Using a guide to select design strategies for behaviour change; Theory vs. Practice

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In recent years there has been an increased focus on researching the potential environmental benefit from altering the way users interact with products. A number of strategies for how products may be designed to affect the behaviour of the user have been identified. However, there is a need for a guide that may help designers make informed decisions about which strategies to apply.

An ongoing research project at the Norwegian University of Science and Technology is aiming at creating such a guide. The initial phase of the project focused on identifying insight from social psychology regarding the factors that may affect the behaviour of a person. This is used as a framework for suggesting when different behaviour changing design strategies may be most promising. The preliminary result was a set of guidelines, proposing how information about the user or the context may give an indication of which design strategies to apply. This paper is based on the experience of working with the guidelines in a practical design project. The aim of the project was to reduce the environmental impact of behaviour related to oral healthcare, in collaboration with Philips.