Unleashing the Power of Paper Prototyping and Understanding the Psychology of Virality


Hatched by Glasp

Sep 11, 2023

4 min read


Unleashing the Power of Paper Prototyping and Understanding the Psychology of Virality

In the world of app development, the initial stages can be daunting, especially for those with limited experience in planning, designing, directing, and developing. However, there is a cost-effective solution that can significantly reduce the final cost of app development - creating a paper prototype.

The concept of paper prototyping is widely recognized as a valuable tool in the app development process. It allows developers to visualize their ideas and gather feedback before investing time and resources into actual coding. By creating a paper prototype, developers can identify potential flaws and make necessary adjustments at an early stage, saving time and money in the long run.

But what drives people to share and make an app go viral? Understanding the psychology behind viral growth is essential for app developers who aim to create a product that resonates with users and spreads like wildfire.

The foundation of viral growth lies in motivational psychology and language. Human beings are inherently social creatures, constantly seeking validation and belonging. When we consider sharing something, we unconsciously weigh the benefits and costs involved. How will this sharing benefit me or the audience? How much effort will it require?

There are eight clusters of motivation that trigger sharing:

  • 1. Status: People share to showcase their belonging, prestige, respect, scarcity, or "in-the-know" status. By associating themselves with high-status individuals or central nodes in a network, individuals seek to elevate their own status.
  • 2. Identity Projection: Sharing allows individuals to signal their alignment with a particular tribe or belief system. It is a way of saying, "I belong here" or "I support this cause." This motivation is often observed in outrage-sharing on social media platforms.
  • 3. Being Helpful: Humans have an innate desire to be perceived as helpful and nurturing. Sharing useful information or resources satisfies this motivation and fosters a sense of community.
  • 4. Safety: Products or information that offer safety or security evoke strong emotions and are more likely to be shared. People want to protect themselves and their loved ones, and sharing safety-related content is a way to achieve that.
  • 5. Order: Some individuals thrive on organization and efficiency, while others embrace a more chaotic approach. Understanding the personality traits and preferences of users can help app developers create products that cater to their needs and trigger a viral response.
  • 6. Novelty: Humans are naturally drawn to new and exciting experiences. Novelty triggers our curiosity and ignites our desire to share. However, it is important to strike a balance, as excessive repetition can lead to disinterest and decreased sharing.
  • 7. Validation: In an era of social media and online interactions, validation plays a significant role in our lives. People often share content to seek validation, boost their self-esteem, and reinforce their belief in their own worthiness.
  • 8. Voyeurism: Our fascination with observing the lives of others is a powerful motivator for sharing. Whether it is sharing a behind-the-scenes glimpse or a peek into someone's daily routine, voyeurism drives engagement and sharing.

To tap into the psychology of virality, app developers must remember to prioritize the psychological and language fundamentals that motivate users to share. While focusing on A/B testing, conversion funnels, and app designs is crucial, understanding the underlying motivations behind sharing is equally important.

So, how can app developers apply this knowledge to create a viral product? Here are three actionable pieces of advice:

  • 1. Understand your target audience: Conduct thorough research to gain insights into the motivations and preferences of your target audience. Tailor your app's features and language to align with their needs and desires.
  • 2. Emphasize utility and value: Develop an app that offers genuine value and utility to users. Whether it solves a problem, provides entertainment, or enhances productivity, the more useful your app is, the more likely it is to be shared.
  • 3. Foster a sense of community: Create an environment within your app that encourages users to connect and engage with one another. Incorporate features that promote interaction, such as forums, chat rooms, or collaborative tools. By nurturing a sense of belonging, you increase the likelihood of users sharing your app with their networks.

In conclusion, the power of paper prototyping cannot be underestimated in the app development process. It allows developers to iterate and refine their ideas before diving into the complexities of coding. Additionally, understanding the psychology behind viral growth and sharing is essential for creating a product that resonates with users and spreads organically. By incorporating the eight clusters of motivation and applying actionable advice, app developers can increase the chances of their product going viral and achieving widespread success.

Hatch New Ideas with Glasp AI 🐣

Glasp AI allows you to hatch new ideas based on your curated content. Let's curate and create with Glasp AI :)