Baby Duck Syndrome in UX

How to explain it when your users reject any new significant changes in UI? There’s an answer to it: Baby Duck Syndrome. The users tend to stick with the current UI and if there is something new unfamiliar to them, they will likely judge it negatively. It’s also called the Phenomenon of Imprinting and was studied in-depth by an ethologist Konrad Lorenz.

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practical tips

  • Provide assistance and guide your users through the transition phase
  • Let the UI communicate with your users rather than instructing them to make the change
  • Be certain that the changes are absolutely needed and worth the risk
  • Run user testing and observe how users perceive and interact with the new UI
  • Introduce incremental changes in UI
  • Interact and listen to your users
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