Persuasion

Designing for persuasion is an exciting and challenging task. BJ Fogg is constantly refining his persuasive design process, and as members of his Persuasive Tech Lab, we have opportunities to practice this methodology. Always best to do this persuasive design process with a team that knows your target users. I use this methodology for projects related to habit design and health behavior change.

For example, let’s say you want to design a solution to prevent the onset of Type II diabetes. [While this is a really big goal, many teams are working to address diabetes in America, so we’ll go with it]. I would use the following process (see below for my whiteboard exercise and IRL user testing example):

1. State your Goal: “to prevent the onset of type II diabetes in adults.”

2. Pinpoint Behaviors: generate a list of simple behaviors to change.
“Increase number of minutes of daily exercise; decrease amount of sugar consumption; increase number of steps walked per day; decrease amount of daily bread consumption.”
*Consult the Behavior Grid and use the Behavior Wizard to specify behaviors according to size and time span.

3. Map Priority Behaviors: Identify target behaviors according to importance [level of impact = how vital is the behavior to attaining the health goal?] and feasibility [ability to perform the behavior = how difficult is it to create motivation?].
*Focus on the behaviors that will have the highest impact and will be the easiest to perform.

4. Trigger the Behavior: select the smallest behavior that matters [“eat one piece of bread per day”] and outline possible behavior sequences [“receive ‘bread check’ text message;” “respond to text about bread consumption.”]. Be sure to put the behavior in terms of user actions. Only one of these sequences needs to work for success.
*Identify the channels that allow for easy tracking.

5. Test:  Run crummy trials, iterate, retest. Only one needs to work, and if it works, grow it.

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