The possible benefits and drawbacks of adding motivational elements to user instructions are discussed in several books and articles, but empirical research on this topic is scarce. We conducted two studies to examine the effects of two motivational elements aimed at increasing confidence: verification steps and motivational agents. These elements were added to the user instructions of a cell phone. These user instructions were targeted to a specific user group: seniors between 60 and 70 years of age. The goal of the first study was to find out how seniors perceived these motivational elements. The results show that about onethird of the participants discouraged adding motivational agents to user instructions, but the majority encouraged this. The presence of verification steps is encouraged by almost all participants. The goal of the second study was to investigate the effects of the two motivational elements on seniors’ confidence, their motivation and on usability. The results show that adding verification steps or motivational agents has a positive effect on seniors’ effectiveness in performing tasks.
- User instructions
- Motivational elements