Psychology in Design— Peak-End Rule

When a speaker ends his speech with a touching or humorous story, you were going to rate the speaker favourable, even though you would not have listened to his entire speech.

By Focussing on End of an event, you can change the perception of a product/service in a consumer’s mind. In psychology, this is called “Peak-End Rule.

The Peak End Rule Says Experiences Are All About The Ending

A 1996 study by Kahneman and Redelmeier assessed patients’ appraisals of uncomfortable colonoscopy or lithotripsy procedures and correlated the remembered experience with real-time findings. They found that patients consistently evaluated the discomfort of the experience based on the intensity of pain at the worst (peak) and final (end) moments. This occurred regardless of length or variation in the intensity of pain within the procedure.

How can we apply this rule in Product Design?

Let’s take an example of Water Bottle which is being used in home and office.

  • In the beginning, the water level may be rising slowly
  • After less than 1/3rd level, you observe water level rises faster
  • Now your focus is on the rising level of water
  • You perceive water filled up faster than Bottle A and your feeling is better than filling water in another bottle. Truth — both bottles took the same time.

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