Behavioral product strategist and gamification designer. This is my public hypertext notebook, sharing my thinking in motion at various stages of development.


Designing for user involvement has positive effects on adoption, retention, and virality


The most successful app adoptions come from a project because that gives users the motivation to learn functionalities in the context of when they are useful and persist through failures. Adoption requires a baseline of user involvement in order to overcome inertia. Designing for user involvement allows you to Speak to the user with a shared vocabulary. People design their own experience in an app through their actions, so designing for User Involvement early on means that the user will be doing behaviors that help them realize the value of the app. As a result, they’ll be more willing to pay.

In these notes, I tend to use adoption, conversion, and onboarding not necessarily interchangeably, but in similar contexts.


User involvement and retention are so deeply intertwined that I think it’s best to reframe retention as “continued user involvement.” User involvement is incredibly goal oriented, so as User goals change over time, it must be the case that Apps with continued user involvement respond to changing user goals over time.

I design for user involvement, not engagement. See: The difference between user involvement and user engagement, where I talk about designing for how user involvement is an input metric for business and user goals. Focusing on user involvement aligns incentives.


I’m still working on this one, leave a comment or send me a note on Twitter @RobertHaisfield if you want to see more on this page!