Designing for Behavior Change, 2nd Edition

Book description

Designers and managers hope their products become essential for users—integrated into their lives like Instagram, Lyft, and others have become. Such deep integration isn’t accidental: it’s a process of careful design and iterative learning, especially for technology companies. This guide shows you how to apply behavioral science—research that supports many products—to help your users achieve their goals using your product.

In this updated edition, Stephen Wendel, head of behavioral science at Morningstar, takes you step-by-step through the process of incorporating behavioral science into product design and development. Product managers, UX and interaction designers, and data analysts will learn a simple and effective approach for identifying target users and behaviors, building the product, and gauging its effectiveness.

  • Learn the three main strategies to help people change behavior
  • Identify behaviors your target audience seeks to change—and obstacles that stand in their way
  • Develop effective designs that are enjoyable to use
  • Measure your product’s impact and learn ways to improve it
  • Combine behavioral science with data science to pinpoint problems and test potential solutions

Table of contents

  1. Preface
    1. How This Book (and This New Edition) Came About
    2. Who This Book Is For
      1. Combining Research, Data, and Product Expertise
      2. What You Need to Know to Benefit from This Book
    3. What Types of Behaviors This Can Help With
    4. What This Book Is Not About
    5. The Chapters Ahead
    6. Let’s Talk
    7. O’Reilly Online Learning
    8. How to Contact Us
    9. Permissions
    10. Acknowledgments
  2. I. How the Mind Works
  3. 1. Deciding and Taking Action
    1. Behavior Change…
    2. …And Behavioral Science
    3. Behavioral Science 101: How Our Minds Are Wired
      1. We’re Limited
      2. We’re of Two Minds
      3. We Use Shortcuts, Part I: Biases and Heuristics
      4. We Use Shortcuts, Part II: Habits
      5. We’re Deeply Affected by Context
      6. We Can Design Context
    4. What Can Go Wrong
      1. Quirks of Decision Making
      2. Quirks of Action
    5. A Map of the Decision-Making Process
    6. A Short Summary of the Ideas
  4. 2. Creating Action
    1. From Problems to Solutions
    2. A Simple Model of When, and Why, We Act
      1. Cue
      2. Reaction
      3. Evaluation
      4. Ability
      5. Timing
      6. Experience
    3. The CREATE Action Funnel
      1. Each Stage Is Relative
      2. The Stages Can Interact with One Another
      3. The Funnel Repeats Each Time the Person Acts and Each Time Is Different
    4. A Short Summary of the Ideas
  5. 3. Stopping Negative Actions
    1. Using CREATE to Add Obstacles to Action
    2. Changing Existing Habits
      1. Attention: Avoid the Cue
    3. Rushed Choices and Regrettable Action
    4. A Short Summary of the Ideas
  6. 4. Ethics of Behavioral Science
    1. Digital Tools, Especially, Seek to Manipulate Their Users
    2. Where Things Have Gone Wrong: Four Types of Behavior Change
      1. Poisoning the Water
      2. Addictive Products
    3. The Behavioral Science of Ethics
    4. We’ll Follow the Money Too
    5. A Path Forward: Using Behavioral Science on Ourselves
      1. Assess Intention
      2. Assess Behavioral Barriers
      3. Remind Ourselves with an Ethics Checklist
      4. Create a Review Body
      5. Remove the Fudge Factor
      6. Raise the Stakes: Use Social Power to Change Incentives
      7. Remember the Fundamental Attribution Bias
      8. Use Legal and Economic Incentives as Well
    6. Why Designing for Behavior Change Is Especially Sensitive
    7. A Short Summary of the Ideas
  7. II. A Blueprint for Behavior Change
  8. 5. A Summary of the Process
    1. Understanding Isn’t Enough: We Need Process
    2. The Process Is a Common One
    3. The Details Do Matter
    4. Since We’re Human Too: Practical Guidelines and Worksheets
    5. Putting It into Practice
  9. 6. Defining the Problem
    1. When Product Teams Don’t Have a Clear Problem Definition
    2. Start with the Product’s Vision
    3. Nail Down the Target Outcome
      1. Clarify the Outcome
      2. Define the Metric to Measure Outcomes
      3. Working with Company-Centric Goals
      4. A Quick Checklist
    4. Who Takes Action?
    5. Document Your Initial Idea of the Action
      1. Clarify the Action
      2. A Metric for Action
      3. Look for the Minimum Viable Action
    6. A Hypothesis for Behavior Change
    7. Examples from Various Domains
    8. Reminder: Action != Outcome
    9. Putting It into Practice
  10. 7. Exploring the Context
    1. What Do You Know About Your Users?
      1. How Do They Behave in Daily Life?
      2. How Do They Behave in the Application?
      3. Behavioral Personas
    2. The Behavioral Map: What Micro-Behaviors Lead to Action?
      1. Building the Behavioral Map
      2. Write or Draw It Out, and Add Behavioral Detail
      3. New Products or Features Versus Existing Ones
      4. The Behavioral Map for Stopping Behaviors
    3. Is There a Better Action for Them to Take?
      1. Techniques for Generating Ideas
      2. The Obvious Is Our Enemy
      3. Select the Ideal Target Action
      4. Updating the Behavioral Personas
    4. Diagnosing the Problem with CREATE
      1. Diagnosing Why People Don’t Start
      2. Diagnosing Why People Don’t Stop
    5. Putting It into Practice
  11. 8. Understanding Our Efforts: A Brief Story About a Fish
    1. Do It for Them When You Can
      1. Strategies to Cheat at One-Time Actions
      2. Strategies to Cheat at Repeated Actions
      3. But Isn’t Cheating, Well, Cheating?
      4. Cheating at the Action Funnel
    2. When You Can’t Do It for Them, You CREATE
      1. Look Beyond Motivation
      2. The Value and Limitations of Educating Your Users
      3. Reach Out of the Screen
    3. Putting It into Practice
      1. Exercise: Review the Map
  12. 9. Crafting the Intervention: Cue, Reaction, Evaluation
    1. Cueing the User to Act
      1. Ask Them
      2. Relabel Something as a Cue
      3. Make It Clear Where to Act
      4. Remove Distractions: Knock Out the Competition
      5. Go Where the Attention Is
      6. Align with When People Have Spare Time
      7. Use Reminders
      8. Bonus Tactic: Blinking Text
    2. The Intuitive Reaction
      1. Narrate the Past to Support Future Action
      2. Bring Success Top of Mind
      3. Associate with the Positive and the Familiar
      4. Deploy Social Proof
      5. Use Peer Comparisons
      6. Display Strong Authority on the Subject
      7. Be Authentic and Personal
      8. Make the Site Professional and Beautiful
    3. The Conscious Evaluation
      1. Make Sure the Incentives Are Right
      2. Leverage Existing Motivations Before Adding New Ones
      3. Avoid Direct Payments
      4. Leverage Loss Aversion
      5. Use Commitment Contracts and Commitment Devices
      6. Test Different Types of Motivators
      7. Use Competition
      8. Pull Future Motivations into the Present
    4. A Few Notes on Decision Making
      1. Avoid Cognitive Overhead
      2. Make Sure Instructions Are Understandable
      3. Avoid Choice Overload
      4. Slow Them Down
    5. Putting It into Practice
  13. 10. Crafting the Intervention: Ability, Timing, Experience
    1. The User’s Ability to Act
      1. Remove Friction and Channel Factors
      2. Elicit Implementation Intentions
      3. Peer Comparisons Can Help Here Too
      4. The Other Side of the Wall: Knowing You’ll Succeed
      5. Look for “Real” Obstacles
    2. Getting the Timing Right
      1. Frame Text to Avoid Temporal Myopia
      2. Remind of a Prior Commitment to Act
      3. Make Commitments to Friends
      4. Make a Reward Scarce
    3. Handling Prior Experience
      1. Use Fresh Starts
      2. Use Story Editing
      3. Use Techniques to Support Better Decisions
      4. Make It Intentionally Unfamiliar
      5. Check In Again: You’re Not Interacting with the Same Person
    4. Putting It into Practice
  14. 11. Crafting the Intervention: Advanced Topics
    1. Multi-Step Interventions
      1. Combine Where Possible
      2. Again, Cheat If You Can
      3. Provide “Small Wins”
      4. Generate a Feedback Loop
      5. Common Mistakes
    2. Creating Habits
    3. Hindering Action
      1. Habitual Actions
      2. Ideas for Hindering Other Actions
    4. Putting It into Practice
  15. 12. Implementing Within the Product
    1. Run the Ethical Review
    2. Leave Space for the Creative Process
      1. A Cautionary Tale: My Exercise Band
    3. Build in Behavioral Metrics from Day One
      1. What You Should Already Have
      2. Implementing Behavioral Tracking
      3. Implementing A/B Testing and Experiments
      4. Tools for Behavioral Tracking and Experiments
    4. Putting It into Practice
  16. 13. Determining Impact with A/B Tests and Experiments
    1. The How and Why of Randomized Control Trials
      1. Why Experiments Are (Almost) Better Than Sliced Bread
    2. Experimental Design in Detail
      1. How Many People Are “Enough”?
      2. How Long of a Wait Is “Enough”?
      3. Using Business Importance to Determine “Enough”
      4. Points to Remember in Designing an Experiment
    3. Analyzing the Results of Experiments
      1. Is the Effect Large “Enough”? Determining Statistical Significance
      2. Other Considerations
    4. Types of Experiments
      1. Other Types of Experiments
      2. Experimental Optimization
      3. When and Why to Test
    5. Putting It into Practice
  17. 14. Determining Impact When You Can’t Run an A/B Test
    1. Other Ways to Determine Impact
      1. A Pre-Post Look at Impact
      2. A Cross-Sectional or Panel Data Analysis of Impact
      3. Unique Actions and Outcomes
    2. What Happens If the Outcome Isn’t Measurable Within the Product?
      1. Figure Out How to Measure the Outcome and Action by Hook or by Crook (Not by Survey)
      2. Find Cases Where You Can Connect Product Behavior to Real-World Outcomes
      3. Build the Data Bridge
    3. Putting It into Practice
  18. 15. Evaluating Next Steps
    1. Determine What Changes to Implement
      1. Gather
      2. Prioritize
      3. Integrate
    2. Measure the Impact of Each Major Change
      1. Qualitative Tests of Incremental Changes
    3. When Is It “Good Enough”?
    4. Putting It into Practice
  19. III. Build Your Team and Make It Successful
  20. 16. The State of the Field
    1. What We Did: A Global Survey of Behavioral Teams
    2. Who’s Out There?
    3. Where the Interest Lies
      1. The Dedicated Teams
      2. The Nondedicated Teams
    4. A Broad Range of Application
      1. Origins
      2. Business Model
      3. Placement
      4. Focus Area
    5. The Challenges
      1. The Practical Challenges of Running a Team
      2. The Replication Crisis in Science
    6. Putting It into Practice
  21. 17. What You’ll Need for Your Team
    1. From What They’ve Done to What You’ll Do
    2. Making the Case
      1. Thinking Through the Business Model
    3. The Skills and People You Need
      1. Skillset 1: The Non-Behavioral Basics
      2. Skillset 2: Impact Assessment
      3. Skillset 3: A Deep Understanding of the Mind and Its Quirks
      4. What’s Not Listed: A PhD
      5. How You Combine These Skills on a Team
      6. Getting Help from Outside Researchers
      7. Data Science and Behavioral Science
      8. Leveraging Data Science When Designing for Behavior Change
    4. Putting It into Practice
  22. 18. Conclusion
    1. How We Make Decisions and Act
    2. Shaping Behavior with Your Product: The CREATE Action Funnel
    3. DECIDE on the Behavioral Intervention and Build it
    4. Other Themes
    5. Frequently Asked Questions
      1. How Do the Preconditions for Action Vary from Day to Day?
      2. What Changes as a User Gains Experience with the Product?
      3. How Can You Sustain Engagement with Your Product?
      4. What Happens Before People Take Action the First Time?
    6. Looking Ahead
  23. Glossary of Terms
  24. Bibliography
  25. Index

Product information

  • Title: Designing for Behavior Change, 2nd Edition
  • Author(s): Stephen Wendel
  • Release date: June 2020
  • Publisher(s): O'Reilly Media, Inc.
  • ISBN: 9781492056034