Behavioural Design to create Behavioural Change #SxSw #BehaviouralDesign

How do we make decisions? And how does technology influence our way of decision making?…2 key questions to answer regarding human behaviour and tech use.  A small example to show the importance of tech in our decision making process. Back in 2004, when we wanted to donate something to charity the call for action had a long tail….when you saw a sign “please donate for …,” you would go home and hopefully remember what the charity was, go to their website, being redirected to your bank website to donate, today the call for action is almost imediate. You take out your smartphone, and donate to the cause by pressing one button.
So why and how do we design to change a persons behaviour or attitude?

Behavioural design and persuative technology is developed to persuade a use a system in the desired way (why it is developed!). It is all around us, like at the ATM where the design & technology is adapted so you first take out your cardn before you take the cash (so the chance of leaving your card in the ATM is almost zero). Behavioural change should always have a value proposition, without the (added) value proposition behavioural chance (most of the time) is useless (and not wanted, nor desired).

For the new “me” generation – me and my behaviour – product and services are marketed on the premise that their benifits are based on specific behavioural outcomes. In order to do this:

  • the value (delivered) should be directly related to the behaviour
  • data is a primary feature which comes as a side effect/add-on of the behaviour
  • behaviour is measurable
  • behaviour can be prescriptive or constrained

The fuel of this behaviour are sensors and data, feedback & feed forward.

Sensors and data
The technology is their,  and our psychology is catching up. If it can be connected, it will be connected (in the near future). This looks scary, but everything can give us valueable information on our behaviour. GPS, accelerators, RFID, profiles, …. gives us tons of information on our behaviour (with or without our knowing = passive data collection)
For instance:
the connected basketbal which gives your feedback on your basketbal skills and helps you become a better basketball player (behavioural change)

Feedback & Feed Forward
In the 60ies you didn’t have a scale at home, so when you wanted to lose weight (like Betty in Mad Men) you joined ‘weight-watchers’ and went to their weekly group weight session. This weigh session was also a group therapy and guidance moment of and for that group.  This is what is called a feedback group.
Today you can have a connected wifi scale at home which give you immediate feedback on daily basis.  Thanks to your connected scale with your fridge, agenda, … it will Feed Forward your behaviour providing you with guidance for your next steps, and behaviour of that day or the next period.
It gives the bigger picture upfront intead of afterwarts.

Framing & profiling
But don’t forget, although we have big data, the information therefore isn’t that customized.
Mostly the information is aggregated, not so individual as we think it is. The data is gathered based one multi level aggregated data, and matched with your profile.  So your “feed forward” is based on your profile which puts you inside a framework of data on which your forward information is based.

Choice architecture – organizing the context in which people make decisions – is therefore very important.
Behaviour heuristics – rules of thumb that people might follow when interacting with a system – help designers to develop and design.

Collection > vizualisation > story

Every design decision influences the end user  (however benevolent the intent)

You can find some analogy with documentary film making ( as it is called life as it is/objective film making) but this is not the case since the director still makes the choice who he’s filming and how he’s making the final cut to unfold the story…

Based on a session from Chris Risdon #behaviouraldesign at SxSw.

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Posted in Flat Business
One comment on “Behavioural Design to create Behavioural Change #SxSw #BehaviouralDesign
  1. Alexander Ceulemans says:

    Behavioural design is something we don’t always immediately see but it really affects your brain. This is indeed an important factor of decision making. This way of designing should adapt itself to the tendencies of this time, for example the ‘now’ generation. I’m just asking myself the question “where will it end?”. Basketballs which calculate our progress is a nice example of future thinking but not for realizing in the near future I think.

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