Design Principle: Cognitive Dissonance

While re-reading Universal Principles of Design yesterday I came across Cognitive Dissonance and how it can be applied in web design to increase engagement and conversions. Though I was not familiar with the term Cognitive Dissonance but somehow we were already implementing this principles at Unmetric’s marketing site by saying: “Is your brand social enough?” and “Top brands stay on top using Unmetric. You can too.” Couple of in-depth articles explaining (with examples) more about this design principle.

  1. Steven Bradley explains what the term actually means along with some examples from history:

    Cognitive dissonance is a state of mental discomfort that occurs when a person’s attitudes, thoughts, ideas or beliefs conflict. For example you may believe it’s important to diet in order to lose weight yet have the desire to order cheesecake for dessert. Eating the cheesecake would conflict with your attitude about dieting, which causes discomfort that needs to be resolved.

  2. Tad Fry’s article on Smashing Magazine gives modern day examples in context of web design.

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