Day#297: The Bandwagon Effect

Day#297: The Bandwagon Effect

This is when people follow something because there are others doing it. It is a basic human trait that assisted with our survival, think about the act of eating something poisonous or going into an area that is dangerous, in reality we can not experience and try every single activity and as people we relied on others and their experiences do define our choices. This necessity has evolved in current times into us using this method for a number of less dangerous activities, like trying a new restaurant for example.

In the digital age, social validation has reached new heights with it being integrated into online shopping in relation to customer reviews, and even transport has integrated it with Uber having a rating system which earns drivers and passengers a reputation. Which can then be used to ascertain trustworthiness, reliability and other characteristics of Drivers and passengers alike. The more people review and rate an action the more it feels reputable and trustworthy, businesses have taken this human behavioral trait and used it to benefit commitment and loyalty to their products. How does this relate to Bandwagon Effect? well the more it looks like a product or service is really popular, the more people will start to believe it is of value etc, check out a quote below eloquently describing the Bandwagon Effect from VerywellMind.

Quote defining The Bandwagon Effect

“The bandwagon effect refers to the tendency people have to adopt a certain behavior, style, or attitude simply because everyone else is doing it. The more people that adopt a particular trend, the more likely it becomes that other people will also hop on the bandwagon.

“The bandwagon effect is part of a larger group of cognitive biases or errors in thinking that influence the judgments and decisions that people make. Cognitive biases are often designed to help people think and reason more quickly, but they often introduce miscalculations and mistakes.”

Some resources on the Bandwagon Effect

Relation to UX

Again similar to the post yesterday (see my post on The Availability Heuristics Bias here) this can relate to so many examples, one that comes to my mind is the necessity to test in a lab environment without considering your product, budget etc. Some companies don’t have the budget for such setups, as well as it can also be putting participants in a test environment even though you tell them it’s not. For the consequences of this check out my post on the Hawthorne Effect here.

This is not to say that lab testing is always a no go there are products that it suits, I am just of the opinion that testing should be seen as a malleable activity dependent on the product, company research budget, what is being tested etc. etc.

The Bandwagon Effect could also be described with regard to UI Design and considering elements to be used. There are lots of articles on the accuracy of the Hamburger button, so I won’t go into too much detail here, but something to consider before jumping on the next design trend is thinking about; is it appropriate for your Users, and potential users, and then testing for that. Then using research and findings to influence outcomes.

Articles on the controversial Hamburger Button

All in all, I am sure you can think of many more examples, but these were some of the few that came to mind for me. Check out the videos below which briefly describes The Bandwagon Effect. First video it is at (2:21) and second video is only about The Bandwagon Effect, notice how they bring up the close relation to the concept of Group think, you can check out my post on Group think here.

Happy researching until next time Uxers

Bye for now!

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