses the Von Restorff Effect when onboarding new users. After reading the text in the above image, that unique red button is the only element that’s standing out and tempting you to press it.
Key things you can optimize:
Sell your unique points (Unlimited, etc)
Keep it simple (Email-only, etc)
No friction (Cancel at any time, etc)
Make it stand out (big red button)
Pricing Page — Canvas
Canva draws your attention to the Pro pricing plan. The bold blue enclosure within which it is placed ensures the pro plan is what you pay attention to initially.
By making it stand out, with a clear colored Call-To-Actin button. Canva is increasing its visibility of Pro > increasing % of conversion.
🔥 This Week’s Hot Sessions
✨ Using Transferable Skills for Career Pivots - Feb 02, 12:30 am (GMT +05:30) (RSVP)
✨Understanding Product Metamorphism - Feb 02, 6:00 pm (GMT +05:30) (RSVP)
✨Research 101 - Talking To Your First Customer - Feb 02, 10:30 pm (GMT +05:30) (RSVP)
✨AMA with Content Designers - Feb 02, 11:15 pm (GMT +05:30) (GMT +05:30)(RSVP)
✨The Journey between Mentors & Mentees - Feb 03, 7:30 pm (GMT +05:30)(RSVP)
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