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Exercise: How To Design for Behaviour Change

Working on a brief all about changing habits and behaviour? Try this out. Once you’ve given it a go you can apply it to your idea, or use it to get new ideas flowing.

Ready, Steady... Go!

When designing for behaviour change there are three key things to get your head around:

1. Understanding the barriers: Why aren’t people already doing it?

2. Spot the opportunities: Where in people's patterns and habits is there an opportunity to change?

3. Come up with interventions: Break the barriers and use the opportunities to design interventions.

Ok. There’s four. But this is one just to keep in mind as you go along:

4. Be consistent: Remember consistency is essential when building habits. One big intervention doesn’t cause lasting behaviour change.

Now we're going to give you a user persona example to help you get to grips with these stages. It’s completely fictional. Definitely not based on a member of team New Blood. Not at all.

Step 1: Tick Tock – 5 Minutes

Take a look at this info about Hilary. We want you to look at getting her to exercise more. Why might Hilary not be doing exercise now? List everything that might be a barrier for her. For example, she works full time.

How To Design for Behaviour Change

Step 2: Tick Tock – 2 Minutes

Take all those barriers and get them in order. What's the biggest barrier to Hilary exercising? Give it the number one, then number all the rest of the barriers you identified from biggest to smallest.

Step 3: Tick Tock – 3 Minutes

Now you have a whole list of reasons why Hilary might not be exercising. But it’s not all bad news. There are also lots of opportunities in Hilary’s user persona. So flip it. List all the things in that info that could be an opportunity to get Hilary exercising, for example she loves dancing. 

Step 4: Tick Tock – 15 Minutes

Next we need to piece everything together, and design some interventions to move towards that behaviour change. This bit is where you use the opportunities to overcome the barriers. Take your number one barrier – the biggest hurdle for Hilary. Think creatively about how you can use the opportunities in her life to get her exercising more.

Design a product, service or campaign intervention. 

You could use:

  • Pledges
  • Prompts
  • Incentives
  • Starting small
  • Finding a common enemy
  • Rituals
  • Making it fun

Pitch O' Clock – 1 Minute

It’s really important to share your ideas. Don't just sit on them. Share what you’ve done in this exercise with someone, whether it’s a classmate, your lecturer or your mum. Tell them in 60 seconds:

  • What Hilary’s barriers to exercise were.
  • What the opportunities in her behaviour were.
  • Where you think you can change her behaviour, and how (your idea).

Nailed It!

Once you’ve had a go at this one, try applying it to your project, or why not give one of the 2017 New Blood briefs a go? Remember, if you’re working on a project for a specific target audience, do your research. Go out and speak to the relevant people. How else can you know if you’re getting the insight right? You can always tweet us @DandADNewBlood. Show us what you've got. Show us your ideas. Show off. We'll show you some love. 

If you want to find out how you can get your hands on a Pencil, find out more about D&AD New Blood Awards. Or, why not gorge yourself on creative inspiration with the New Blood Hub.

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