MASC: a user framework focused for action

A psychographic framework for going beyond personas
Caroline Romedenne
19 June 2022
5 min read
M.A.S.C. stands for Motivate, Augment, Simplify, and Connect

Our Divergence team strives to design for compelling experiences whether we are developing a new inventory product logging system for a global raw goods supplier or reimagining how healthcare providers connect with their physicians using digital. Whether we are seeking a new method for finding the perfect gift for a luxury brand or innovating a healthcare provider digital connection system, we seek to compel people to act. Through designing hundreds of digital solutions that have helped people interact with their environments, we've developed a framework that helps teams design to encourage action.


A well-thought-out design is one that is engaging. One that motivate people in doing something, accomplishing a task, searching the right product, learning something, or initiating an action, making a decision.

In this process, user experience focuses on understanding how to activate actions through an understanding of a users' mental model.

User research helps us understand how targets and triggers compels us to action

Applying various kinds of personas to this, a student is not likely to share the same motivation triggers than a manufacturing executive would. Some people are motivated by showing how much the result of losing weight if they do 30 minutes of exercise daily. Others may be motivated to action when being shown trigger: being 2% away from achieving a goal of reaching the best fulfillment day of the quarter.


A great UX process uncovers the many ways designer can help users of the product and services improve at doing the various actions needed throughout the experience. Showing instantaneous feedback from a button click or slowing down to inform the user with an alert model, we explore what seem to impede user actions or what could frustrate completion of a task during the interactions and touch points of the experience. Augmentation takes the form of adding or subtracting steps that builds onto the previous steps' intrinsic and extrinsic motivation targets and triggers. It also helps teams designing for user experience to know how to take full advantage of data interactions by leveraging intelligent automation that helps users along the journey, driving powerful customer experiences that helps users perform better and make better decisions.

“Complexity is easy. Any fool can make something complicated. It is hard to keep things simple."

Probably one of the most important promises of designing for user experiences is through curation and understanding of target users we can deliver the simplest, most understandable products and services people will delight in using.

A good example of this is Apple’s emphasis on simplicity; they have always been focused on delivering a product that anyone can use, regardless of tech knowledge. As technology becomes increasingly more complicated, consumers expect products and services to be simple and easy to use. In fact, a 2015 survey by Nielsen found that nearly 60 percent of consumers would not buy from a company again if they could not understand the company’s products.

Achieving this, businesses will almost certainly see an increase in conversion rates in their products solutions, the ultimate KPI goal of any business.


We human are wired for connection.

Connection gives us a sense of purpose because we feel like we matter to the people, the community, the products and brands in our lives.

In the Divergence process of mapping the entire ecosystem of a product/service, combining the multiple user journeys across the service lanes of a company, we help our customers get a holistic and comprehensive view into the interplay and functions of the experience, where people interacting with UI, data and your back stage services, often invisible to the users but essential for delivering the promise of experience. By creating strategies that allow for users greater participation and meaning interactions, we deepen the connection of everyone within the ecosystem. The best experiences are designed to nurture these human connections and build familiar communities of connection as a symbol of a product/brand values, norms and practices shared with everyone.

Caroline Romedenne is an Associate Vice President of Experience at Divergence, the Design Advisory & Consulting division at Marlabs. She leads our experience design and strategy practice, helping educate to other the power of designing for experiences and empathy for the humans we all are.

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