The power of Words in relation to user behavior in the design of products.

Adisa Joshua Oyelakin
5 min readJul 9, 2021

Generally words are powerful, hence they have a great impact on how users perceive a product and interact with a product. Ranging from the name of the product to the words users interact with while trying to engage the product.

Photo by Alexandra on Unsplash

A study from 2007 tested “phonetic symbolism” and found: “the sounds of words can convey meaning apart from their actual definitions, and this meaning can systematically bias perceptions and judgments.”

The major aim of products for producers is for people to buy their product and inn users buying products understanding the users is very important

Research has it that users likes to connect with a product emotionally and in engaging a Product users only care about what is in it for them(WIIFM) essentially they care about what the product does for them specifically and not about the many features of the product.

As product designers all these things are essential to put in place just to empathize with the users of the particular product we are building and of which empathy is our super power in this world. Understanding these will help you in connecting your products with a global audience and appeal to them too.

Photo by Carlos Muza on Unsplash

Lets take for an example

1.Cadabra is the former name of a global company. What do you think of seeing this first magic, voodoo and some other things but these were the things i first thought of when I saw this, it affected the way i related with the product, the brand and how I perceived it generally since the product is not even related to magic. This little detail affected the global appeal of the company and they had to change it with something better called amazon which know now, as simple as that looks a lot of thought process and testing has gone on to be able to define the brand and product to appeal to an audience because user could now connect emotionally to the product itself globally.

2. Qwikster this was a company that came from the proceeds of Netflix when they wanted to change the name users rejected the proposition of the name because they faced a surge in 2011 when they attempted this.

See a research conducted below

Several other companies like google had to change their name from backrub, Nike changed from Blue Ribbon Sport.

All these brands understood the essentiality of words and it makes their brand feel and were also more focused on what they wanted their users to feel. The impact of word cannot be overemphasized and it does not just relate to the brand name it relates with word user first engage with in their relation with a product.

Labels matter. Whether they are brand names, product names or first names, the label we give to something will have a bearing on how it’s perceived.What we call something (or someone) is important. Not only do names create associations, but these associations can in turn shape the very thing carrying the name. Calling a product “basic” as opposed to “standard” will influence your customer (and your product development) differently.

As regards how users relate with a product apart from the brand name, tag line and all word in midst of the products are very important in websites , CTA button text

The core reasons why because of desire to be known and recognized, necessities of life, self improvement, for comfort, and fear of the unknown. They only care about benefits not the features of the product. Understanding these keys would a product designer properly draft his content to engage his users.

According to a study conducted by researchers Hooley and Saunders, customers care less about the technical features of a product and more about what benefits they can get by buying, using, and consuming those products.

Real benefits connect to your customer’s desires, such as saving time; reducing costs; making more money; becoming happier, healthier, more relaxed, or more productive.

  • Features are facts about products or services; they add credibility and substance to your sales pitch
  • Benefits give customers a reason to buy because they explain how your product or service improves their lives
feature's vs benefit.

People care about the 1000 songs in the pocket not the storage per say.

What’s your website like? Full of features? Or are you telling your readers what these features mean for them? In designing a website it should not be full of features , pin pointing the benefit is very important

example of inputting benefit

In conclusion understanding that words are very powerful and users are emotional beings hence designs must be targeted towards appealing to their emotions, e.g. a CTA button with get started now and another one with get started the latter will get more clicks than the former because of the urgency included in the word. Therefore as a product designer we must therefore understand that words can change the feel of a user about a product,