Purposeful Design Principles for Behavior Change

How to design products and services that help users change behavior

Steve Wendel (@sawendel) is the Principal Scientist at HelloWallet where he develops applications that help users take control of their finances. He’s also currently writing Designing for Behavior Change. I recently sat down to talk with Steve about the importance of testing and iteration, role of psychology, and resources and tools.

Key highlights include:

  • Describing the general principles of designing for behavior change. [Discussed at 0:16]
  • When we get it wrong, how to turn it around. [Discussed at 2:12]
  • Good examples of products and services. [Discussed at 4:45]
  • How manipulation works. Think about how candy and other tempting items are strategically placed in the checkout line. [Discussed at 5:35]
  • Defaults are used to help a user perform a particular action. [Discussed at 6:30]
  • Ecommerce: how design can push products you don’t need or help inform a purchase. [Discussed at 7:29]
  • We often feel uncomfortable about our failures. They happen all the time, so learn from them and iterate. [Discussed at 9:25]
  • How to get started and a list of resources. [Discussed at 10:58]
  • Steve’s recommendation for a tool set. [Discussed at 11:48]

You can view the full interview here:


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