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Designing for Behavior Change by Stephen Wendel

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Chapter 9. Moving from Conceptual Designs to Interface Designs

Take Stock

We now have a behavioral plan that says what the product needs to do. We’ve found the Minimum Viable Action, tailored it based on users’ prior experiences, automated parts of it, and made the rest understandable and easier where possible. We’ve thought about how the environment (the product and the user’s real-world context) builds conscious and emotional motivations, provides cues, generates feedback, and side-steps competing behaviors. And, finally, we’ve thought about the information and preparation the user needs to succeed.

What we have is an essential, vital, unavoidably important to-do list for the user and for the product. The design team must now transform the sequence of steps from a dull to-do list into something that people want to interact with. I’ve seen too many apps take their to-do list of user behaviors and string them together into a “product.” Unfortunately, most people just don’t get very excited about a to-do list.

Instead, the final result may look nothing like a sequence of steps. For example, those actions can be carefully embedded in a game, in self-serve modules, or in a simple mobile app with a single screen that evolves over time. There’s nothing wrong with a sequence of steps, but that’s not the only form that a behavior change application can take. Let’s explore how to move from the list of steps to an engaging product.

Extract the Stories or Specs

To move from the conceptual level ...

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