Effective Behavior Design

Part of designing a user experience is convincing the user to behave a certain way in order to reach a specific outcome. For example, right now I'm asking you to read articles, watch a video, and fill out a form to become better skilled at design.

Behavior design gives us an organized and specific model to define and foster behavior change. This field is known academically as Captology (Computers as Persuasive Technology) and originates with Professor BJ Fogg's work with the Stanford Persuasive Tech lab.

We're going to look at how to design successful behaviors. It's not complicated voodoo, but rather a simple system of tiny steps.

  1. Behavior First, Design Second

    Write down a behavior you want to change in your own life. As you read through Josh's article, think about the hard wired human motivators for the behavior.

    Why should behavior precede design? As designers, are we only amplifying existing human desires or modifying them?

  2. Behavior Grid

    Read through the 15 types of behavior change. Identify where the behavior you want to modify lies on the Behavior Grid.

    What are the different types of behavior change? Should you treat all types of behavior change the same?

  3. Behavior Model

    Study the Behavior Model diagram. If your behavior is abstract (ie. eat better), define a more precise behavior (ie. eat salad once a day). Find the spot where this behavior sits on the curve.

    What are the three elements that converge to form a behavior change? How would you attempt to overcome obstacles to adoption at different points on the curve?

  4. Habit Design with BJ Fogg

    Watch this 40-minute video as a review. If you only do one thing this week, watch this video.

Finally, an easy to follow design course

Receive a design lesson in your inbox each week, hand crafted by a design pro. Learn at your own pace, and apply it to your real life work – no fake projects here.

No spam ever. We promise.