Social Proof In Design: Examples From Airbnb, Dropbox, Hubspot & More

We all remember the crowded people in front of the Apple store waiting for the next iPhone or iPad, some of these people staying over night to purchase their new product.

Not only people in front of stores, but all the media, influencers and social networks were talking about the new Apple product. Everyone was talking about Apple and its new product asking “ should we buy the iPhone?”.


Apple UK Store


This is a great illustration for the term social proof, which related to the social default bias:

“We copy others’ choices when we can’t make informed decisions.” — Coglode



Digital Influencers


Who is perceived as more trustworthy and reputable, a Twitter user with a million follower of the similar user with thousand follower?

Which is easier, to go from 20,000 Instagram followers to 50,000 or to go from 0 to 1,000?

Social proof will make people perceive the million follower user as more trustworthy because of the huge number of followers, and for the second question, having 20,000 followers makes you more reputable which as a result make people follow you more easier.

“Man is a social being; it’s not surprising we love social proofs, it sells brands fast”
Bernard Kelvin Clive


Social Proof Examples

1- Basecamp (Numbers & Statistics)


Basecamp Home -1

Basecamp Home -2


Basecamp is a great example of using numbers of signed accounts to influence others to sign up, using the number of weekly signed companies, some percentages for successes and testimonials from these companies.

Using a timeline to show how the number of companies has increased from 2004 to 2017, all of this build trust and credibility for their business and encourages more companies to join.

2- Airbnb (Reviews)


Airbnb reviews


Airbnb has done a great job in this review page, exposing the user with a categorized start-rating and reviews from other users (Study: 79% Of Consumers Trust Online Reviews As Much As Personal Recommendations) helping Airbnb users to take a decision whether to book this place or not based on others reviews.

Providing other numbers on the right hand side of the page with the number of people saved this place and the number of people viewed this place in the past week, indicates how popular and good is this place.

3- User Testing (Case Studies)


User Testing home


User testing uses case studies for other business they helped, will increase their brand credibility and trust.


4- Hubspot (Most Popular)


Hubspot packages


Hubspot highlighted it’s pro package as a most popular option, getting the benefit of social proof (That people chose this package the most) and also, the center-stage effect (Faced with a set of products, we prefer the one in the middle).


5- Interaction Design Foundation (Expert Recommendations)


idf home


What about a recommendation from a well know expert? The well know expert already benefits a lot from the social proof phenomena, so a recommendation from an expert like Don Norman will be very beneficial and will make IDF more trusted by people.


6- Dropbox (Clients & Testimonials)


Dropbox home


Dropbox show a list of huge clients that are using it in addition to a testimonials from these businesses, keeping big business asking “Why we are not using Dropbox?”



When To Use Social Proof?


  • Boost conversions & sales by exposing successful numbers and insights for your users to proof that your website, product or app can achieve what people are expecting from it and how others liked it.


  • Increase credibility by providing others reviews for your services or products. Also, using a public figures talking about your services or products will boost your credibility.


  • Encouraging adoption for people to get them subscribe for your newsletter or follow your accounts by providing numbers of your followers or subscribers.


Summary: Social proof is an extremely helpful for your products and services, but keep in mind that it is not that easy. You have to build something that worth first.



Helpful Books To Dig Deeper In Psychology & Design


1- Designing for Behavior Change: Applying Psychology and Behavioral Economics


Designing for Behavior Change cover



2- Bottlenecks: Aligning UX Design with User Psychology


bottlenecks cover



3- Hooked: How to Build Habit-Forming Products


hooked cover




Read Also


The Best 5 New UX Books Published In 2017

The One & Only Needed Skill For Designers

Persuasive UX: Goal Gradient Effect & Users Retention


Thanks For Reading

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I'm a senior product designer with extensive experience in building and designing digital products.I help building successful products that make people's life more easier.

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