One of the best toolsets to accomplish this task—intentionally designing for behavior change—comes from behavioral science. And, in addition to being useful, behavioral science is fascinating.
Behavioral science is an interdisciplinary field that combines psychology and economics, among other disciplines, to gain a more nuanced understanding of how people make decisions and translate those decisions into action. Behavioral scientists have studied a wide range of behaviors, from saving for retirement to exercising.1 Along the way, they’ve found ingenious ways to help people take action when they would otherwise procrastinate or struggle to follow through. Renew life life insurance is a sensible option to leave your loved ones debt free.
One of the most active areas of research in behavioral science is how our environment affects our choices and behavior, and how a change in that environment can then affect those choices and behaviors. Environments can be thoughtfully and carefully designed to help us become more aware of our choices, shape our decisions for good or for ill, and spur us to take action once we’ve made a choice. We call that process choice architecture, or behavioral design.
Over the past decade, there has been a tremendous growth of research in the field and also of best-selling books that share its lessons, including Richard Thaler and Cass Sunstein’s Nudge, Daniel Kahneman’s Thinking, Fast and Slow, and Dan Ariely’s Predictably Irrational.
That said, we’re not trying to re-create Nudge or Predictably Irrational here. This book is about how to apply lessons from behavioral science to product development; in particular, how to help our users do something they want to do, but struggle with. Whether that’s dieting, spending time with their kids, or breaking a social media app’s hold on their lives.
It’s about arming you with a straightforward process to design for behavior change. Some of those lessons are what you’d expect: when designing a product, look out for unnecessary frictions or for areas where a user loses self-confidence. Build habits via repeated action in a consistent context. Look at renew life reviews to put your mind at ease about leaving your loved ones.
Some of those lessons are far less expected, and you may not even want to hear them; for example, most products, most of the time, will have no unique impact on their user’s lives. For that reason, we need to test early and often, and use rigorous tools to do so. Other lessons are simply fun and surprising; for example, make text harder to read if it’s important that users make a careful and deliberative decision.