News

Jul 13, 2020

ON BEHAVIORAL DESIGN

Before you fear another buzzword Eunji likes to reveal why behavioral design is needed to make a change.

By
Eunji Park

The Anthropocene

We live in the Anthropocene, the age in which human behavior has become the dominant influence on earth. The age in which humans are the primary cause of permanent planetary change. Human behavior became a dominant feature on earth, re-engineering its ecosystem and fundamentally shifting natural limits.

More than ever we are talking about the role of humans and behavior change in that the wellbeing of humanity and earth depends on ourselves, predominantly how we think and behave. As such, it is imperative to advance our knowledge and understanding of human behavior.

Human behavior is complex

Simply put, behavior is an interplay between choice and action. Beyond decision-making, behavior is about perception, motivation, influence, and desire, among many other things. At the same time, behavior is often about irrationality, bias, and contradiction.

Beneath behavior lies a composite of people's characteristics and relevant contexts. Understanding why people act in certain ways and how they make such decisions can help solve complex problems that we face as a global community.

Design is about change

"Everybody designs who devises courses of action aimed at changing existing situations into preferred ones."

As Herbert Simon described in his seminal book "The Science of Artificiality(1969)," the act of design denotes intention and change. Whether a large-scale system or a hand-held device, everything man-made aims to transform the current and make a difference. Change is inextricably linked with design, and as such, the ultimate goal of design is sustainable improvement of the existing state through change.

In this context, Behavioral Design is not the latest trend or business buzzword. The growing field of Behavioral Design applies Behavioral Science, a systematic study of human cognition and decision making, as an analytical lens to decode behavior patterns. By fusing the best of two seemingly dissimilar fields, Behavioral Design reveals defining conditions that influence behavior change and help solve complex global challenges. Placing these insights in the hands of innovators and designers will prove pivotal in creating a future where we want to live.

Why Behavioral Design

Our society's emerging crises are inherently system-level challenges requiring a fundamental change of behavior - both individually and collectively. In essence, we are talking about purposeful innovation that will lead to relevant change that the present world demands.

As designers and innovators, we recognize the value of Behavior Design in the context of social change and are renewing our approach to innovation. With the ambition to improve people's behaviors and businesses towards a better future on the planet, INDEED is exploring methods, principles, and strategies of Behavior Design.

We are ready to embrace the responsibility to inspire dynamic conversation and collaboration within a network of like-minded individuals and organizations, in order to achieve planetary thriving..

We need a common vocabulary

We define Behavioral Design as a systematic and strategic framework that leverages the insights of Behavioral Science to create solutions for addressing the challenges of our natural and social ecosystems. To help navigate the Behavior Change sphere, we will put together a collection of terminologies and subjects of Behavioral Design. The topics are selected based on our preliminary understanding of basic constituents that potentially shape and direct behavior change. While we consider this glossary as knowledge in progress, we hope it will serve as a primer for formulating a perspective on Behavioral Design.

Please follow our Behavioral Design Glossary on Google doc.

We will update the document regularly and hope that it will be as useful to our readers as it is to us.

Eunji Park

Strategic Design

Eunji Park is a Strategic Design Lead at INDEED, who implements interdisciplinary research and systems thinking approach to design and innovation processes.

The
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