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How to do a Behavioral Diagnosis

What is it? When we work with companies to help them change behavior for good, the behavioral diagnosis is where we begin. It’s a process that helps us figure out how well something is designed to encourage a key behavior. It is a detailed, step-by-step analysis of how users actually behave. We have previously shared…

Designing experiments 101

The main reason companies should use experiments when designing their products is because they help make evidence-based decisions and avoid costly missteps.  This is especially important for new companies, where even a small misstep can cause the product to fail.   At Irrational Labs, we often help companies design experiments to test their ideas for…

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…

Fitness trackers: Is measurement helpful or not?

By Kristen Berman and Ingrid Melvaer Paulin Fitness trackers: Is measurement helpful or not? Fitness trackers have come a long way from the clunky and unreliable plastic devices they once were. Today’s versions are well-designed, more accessible and more accurate in tracking your steps than ever. They are also extremely popular, especially among the young and…

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…

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