- Paperback: 394 pages
- Publisher: O'Reilly Media; 1 edition (November 25, 2013)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 1449367623
- ISBN-13: 978-1449367626
- Product Dimensions: 7 x 0.7 x 9.2 inches
- Shipping Weight: 1.4 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars See all reviews (25 customer reviews)
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #272,096 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Designing for Behavior Change: Applying Psychology and Behavioral Economics 1st Edition
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About the Author
Stephen is a behavioral social scientist who serves as the Principal Scientist at HelloWallet, an independent financial guidance company. He conducts original research on financial behavior and coordinates the research efforts of HelloWallet’s advisory board of leading behavioral economists and psychologists.
At HelloWallet, he’s helped build an engaging product that helps users take control over their finances. The impetus for this book comes from the challenges he and the rest of the HelloWallet team faced along the way, as they learned to apply the behavioral literature to consumer products and consulted with companies similarly searching for effective ways to enable behavior change.
Prior to joining HelloWallet, Dr. Wendel co-founded two IT companies, and conducted research on the dynamics of political behavior. He’s the co-founder of Action Design DC, a Meetup of over 800 practitioners and researchers applying behavioral science to their products, and serves as a mentor at 500 Startups and 1776 DC. He and his wife live in the DC area, with a small kid who loves to sing.
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Top Customer Reviews
How to find testers for your product.
How to do A/B tests.
Being a `lean' organization.
None of these came to my mind -- which is why I was surprised to find them in this book.
The short of it is this: this book has some great pearls in it, but there's a ton of noise you have to sift through. The issue comes from the author spending a lot of time on product management techniques, as mentioned above, which are orthogonal to the thesis.
The title for this book should have been:
Everything you need to know about building a product for self improvement.
In that case, the parts of the book which are decidedly about product management, could be forgiven.The author also spends a lot of time either reexplaining things or taking a long time to make a point. It made me feel that the author was stretching material to hit a certain word count.
For those who are like me and are interesting in the topic of, Designing For Behavioral Change, I suggest getting the book but only read the first 2 chapters and last 2 chapters. Skip all the stuff in the middle.
Want to lose some weight? Put the junk food on the top shelf in the basement.
When we tweak the environment to make bad habits difficult to engage in, our behavior changes.
This works with encouraging good habits, too.
Want people to do more recycling? Make the recycling bins extra large.
Want your employees to eat more healthily? Make the salad bar the first thing they see in the canteen.
“Designing for Behavior Change” looks at the various ways in which the design of (digital) products or services can change behavior DIRECTLY.
Which is exactly the opposite of what advertising has been doing for the last 100 years.
Whether we have yelled at people or tried a more creative approach, our industry has always assumed that attitudinal change precedes behavioral change.
For people to change their behavior, we first have to change their attitudes.
Wrong, says Stephen Wendel: Effective behavioral change is not the product of persuasion, but of strategic interface design.
What’s more, after adopting a new behavior thanks to a clever design change (= do more recycling because of bigger recycling bins), people will actually change their attitudes, too (= consider themselves environmentalists).
Want to be a truly effective communicator?
Let the actions influence the beliefs.
Let the attitudes revolve around the behavior.
Wendel’s book could mark the start of a Copernican Revolution in advertising.
Buy it, and you won’t miss it.
1). It gives a thorough review of the literature on behavioral economics and other close social sciences that give you the why behind Stephen's process. The process he uses is arduous, but one I think is realistic given the subject.
2) You read about Stephens actual projects throughout which makes it feel more real and attainable.
3) The chapters have great summaries at then end so you can get to the main themes easily later on.
In all, a great book if you're into this science,
The fact that the book takes a, practical approach based on academic literature and persaonal experiences of the author makes it valuable. Many of the experiences comes from his dayjob, Working as a Pricipal Scientist at HelloWallet, nevertheless most of the examples in the book are taken form a daily live perspective.
The book gave me a clear insight and made me conscious about my and others brain and its decision process. And of course which steps should be taken to build an “habit” changing app. And more importantly how the app should tested, refined and reevaluated.
The book never leaves the main “brain decision flow”. The CREATE funnel
Cue: The user needs to think about something related to your product
Reaction: The mind reacts is the thought appealing enough to do something with it or does the user dislike the thought.
Evaluation. How much effort will the effort take and will I be rewarded
Ability. The person must actually be able to act some actions might not be possible driving a car for example, or doesn’t like to run in the rain when a fitness bracelet gives a notification
Time pressure. The user must have the time, or be pressurized enought to drop the current tasks or ocupation.
This flow returns throughout the book and makes it sure that you never forget that there is a long process/ action sequence necessary before the user, will download your app. And if the app is downloaded, the sames CREATE sequence is necessary for the user to use your app to change behavior every time.
The book also makes it clear that most apps and webapps still have a difficulty to keep the main focus on the main task the app is for. This is a known lesson but forgotten easily through the lifetime of an app / webapp
One minor issue with the book is the localized content, for example using America's pension/retirement fund 401k to illustrate principles. This makes it harder to understand for non americans
Overall I surely can recommend this book, especially for developers who like to build ideas before they have given ideas a proper thought or dicussed them with others. Myself included ;-)
The books product page
Disclaimer I did receive an ebook copy from Oreilly for reviewing purpose
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Stephen Wendel has developed an excellent and specific, detailed plan for designing products that will help people change their...Read more