Instant gratification – Behavioural UX

instant gratification UX user experience

Behavioural Pattern: Instant gratification

User goal: seeing immediate results from their actions.


In psychology, instant gratification is defined as “the temptation, and resulting tendency, to forego a future benefit in order to obtain a less rewarding but more immediate benefit”. Because humans want good things and they want them NOW.

In user experience design we should aim to grant this wish whenever possible. How? By providing value in information or visual feedback. 

Granting gratification in applications

Instant gratification ux

Instant gratification can be achieved by providing small, continuous successes. Also, you want to provide them early on. For instance, in an application you can achieve this by clearly guiding your user to the next step and providing visual feedback on success.


Similarly, in a web app builder like Harmony this might be the ability to create a project at the click on one (clearly marked) button. Also, by making it easy to add your first few elements to the page. By displaying these elements immediately, users experience success. Moreover, it brings them one step closer to their goal of building an app.


Lastly, in a webshop it might be the ability to view exactly what you’re looking for within seconds. If it is easy to search by category users will be more satisfied than if they have to search through a maze of options.  


Ultimately, small successes can be anything that bring your user closer to their ultimate goal. And by providing clear visual guidance users can achieve small successes fast. It can be a matter of making it easy to add an item to a cart (ecommerce), find information on your employees (business internal) or creating a new project (HarmonyCB).



  • Visual feedback on success
  • Colour coding for navigation
  • Provide information to users before they need to sign up