DfRL: Nudge or Budge

This morning Wendy gave a presentation on “Nudge or Budge” which looks at applying behavioural insights to design.

Some reasons why we need to think about applying behavioural insights to design are as followed:

  • Understanding of people think, make decisions and behave
  • Helping people improve their thinking and decisions
  • Managing change of all sorts
  • Identifying and modifying existing unhelpful influences.

Nudge theory is concerned with design of choices, it proposes that designing of choices should be based on how people actually thinking and decided. Nudge theory can be applied within communication design as we need to appreciate that there are real effects to communication that we put out in the world.

We explored 6 different nudges during the presentation:

  • System thinking – fast and slow
  • Information design – visual language
  • Information actions – cues & reminders
  • Information actions – Planning
  • Framing – Loses and Gains

System Thinking – This effects the way in which people think. There are two different systems a person thinks in, the first being automatic. This is an effortless reaction you don’t need to think about it (fast) The second is Reflective which is when you think slower more in depth about something (slow). Information Design is reliant of triggering system 2, ignoring human behaviour is automatic.

Information Design | Visual Language – Text and language are related not only in how they look but also by the choice of words. The use of language is important in getting the correct reaction and response from the target audience. The visual appearance of the language will trigger that thinking.

Information Actions | Cues & Reminders – Cues are important to trigger a emotional response. However, these cues aren’t big elements they are smaller and will be conditioned by people relationship to information. Thinking about this in terms of a question to ask myself it might be phrased as what prompts might people need?

Information Actions | Planning – Planning prompts make actions simpler. Information designers need to thinking about the best way to optimise and enhance actions.

Framing – There are two different ways in which you are able to frame something in terms of social comparison. First being descriptive which means the social norms things that are commonly done. This is almost like a name and shame technique used to get a reaction. The second is injunctive which is more than a command or order telling someone what is asked of them rather than being suggestive. Within framing it also discusses choices and incentives. Default systems are already in place there is going to be a choice where as salient is when that are clear limited choices. In terms of losses and gains framing talking about attributive gains where it gives a qualtive measure of actions. This action is positive and this action is negative this will engage some people. Whereas a more descriptive approach describing experiences is more engaging in some circumstances.

MINDSPACE – This is a model that is used a checklist for these things about. it was developed by the British Government for policy makers but could be adapted to use within information design as well.

M – Messenger – heavily influenced by who’s communicating the information 

I – Incentives – are shaped by predictable mental shortcuts such as strongly avoiding losses 

N – Norms – influenced by what others do 

D – Defaults – we go with the flow of the pre-set opition 

S – Salience – attention is draw to what is novel 

P – Priming – influenced by cues 

A – Affect – emotional association can shape our actions 

C – Commitments – consistency 

E – Ego – we will act in the way which makes us feel better about ourselves. 

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