< Back to Blog home

UX Tip #55 Applying curiosity to interface design

It’s no secret that humans are captivated by unanswered questions and suspense. Behavioural economist George Loewenstein explains in his Information-Gap Theory that “curiosity happens when we feel a gap in our knowledge.” As UX designers we are trained to communicate information in the most efficient way, not withhold it. But in some situations, withholding certain information in our designs can help increase engagement. For example, Linkedin used to show you a graph of your profile views that was greyed out with a dialog box prompting you to get a premium account to access this data. Linkedin’s design was leveraging users curiosity quite effectively by showing them this graph was available and within their reach, they just needed to upgrade their account to get the graph, fill their information gap and satisfy their curiosity.