How To Design For Behavior Change

Tim Brown, CEO of design firm IDEO, talks to HBR about how businesses can use design thinking to influence small behavior changes on a micro level, that add up to big benefits on the macro level —

Invent for the future consumer, not the present customer. This can be hard to do, as consumer research tends to focus on buying habits today. Brown suggests that future desires might be best foreseen via playful brainstorming that’s slightly structured. Offer a design team, for example, some jumping off points to fuel their imagination, rather than simply ask “what will customers want ten years from now?”

Tim Brown also talks about the importance of incentives in behavior change.

At 2020 Social, we use a simple Engagement Architecture framework for designing online communities, and spend a lot of time thinking about how we can use reputation and reward systems to change behaviors in online communities. We especially think about social roles and how we can use design to identify and convert lurkers into learners, connectors, moderators, organizers, teachers, and even super-users.

By the way, my colleague Gautam Ghosh (@gautamghosh) has written a great post on social roles in employee communities. Do have a look.

I build and nurture online communities as CEO of 2020 Social. Read my bio, interview me for a media story, invite me to speak at a conference or ask me how we can help you. E-mail me at [email protected], call me at +91-9999856940, or connect with me on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, YouTube, or Slideshare.

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