Unleashing the Secret Weapon of UX Design The Endowed Progress Effect

Craig Barber
September 13, 2023
mins read

Welcome back, fellow UX enthusiasts!

Today, we’re going to dive into an intriguing psychological concept known as the Endowed Progress Effect and explore its fascinating applications in user experience design.

Get ready to discover how this effect can captivate users and enhance their overall experience.

What is the Endowed Progress Effect?

What is the Endowed Progress Effect

The Endowed Progress Effect is a psychological phenomenon that suggests people are more likely to pursue and complete a goal when they feel they have already made progress towards it.

Essentially, by providing users with a sense of advancement, you can motivate them to continue their journey, ultimately leading to increased engagement and satisfaction.

Endowed Progress Effect explainer video:

How we can use this in UX design

Now, let’s delve into some exciting examples of how the Endowed Progress Effect can be utilised in UX design to create delightful experiences:

Loyalty Programs and Progress Bars

Loyalty Programs and Progress Bars​
By giving people a 'head start' they are more likely to engage

Imagine signing up for a loyalty program where you receive points for every purchase.

To encourage participation, some programs display a progress bar that visually represents your progress towards the next reward.

Research has shown that this simple visual representation of progress stimulates users to continue engaging with the program.

It provides a sense of accomplishment and a clear goal to strive for, enhancing the overall user experience.

Onboarding and Checklist Completion

Onboarding and Checklist Completion​

When it comes to onboarding new users, designing a checklist of tasks and indicating their completion progress can work wonders.

By presenting users with a list of steps and tracking their progress, you provide a sense of accomplishment and momentum.

Each completed task motivates users to continue and explore the full functionality of your product or platform.

Gamification and Leveling Up

Gamification and Leveling Up​

Incorporating gamification elements, such as leveling up, badges, or unlocking achievements, taps into the Endowed Progress Effect brilliantly.

By offering users incremental rewards and acknowledging their progress, you make the experience more enjoyable and engaging.

This technique has been widely used in fitness apps, language learning platforms, and various other areas where users strive for personal growth and improvement.

Donation Progress Meters

Donation Progress Meters​
When people can see progress, they are more motivated

Non-profit organisations often leverage the Endowed Progress Effect to boost donations.

By presenting users with a visual representation of progress towards a fundraising goal, it creates a sense of shared responsibility and encourages users to contribute.

The progress meter acts as a powerful motivator, showing that their individual contribution can make a difference in achieving the overall objective.

Profile Completion and Personalization

Profile Completion and Personalization​

When users sign up for a new service or platform, they often encounter a profile completion process.

By breaking down the required steps into smaller tasks and providing users with a sense of progress, you can motivate them to complete their profile setup.

Additionally, utilising personalised recommendations or content based on their progress can further enhance engagement and make users feel valued.


By understanding and incorporating the Endowed Progress Effect in your UX design, you can create more engaging and rewarding experiences for your users.

From loyalty programs to gamification elements, the power of progress cannot be underestimated.

Remember, the key is to break down tasks, provide visual cues of advancement, and acknowledge users’ efforts to create a truly immersive and motivating journey.

So, go ahead and leverage the Endowed Progress Effect to captivate your users, boost engagement, and foster a lasting connection with your product or service.

Want more awesome UX laws and principles like this? Check out our post here.

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