Project Description

neuroscience mobile design

Insights into m-commerce app design and path to purchase optimization.

  • While users may say they like browsing more than checkout, our data suggests the opposite to be true.
  • The mobile user experience can influence overall brand perception.
  • Maintaining user interest over the course of a transaction is pertinent to encouraging repeat usage of apps.

About Plastic Mobile

Plastic Mobile, a Havas company, is a global mobile firm specializing in developing strategic and innovative mobile solutions across apps, web and in-store. Known for many quality, first-in-kind mobile initiatives, the range of services include mobile strategy, design, development and marketing – all inspired by user-centric experiences to push forward a world in motion. Plastic Mobile is the largest mobile team within the Havas Worldwide holding company comprised of 316 offices across 75 countries. For more information and case studies


A well-crafted user experience (UX) is critical to the success of a mobile application. The traditional methodology of testing UX design through focus groups and click through percentages may not be giving us the complete picture. Therefore, applying neuroscience to user testing allows us to measure the subtle layer of quality associated with a well designed UX, something not always distinguishable to the average user. By doing this we can better pinpoint the areas of a successful experience by attributing the users emotional response to the design.

Will Neuromarketing techniques provide more accurate insights into the emotional response of subjects? Are they ultimately more indicative and predictive of human behavior?

Solution and Results

The results of the study have illustrated that mobile usability and design are critical to mobile user experience and that neuromarketing techniques provide deeper insights on user behavior and their emotional response to various stages of the mobile path to purchase. By pairing portable EEG technology with eye-tracking technology, we garnered a deeper understanding of what users were responding to in mobile app journeys. Knowing what mobile users were seeing, feeling and paying attention to while using a brands mobile app can ultimately help IT personnel and marketers design an intuitive and engaging mobile user experience.

According to the results of the study, a users attention and engagement hinges heavily on the use of relevant imagery to optimize screen real estate, intuitive visual cues that nudge users along navigation, and quick load times. Firstly, marketers must optimize screen real estate with high-quality imagery that is relevant to the brand and caters to the user’s specific need. Moreover, using visual cues, in place of instructive language, to guide users along removes the necessity of conscious processing, therefore allowing a frictionless interpretation of navigation. This in turn maintains a steady level of attention and is less likely to create frustration.

This study has given us the opportunity to move from speculations on usability and design practices to measurable results. This will shape the way we, in the new realm of mobile marketing, look at the user experience and design of transactional mobile applications. It would be of significant interest for both the neuromarketing and mobile industries to expand on these learnings, and reach beyond mobile commerce into other elements in comprehensive mobile applications including gaming, utilities, and location-based services.

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More success stories are in the works. Stay tuned!