on 23 February 2014
A book written to help you in designing a product which change the habits of people. A book companied with full with ideas and information to guide you to the design process of changing peoples behavior and daily habits to include your product in their lives.
The book helps you figuring out the goals of your product, from start to finish, from listing up the goals you want to achieve with your product. To defining the ways to measure you succeeded this goal. The nice thing about the book is that most of it is also backed up by actual science which is great. Examples are included which clarify what kind of behavioral change can be expected when your product is being used.
Examples of topics discussed in the book are “Identifying Obstacles to Behavior Change”, “Learning and Refining the Product”, “Measuring Impact”. The book ends with Common Questions and the start-to-finish after all the “theoretical” chapters. Also nice are the appendices which contains a list of resources to deepen your knowledge about the topics discussed. A book which includes a chapter “Biography” is always a delight.
A great book and I would keep it on my desk and return back to it as a reference.
on 31 March 2014
A little about what I thought of the book.
It was a really good read and for my personal practice has helped me to focus on the goals that I am trying to achieve or attain when designing. It has also brought back into focus for me a lot of the information that was in books such as Barry Schwarz's The Paradox of Choice and Nudge by Richard H. Thaler and Cass R. Sunstein.
If you read nothing else, read the end of each chapter - On a napkin. This will give you the summary and the intent of each chapter. Also, take a look at the Create Action Funnel - the five stages that a potential action has to pass in order to be undertaken. (p.40) I would recommend that you read the whole book though.
The book focuses on behavioural change as a result of good product or service development. What was really impressive was that it talks about the product not just in the context of use but in the context of the user's life. It's well balanced with business goals and user goals but ultimately comes back to what you should be doing and aware of (as a designer) to get your users to change their behaviour. It provides a framework that you will no doubt recognise aspects of and talks you through applying this. It recommends mapping each of the audiences needs to the organisation's needs so that you get a nice, balanced approach.
It unpacks human behaviour in a lightweight, easy to understand way. It talks about habits, intrinsic and extrinsic motivations. How people make decisions based on heuristics and not consciously at all - something that I know I haven't always kept in mind but should do. If you
haven't looked at too many psychology resources and gained an understanding of how and why humans behave the way they do in given situations, this book does help with that. And the bonus is that it explains how to apply these in design projects. What works and what is going to be less effective.
It gives a great action plan and walks you through the steps you need to complete to create a product that focuses on behavioural change. A neat visual of this (p.72) breaks it all down into an iterative product development process. It breaks it all down into user benefits and organisational benefits and tells you what to look out for, for each of these audiences. I think it's important to remember that not everything we design needs to be focused on behaviour change - sometimes we just want people to complete an action or task in isolation that won't require repeating. There are shortcuts that we can use with experience.
For me the book really helped me think about the way I make decisions, what's important to me and the behaviours that I currently exhibit that could do with some help. I recently started using the FitBit Flex. It is a great example of a product that encourages effective change behaviour. Give something like that a go to really understand firsthand how that helps to change behaviour. Stairs become an opportunity! You realise why encouragement and recognition really do work.
I especially liked the recommendations about simplification, automation and using a behavioural plan (p.116) or customer experience map to ensure that you are taking the whole context into
consideration. The breakdown into actionable items of what the user should do within the product what the product will do in response to the user and "all the other things that need to be accomplished." (p.117) If you are considering as much of the context as possible, you will be able to simplify the experience. It's an immersive designing experience.
The Putting it into Practice chapter at the end wraps up things nicely with an example of the approach and common questions.
on 13 December 2013
Want to watch less TV? Put the batteries of your remote in the garage.
Want to lose some weight? Put the junk food on the top shelf in the basement.
When we tweak the environment to make bad habits difficult to engage in, our behavior changes.
This works with encouraging good habits, too.
Want people to do more recycling? Make the recycling bins extra large.
Want your employees to eat more healthily? Make the salad bar the first thing they see in the canteen.
"Designing for Behavior Change" looks at the various ways in which the design of (digital) products or services can change behavior DIRECTLY.
Which is exactly the opposite of what advertising has been doing for the last 100 years.
Whether we have yelled at people or tried a more creative approach, our industry has always assumed that attitudinal change precedes behavioral change.
For people to change their behavior, we first have to change their attitudes.
Wrong, says Stephen Wendel: Effective behavioral change is not the product of persuasion, but of strategic interface design.
What's more, after adopting a new behavior thanks to a clever design change (= do more recycling because of bigger recycling bins), people will actually change their attitudes, too (= consider themselves environmentalists).
Want to be a truly effective communicator?
Let the actions influence the beliefs.
Let the attitudes revolve around the behavior.
Wendel's book could mark the start of a Copernican Revolution in advertising.
Buy it, and you won't miss it.