Subtle Manipulation

By Deane Barker on March 30, 2008

Measuring ‘Completeness’ to Encourage Action: David Gammel points out something I’ve always thought was brilliant.

This strikes me as a very subtle yet effective way to get your users to provide more information about themselves in their profile. Who doesn’t want to get to 100%?

I spent a lot of time trying to cultivate that third recommendation in an attempt to get my LinkedIn profile complete. I knew it was manipulative, but I just couldn’t get past the fact that my bar wasn’t at 100%.



  1. Don’t feel bad; my profile is stuck at 55%, and it bugs the heck out of me. But after your Shelfari debacle, I’m more than a bit hesitant to give LinkedIn the keys to my GMail address book.

  2. I’ve always thought that this was a great ploy by LinkedIn to encourage people to add more data. I’d even considered the idea that they would never let anyone get to 100%, they would keep adding on more requirements instead.

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