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Humaans and the Web #4 – Familiarity breeds engagement

12 July 2013

The old saying is not necessarily true. Rather than feeling contempt, web users tend to react positively toward familiar elements within a website or application.

This familiarity bias can be exploited to make radically new ideas and approaches to web design appear seamless and natural. Even when unleashing a bold new creative approach, try to incorporate visual or experiential aspects that users are likely to have encountered before.

Think about it in terms of ordering a hamburger or a pizza. When faced with menu choices many people will favour what they already know and like. Even when a range of gourmet options are attractive they will have the most impact in conjunction with familiar taste sensations.

The familiar reinforces previous user experiences, while the new adds flavour and a sense of discovery and excitement.

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