Services

Behavior
Change Design

Motivating, empowering, and transforming people and business

Behavior Change is increasingly recognized as central to human wellbeing, social cohesion and sustainability. But effectively changing behavior is a challenging and complex process. We’ve been leading individual, organizational and community level change efforts across domains such as health, financial wellbeing, sustainability and lifelong learning and development. 

Rooted in Science, Enabled by Design

We design interventions that are built from behavior change science. Our process includes the integration of theory and evidence (along with some creative ingenuity) at every step. We focus on clinically significant target behaviors, the underlying determinants that influence behavior and the implementable behavior change techniques most likely to shift those determinants in a given context.

Target Effective Engagement and Impact

Interventions must be sufficiently engaged with in order to be effective. We seek to promote "effective engagement", ensuring optimal dose exposure to the intervention's active ingredients while minimizing user burden, fatigue and attrition. Randomized evaluation methods assess and optimize reach, usage and outcome effects ensuring that our work achieves the outcomes that matter most.

“We don’t believe in magical thinking but instead in a systematic process that integrates theory, evidence and the perspectives of our target populations at every step of the way.”

Behavior Change Design Process

Our expertise brings together the best methods in applied sciences, intervention design and interaction design to create unique value for our clients and partners.

Primary and Secondary Research

Most agencies can report back what participants say during interviews, but typically struggle to impart meaningful insights to the data collected – particularly when it comes to understanding behavior and behavior change. Changing something requires that you first thoroughly understand it. Our approach to diagnosing a problem, understanding at-risk or affected populations, their contexts and underlying determinants of behavior combines methods and toolkits from behavioral science, motivational psychology, public-health, and human-centered design to codify a rich portrayal of the problem space and where we should aim our efforts to help improve real-world challenges to human wellbeing. 

We don’t believe in magical thinking but instead in a systematic process that integrates theory, evidence and the perspectives of our target populations at every step of the way.

Intervention Design

We design interventions aimed at changing individual, organizational and community behaviors linked to improving physical and mental health, financial wellbeing, learning and development. We design stand-alone or integrated digital solutions with real-world interactions that best address the contexts, cultures and capabilities of our client partners and intervention beneficiaries. We aspire to design solutions that maximize outcomes and minimize the burden and effort on the part of our target populations. We unify our behavior change, content, and interaction design teams throughout the process to ensure our solutions are evidence-based, engaging, rewarding and effective. 

Measurement and Evaluation

Measurement and evaluation is a vital part of the behavior change design process. Our primary goal is to help clients maximize the impact of their efforts and investments. We aim to be both pragmatic and rigorous in our evaluation approach and scale our methods according to whether we’re assessing top-level measures like intervention reach, usage (uptake + engagement), or effects (efficacy, effectiveness, and impact); or evaluating more granular aspects of an intervention such as which strategies, components or techniques work better than others and/or for whom do they work. We utilize a range of study design from randomized evaluations, to quasi-experimental and non-experimental methods and we recommend conducting evaluation activities throughout all stages of an intervention lifecycle, from benchmarking existing solutions, to evaluating early concepts and prototypes to inform design decisions and direction, to pre-launch pilot testing, and post-launch evaluation and optimization.

Training and Capacity Building

We believe in the methods and frameworks we use when designing for behavior change. They’ve come together over the past 8 years through our experiences designing digital and offline interventions with a diverse array of clients, our academic partnerships with leading universities, researchers and labs, and our near obsession with the ever evolving science of behavior change. We offer one, two, and three day “off-the-shelf” custom workshops and trainings that introduce the principles and processes of behavior change design and how to apply them directly to the problem spaces and challenges participants are working on.

Sample Behavior Change Design Activities

Primary and Secondary Research

We combine qualitative, quantitative and ethnographic research methods such as evidence-based literature reviews, in-depth interviews, quantitative surveys and data analysis to build a deep understanding and contextualize the intervention for our target beneficiaries.

Applied Behavioral Science

Behavior change is a challenging and complex process, requiring theories, methods and evidence from many academic disciplines. If we’re going design effective products and services to help people change their behaviors, we need to understand human behavior at more than a cursory, intuitive level. 

Systems Thinking

Our teams work to visualize a common understanding of the most pertinent factors to target through design. Methods for changing behavior may be aimed at individuals, organizations, communities, and/or populations and at changing different systems-level influences on behavior.

Collaborative Workshopping

Creative and collaborative workshopping methods help to engage client stakeholders and target audience members in aligning around new ideas, opportunities and strategies, and in co-creating solutions that match unmet needs and expectations, business viability, organizational capacity and technical feasibility.

Data Analysis

Fueling interventions with data streams and machine learning transforms our ability to dynamically adapt and tailor content and techniques to each individual’s situation, characteristics, and desired outcomes.

Experimentation

We consider experimental tests and randomized evaluations an essential part of the design process. Initial design decisions are driven by behavior change science, direct and indirect evidence, and user and stakeholder insights. Early concepts and prototypes benefit greatly from iterative feedback and validation.

Behavior Change Design Approach

Our approach to designing for change is:
Collaborative. Evidence-Based. Person-Centered. Outcomes-Focused.

Behavior Change Design Approach Diagram