Case Study: How Can You Use Self-Efficacy to Motivate Users to Complete Complex Tasks?

Multiple pieces of our research highlighted the ‘Personal Details’ page within the checkout funnel as one of the key priorities for this retailer.

The page caused considerable friction and anxiety for the user due to the following reasons:

  • Unnecessary fields (order reference)
  • Duplicated fields (email address, phone numbers)
  • Poor error handling across devices
  • Poor error messaging
  • Poor prefill instructions for inputs that require the user to meet specific rule criteria to correctly complete (e.g. password)
  • Visual clutter on the page that was taking up space, distracting and interrupting the user, and potentially taking them away from their checkout experience (right-hand side column)
  • Poor UX handling for certain input requests
  • Poor placement of the primary CTA
  • Poor and unclear copy

Each of these elements either singularly or combined were likely to be harming conversions. Users were less likely to continue through checkout because of the high level of difficulty they had to overcome in these elements at the first step of the checkout.

Hypothesis and Psychological Technique Applied

The form needed simplification and the distracting right-hand column needed to be removed. We believed that by doing so, we would be able to reassure users of their self-efficacy and help more of them complete the Personal Details page successfully.


We made the following changes in the Variation:

  • Removed non-mandatory questions
  • Fixed error handling
  • Introduced new micro-copy to help the user through the page
  • Removed the right-hand column as it was a distraction and offered no value to the task
  • Cleaned up the design of the page
  • Repositioned the CTA
Reducing form complexity


Reducing form complexity



From the observed data, we were able to see that the Variation showed a high probability of being better than the Control.


In this instance, using self-efficacy to motivate and help a user complete the form submission worked overall. Remember that when a user is focusing attention on a task (system 2 behaviour), they should not be distracted. Removing unnecessary content from the page is important in helping the user to accomplish the task at hand.

Wherever possible and unless you have a good reason not to, reduce the amount of effort needed to complete tasks within the checkout.

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