When most people think of “persuasive design” in the context of web design, they think about how to persuade a typical online shopper to buy a cool new gadget, a stylish new handbag, or a popular new book. Persuasive design absolutely plays a role in those scenarios, but convincing people to buy something is only one of the places you might employ the principles of persuasion. When I talk to people in government or non-profit about persuasive design, their typical knee-jerk reaction is “that’s not for me.” When we dig a bit in to their reasoning, it typically comes down to one of two things. They either justify their position by claiming that they are not selling anything, or they take the high moral ground that “persuading” is akin to “tricking” – and, since they are government or non-profit, it’s an extra large no-no to trick somebody. In this paper, I will delve deeper in to the how various principles of persuasion can be used for things other than selling. I will generalize the conversation from its more common domain of retail and selling and explain how the ideas behind persuasive design can and do apply to other domains such as government and non-profit. I will provide numerous examples throughout to persuade the reader.


persuasion design conversion government non-profit 


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  • Jeff Horvath
    • 1
  1. 1.Human Factors InternationalFairfieldUSA

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