What sort of behaviour?

The different patterns (initially just those featured on the poster) have each been given a badge (or two) showing whether they have the effect of enabling, motivating, or constraining user behaviour:

Enabling behaviour

Enabling behaviour
Enabling ‘desirable’ behaviour by making it easier for the user than the alternatives

Motivating behaviour

Motivating behaviour
Motivating users to change behaviour by education, incentives and changing attitudes

Constraining behaviour

Constraining behaviour
Constraining users to ‘desirable’ behaviour by making alternatives difficult or impossible

This way of classifying the patterns can be useful to think about when you’re coming up with concepts and evaluating them. What are you trying to achieve in terms of influencing behaviour? How would you react, as a user, faced with the design? Would it influence your behaviour? Why?

Much work in Persuasive Technology has taken the approach of motivating behaviour, with attitude change usually a precursor, but BJ Fogg’s reduction and tunnelling (Fogg, 2003) are arguably also about enabling particular behaviours by making them simpler (see also Maeda, 2006). Buckminster Fuller’s ‘trimtab’ concept–“modify[ing] the environment in such a way as to get man moving in preferred directions” (Krausse & Lichtenstein, 2001)–also accords with the enabling approach and provides a link to the wider field of design for social benefit. Human factors strategies aimed at influencing behaviour in a health and safety context often employ a constraining approach.

The approach used in practice–and hence the patterns and concepts chosen for further development–may, of course, be dictated by the client or other stakeholders rather than being the designer’s decision.

P.S. If you can come up with better icons (the ‘Constraining’ one does look rather intestinal), or your own classifications, please do let us know in the comments below…

Next: the patterns

Architectural lens

Errorproofing lens

Persuasive lens

Visual lens

Cognitive lens

Security lens

The Design with Intent Toolkit v0.9 by Dan Lockton, David Harrison and Neville A. Stanton
Introduction | Behaviour | Architectural lens | Errorproofing lens | Persuasive lens | Visual lens | Cognitive lens | Security lens