Part II. Discovering the Right Outcome, Action, and Actor

Here’s the scenario: your company has a vision, something that it wants to build and a population it wants to serve. The new product or feature is intended to help users do something, like stopping asthma attacks. It’s done market research and identified the existing user need that the product will solve. But how exactly it’ll help users change their behavior isn’t clear.

Part II takes that vision and makes it specific and real. We’ll start by identifying the measurable, real-world outcomes that the product is supposed to drive (like fewer asthma hospitalizations or deaths). We’ll identify who the product is supposed to help (like adult asthmatics between the ages of 25 and 55 in the Central Valley of California, where the air quality is terrible). And we’ll identify what action we think will help them achieve their goals (using an automated asthma tracker like Propeller Health).[67]

In making things concrete, we have a few goals. First, we want to generate clear guidance on what should be built, so that we can inform the product team. Second, we want to draw out and test our implicit assumptions about our users and how human behavior works. Third, we want to pull failures from the future into the present—we want to fail fast—so that we don’t waste time building the wrong product. That’s similar to a lean startup approach.

In the Preface, I mentioned that companies can apply the principles of designing for behavior change to ...

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