The Social Science of Designing for Desired Behaviors

Secrets of Behavioral Economics Revealed

How to Achieve Social Business Interaction Goals

During my additional research about Gamification and it’s counterpart, Gameful Design, I discovered some great information about Karma, Color Psychology and Behavioral Economics.

Gamification Karma

The first part of this journey included reading “The Effectiveness of Karma Systems“.  This article by Jason Gross explores the concepts of Karma as a Social Interaction Design Pattern.  Jason ( @JasonAGross ) shares why gamification works and resources on how to make it work for you.

Color Psychology

Colors affect feelings and behaviors, choosing the right color for visual communications is the foundation of effective communication design.  Understanding how to use the Color Wheel to help make these decisions can be understood in this video tutorial about using the color wheel to create appealing color schemes.  Color Scheme tools include: Color Scheme Designer, Color Schemer Studio, and Adobe Kuler.  The details about the psychology of color along with stunning examples can be found in the following books: Pantone’s Guide to Communicating with Color by Leatrice Eisemann and The Complete Book of Color by Suzy Chiazzari.

Behavioral Economics

Psychological Design Patterns

Creating Design Patterns to help others achieve the desired behavior is a critical skill in today’s world of information overload filled with shrinking attention spans.  Intelligent design patterns can help people enjoy being more productive in Social Business environments.  Social Business Platforms can leverage Yahoo’s Design Patterns to support collaboration by streamlining workflows with intuitive interfaces.

Behavioral Economist Dan Ariely, the author of Predictably Irrational shares some shocking insights about human behavior and decision making in this Ted Talk video.

Why Do Similar Cultures Have Dramatically Different Results?

At first glance, this graph chart seems to convey how drivers in different cultures feel about organ donation.  A closer look reveals similar cultures seem to feel very differently about donating their organs.  Why such a drastic difference?

Guiding Desired Behavior with Simple Design

Most people will choose to do the right thing when the proper guidance is provided.  More people chose to be a donor because of a simple “designed behavior” technique.  Using the designed behavior technique of forcing the person to choose to “opt-out” dramatically increased the number of organ donors.

Decision Behaviors of Healthcare Professionals

Dan shares a great example of how making the process of changing a decision needs to be simple.  His example includes the important strategy of keeping the number of options low.  This is an example of a doctor changing his mind and choosing an alternative to surgery for a patient.  Changing a decision becomes complex when options are not clear.

Desired Decision Behavior Design Example

A group of individuals were asked to make a buying decision on a magazine subscription.  The three options included online only ($59), print only ($125), or print and online ($125).  Most people chose “print and online -$125″ (84%), the other 16% of the group chose “online only -$59″.  The extra option of “print only – $125″ actually created a desired behavior of people choosing the higher priced item because it created extra value in the desired choice.

Undesired Decision Behavior Design Example

Another group of individuals were asked to make a buying decision on a magazine subscription. They were only given two options and the majority simply chose the lower price option.  This example of a simple design flaw can cause a significant loss in subscription revenue.

Are We in Control of Our Decisions?

Dan Ariely reveals the secrets of Behavioral Economics in this video.

Key to Unlocking Desired Behavior Design

The mystical key to unlocking this type of magical design is actually rather simple.  This key is plain and may need some polishing to really make it shine.

The key is to ask yourself this question, “What is the goal?”

“What is it, I’m trying to change?” ~Jesse Schell quote from this Transformational Games video.