How To ‘Nudge’ Positive User Behavior: A Simple Experiment With Our Cloud Control Panel Login Screen

I just finished a thought provoking book on behavioral psychology: Nudge: Improving Decisions About Health, Wealth and Happiness, by Richard Thaler and Cass Sunstein.  The gist of the book is how institutions and individuals can “nudge” people to make better/improved choices without being paternalistic or sales driven.

Retailers and websites have applied the concepts showcased in Nudge for many years.  We decided to take what we learned from the book and conduct a simple product experiment.

Here’s our little experiment.  We recently launched a brand new Cloud Control Panel that has a number of new features and offers a vastly improved user experience.  The “vastly improved user experience” is, of course, our opinion – we urge you to try it yourself and tell us. So how did we test the Nudge scenario?

We put a simple button on our old control panel login screen, highlighted it in a different color and nudged our users to try the new control panel [see exhibit above].  The result?  On the day we launched this experiment the traffic to the new control panel was up nearly 40 percent!

Let’s compare that to the alternative scenario. In that instance, a user would come looking for something they are used to, something familiar. Instead, they would find something totally new in its place and some sort of message up that reads, in essence, “we’re sorry, you don’t have what you used to have.”

It is these little product and user experience details – adding a noticeable, but not distracting option to a familiar scenario – that make our customers happy.

Want to know more about Nudge and see some marketing examples using Nudge?  Check out the blog at Check out our new Cloud Control Panel ( and tell us what you think.


Ryan Haug is focused on customer experience design at Rackspace. Ryan has spent most of his time at Rackspace working in corporate strategy thinking about pricing and the competitive landscape for hosting and cloud computing. He recently decided to move to CX so he could help solve customer needs instead of just identifying them. Ryan studied economics at Trinity University and has an MBA from Thunderbird School of Global Management. When Ryan isn’t thinking about customers, he’s probably eating at a new restaurant, checking out live music or hanging out with his wife and two boys.


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