Episode four: Design
Once you have diagnosed the causes of existing behaviour and filtered the most influential drivers, barriers, and contextual factors, the next step is to generate behaviourally-informed solutions to those challenges. It is encouraged to take a broad and open approach to generating ideas, but, in order to ensure effectiveness, practitioners should leverage off existing models, frameworks, and other behavioural theories that have a firm grounding in the science of behaviour change.
Feature framework: EAST
One of the most popular guiding frameworks for developing behaviourally-informed interventions is the EAST framework developed by the Behavioural Insights Team (BIT) in the UK. The BIT originated under governance of David Cameron where it was commonly referred to as the 'The Nudge Unit'. Since then, it has become an independent, social-purpose company that works with governments, companies, foundations, and charities all around the world.
Their framework, EAST, is an acronym which stands for a set of guiding principles that behavioural design practitioners should look to when crafting solutions for human-centred challenges. The acronym informs practitioners that in order to shift behaviour in a certain direction, they should make things Easy, Attractive, Social, and Timely.
Other useful frameworks
Design with Intent (Dan Lockton)
Behavioural change strategy cards
Mental Notes (Stephen Anderson)
Featured model: BJ Fogg
Another useful behavioural model is the Fogg Model which was developed by behavioural psychologist BJ Fogg. The model looks at the relationship between motivation (desire to achieve an outcome) and ability (level of effort, time, and skill required to achieve the outcome). The model suggests that behavioural interventions (or triggers) should focus on increasing the user’s drive, lowering the barriers to the behaviour, or focus on a combination of both.
Other useful models
Beckhard and Harris Model
Competing Pressures Model
Behavioural science resources
Nudge Theory (Richard Thaler & Cass Sunstein)
The Last Mile (Dilip Soman)
The Behavioural Scientist (Website)
Designing for Behaviour Change
Inside the Nudge Unit (David Halpern)
BE 2014, 2015, and 2016 (Alain Samson)
Think Small (Owain Service & Rory Gallagher)
Influence (Robert Cialdini)
Pre-suasion (Robert Cialdini)
Once a collection of behaviourally-informed solutions have been generated, the next step is to prioritise the solutions based on their impact and feasibility.
When thinking about the impact of each solution, it is useful to ask two critical questions:
Do we think this solution makes sense based on our diagnosis of the existing behaviour?
Do we think this solution is highly likely to achieve the defined behavioural objective?
In assessing the feasibility, it is important to think about each solution in terms of the practical aspects of implementation and scalability. It is necessary to facilitate discussions with key stakeholders regarding the operational, legal, and financial constraints that might exist to avoid wasting time and resources later down the line.
A critical assessment of the impact and feasibility of solutions should significantly narrow down the number of solutions. Ideally, between two to five solutions should be left at this stage. These solutions should then be developed into prototypes and tested on a handful of appropriate users.
For subtle nudges, where there is a simple design change to an existing choice architecture, this step might not be necessary. The value of prototypes becomes apparent when the behavioural solution is complex or if a combination of tactics are used together. In this case, the prototype phase should reveal more information about the way in which a solution will work as well as the feasibility of successful implementation and scaling. It also allows for quick feedback and iteration, which only works to give the solution the best opportunity of success.
Living Lab Analysis
Focus Group Discussions