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Anchoring is a cognitive bias in the field of behavioral economics and psychology that describes the human tendency to rely heavily on the first piece of information offered (the anchor) when making decisions or estimates. In the context of design, anchoring can significantly influence how users perceive and interact with a product or interface. For example, the initial impression of a website's layout or the first few features encountered in a software application can set the tone for the user's overall experience and affect their subsequent judgments and decisions. Designers can leverage the anchoring effect by strategically placing key information, visuals, or interactive elements that align with the desired user perception and guide them towards intended actions. However, anchoring can also lead to suboptimal user experiences if the initial cues are misleading or do not accurately represent the overall quality and functionality of the design. Therefore, designers must carefully consider the anchors they establish and ensure they are consistent with the product's core value proposition and user goals. By understanding and applying the principles of anchoring, designers can create more persuasive and user-centric experiences that effectively guide users' perceptions and behaviors.

Cognitive bias, behavioral economics, user experience, persuasive design

Robert Anderson

CITATION : "Robert Anderson. 'Anchoring.' Design+Encyclopedia. (Accessed on April 14, 2024)"

Anchoring Definition
Anchoring on Design+Encyclopedia

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