Text: Beatrice Widmark
How do you change minds and influence behaviors? How do you facilitate people to make better and more intentional decisions? Learning about human behavior and how we can inspire people to act has become widely popular in today’s society. One approach to not only talk the talk but actually walk the walk is to use behavioral design.
What is behavioral design?
Behavioral design is a systematic approach aiming to understand and solve behavioral challenges and to create positive behaviors at a societal, organizational and/or individual level. To put it even simpler; the purpose of behavioral design is to “empower you to create solutions that help people become happier and healthier” (Fogg, B.J).
By using insights from different fields of research within psychology and cognitive science, behavioral design helps us both understand why people act (or don’t act) in a certain way and how we can influence them to change that behavior. It all starts with a behavior challenge and ends with a creative solution to the problem that likely leaves the impacted people more satisfied and healthy. The overall mission is to help people to follow through on their intentions (closing the intention-action gap).
Don't your users/customers read the terms of your agreement, don't complete the onboarding or don’t pay their bills in time? Whatever the subject may be, you can think of it as your behavioral challenge.
The behavioral design approach has blossomed during the last decade. From academic research to policy, economic and climate issues, health and design applications, a behavioral perspective is applicable in multiple contexts, cases and industries. Whether it’s about getting people to act more sustainably, or to save more for their retirements, the common denominator to all problems is the need for behavioral change.
So, what is your behavioral challenge?