Human-centered design does an excellent job of defining people’s unmet needs. What it’s missing is the why. Why are people doing the things they do?
Further, why aren’t they doing something? Behavior design fills in that gap and allows us to understand and design for those behaviors more effectively. We look at interactions through the lens of evidence-based neuroscience to design solutions that reflect how people actually use them.
Hitting the Books
In order to design for human behavior, we first examine the science surrounding that behavior. For this, we turn to primary behavioral and neuroscience literature. This differs from many other design teams’ approaches, but it’s a critical step in our design process. While we maintain a library of our findings, we conduct a scientific literature review for every behavior design project. Doing so ensures our work is based on the most up-to-date behavioral research available.
Analyzing Our Findings
With all of our research from the literature review in hand, we’re able to analyze our findings and assess how people are actually behaving. Behavior analysis can either be done on its own or as part of a behavioral workshop. Similar to human-centered design workshops, behavioral workshops occur in a number of different ways depending on the project and organization. Where the two differ is that the focus of these workshops is specifically on behavioral science.
Determining How Best to Proceed
Behavioral recommendations bring all the other components of behavior design together. Based on our scientific literature review, behavior analysis, behavioral targets, and product requirements, we make recommendations on how best to move forward with your product. These recommendations are usually related to product personality but can also take the form of additional product requirements.
Designing for How Users Actually Behave
Product requirements as they relate to behavior design are very different from the product requirements that a development team works off. Behavior design requirements are much more focused on how users interact with a product and the behaviors behind those interactions. They not only take into account how we want people to behave when using the product and how they actually behave as well.
Defining How Your Product Behaves
Product personality blurs the lines between behavior design and design strategy. It goes a step further than the work we do to define the soul of the product in visioning workshops. While the product personality does include that soul, it also encapsulates the product’s main qualities and pillars, specifically through a behavioral science lens. By pinpointing exactly how the product needs to behave based on our behavioral research of its users, we can design a product that’s as useful as it is usable.