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Why designing for habits may be harmful and the underused alternative to try

By Ingrid M. Paulin and Kristen Berman If you’re at a tech company building a consumer product, you are likely measuring user engagement. Product managers, marketers and designers are known to stare at dashboards tracking logins and agonize over daily active metrics above all other metrics. Companies use these engagement metrics as a proxy for understanding…

The 3B’s: The Irrational Labs approach to behavior change

It’s a daunting task to list all of the behavioral economic principles for behavior change. From loss aversion to social proof, the list can seem endless. To help structure the principles, we created the 3B’s Framework to help design for behavior change that improves lives. Over the years we have iterated on it to capture the complexity of behavior change while…

Irrational Labs convened 17 large employers to learn how to use principles from behavioral economics to drive employee health and wellness

Noncommunicable diseases (NCDs) (e.g., cancers, diabetes, cardiovascular disease, and mental health disorders) are the leading causes of death worldwide. Yet, the main factors that cause NCDs are social and behavioral factors, not genetics. It has become increasingly evident that as a society, we must change our behaviors, in particular our eating and exercise patterns. Our…

3 behavioral hacks for Detroit

I went to Detroit and asked a few people why someone would move to Detroit. The answer? Detroit has potential. We may rate job candidates  higher who have potential vs. actual proven talent. We may like “up and coming musicians” more than the top of the chart pop band. We may even  love the hidden diner that only…

How can you use gifts to improve your relationships?

By Rohini Venkatraman, business designer at Ideo, and Kristen Berman, co-founder of Irrational Labs and director of Common Cents If you’re like most Americans, the fast-approaching hap-happiest time of year is also your most stress-stressful. You not only have to pick out a gift for your loved ones…but they have to like it. According to…

Learn every day (or at least for the next 22 days)

New behavioral economics email series for product people Decades of psychological research has shown that our environment has a large influence on the way we behave. This means that as product designers and engineers we have a responsibility to understand the psychological underpinnings of our users. And yet, while it is our responsibility to read the…

Some new and some classic examples of products that use a BE approach

By Kristen Berman and Kim Fernando Many times we get asked what products we like from a behavioral standpoint. In 2014 we made a list. Here is a smattering of new and some classic examples of how we’ve seen BE tactics applied to technology. Medisafe lets you scan bar codes on medications and then sends…

Deadlines, Deadlines, and more Deadlines

[By Wendy De La Rosa and Irrational Labs] Imagine stepping into a high quality French pastry shop. Baguettes, croissants, and chocolate covered truffles are all abundantly displayed behind the counter. The French pastry shop is giving away gift certificates and you have the option of choosing one of the following: A gift certificate that expires…

Why do Republicans deny climate change?

[By Rohini Venkatraman, Product Manager & Kristen Berman, Irrational Labs cofounder]   “We need more data to move forward.” “That just won’t work.” “It’s a good problem, but not high enough on the priority list” “Sorry, no budget. Maybe next quarter.” These are the ringtones of rejection. Whether you’re an entrepreneur or an intrapreneur, your…

T’is the Season to Commit

[By Rohini Venkatraman. Edited by Kristen Berman] It’s that time of year again: The season of giving. A few weeks ago, I received an all-company email: Have clothes that you don’t need/never use or need more space in your own closet? Donate them! Please bring items through this week to the boxes located at the…

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