What Parents and Carers Need to Know about Persuasive Design Online

Image of Rebecca Jennings
Rebecca Jennings Experienced author, trainer and broadcaster

This free online safety guide provides insight on persuasive design – highlighting its potential effect on behaviour and providing some tips to minimise its impact.

For many companies who operate in the online space, attention and engagement are the holy grail. Social media sites in particular make deliberate creative choices to keep people scrolling, reading, watching and clicking. This phenomenon is known as ‘persuasive design’ and it’s being employed in the vast majority of the digital world’s most popular destinations.

A study by the charity 5Rights Foundation concluded that “…the brain's response to rewards and punishments can be leveraged through persuasive design to keep children online.” To tie in with Safer Internet Day 2024, our #WakeUpWednesday guide can help to educate youngsters on the effects of persuasive design – and suggests ways to insulate themselves from its influence.