The best design solutions today change human behavior. Yet despite decades of research, challenges remain for people who design to influence.
First, “persuasion” seems a dirty word. It shouldn’t be. We should now embrace that we’re in the business of behavior change. Next problem: conceptual confusion. The landscape of persuasion can be disorienting, muddied by impractical theories and over-hyped techniques. Our new work provides a clear view of behavior change, including language that is simple yet accurate.
Behavior change is a step-by-step process. This explains why one-shot solutions rarely achieve outcomes that matter most. To help designers and researchers succeed more often, my Stanford lab has created the “Behavior Wizard,” which maps routes to the 15 ways behavior can change.
What Matters in Behavior Design
1. We humans are lazy. BJ Fogg has mapped out the six elements of simplicity that account for this reality. With this new insight, we can pinpoint why many designs fail to achieve results. Simplicity matters more than motivation when it comes to influencing people.
2. Hot triggers change people. Many people would argue that information matters most when designing for behavior change. Not so. Hot triggers are the most powerful element in changing behavior.
3. Daily habits are powerful. In fact, daily habits are the most powerful of all behaviors. While technology can help people create good habits most attempts fail. Why? Few designers understand the psychology of long-term behavior change. We know what it takes to create a habit – in yourself, a customer, your dog.
Designing for behavior change via social and mobile tech is new, with no leading books or conferences to provide guidance. Our goal is to explain human nature clearly and map those insights onto the emerging opportunities in technology.
Behavior Design Project Team
The following people have contributed their time and energy to this project.
The Persuasive Tech Lab creates insight into how computing products can be designed to influence and change human behavior. Drawing on these insights, the lab's director, BJ Fogg, has created a new model of human behavio...View Details
The Behavior Wizard is a method for matching target behaviors with solutions for achieving those behaviors. It is a systematic way of thinking about behavior change. The Behavior Wizard expands the Behavior Grid and the ...View Details
This paper presents a new model for understanding human behavior. In this model (FBM), behavior is a product of three factors: motivation, ability, and triggers, each of which has subcomponents. The FBM is useful in an...View Details
A new form of persuasion emerged in 2007: I call it “mass interpersonal persuasion” (MIP). This phenomenon brings together the power of interpersonal persuasion with the reach of mass media. I believe this new wa...View Details
How Successful Web Services Structure Persuasion Whether working as a social actor, a tool, or a medium, interactive technologies can change people’s attitudes and behaviors using influence strategies established by...View Details
A Method for Matching Target Behaviors with Solutions This paper presents a method for matching target behaviors with solutions for achieving those behaviors. Called the Behavior Wizard, this method first classifies beh...View Details