A survey

As mentioned here, I’ve finally got round to putting a survey online to capture some people’s experiences with using the Design with Intent cards. A few people have already very kindly filled in prototype versions of these questions in different contexts.

So, if you’ve downloaded the cards, or used a printed version, and you have a spare few minutes, it would be very much appreciated if you could have a go at this survey – it’s anonymous (if you like), all the questions are optional, and the whole thing should be quick to do.
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End of the year

It’s been a very very very busy year, and that’s my main excuse for not blogging for far too long. There are many interesting people, interesting things and ideas and opportunities, and unresolved thoughts that need to be talked about, but haven’t been. And many people who’ve got in touch that I just haven’t got round to replying to. I apologise. For quite a while it’s been easier to use Twitter than to blog here. That’s a shame, but it’s also enabled me to get to know (virtually or otherwise) a great group of very clever people. I’ve been to Copenhagen, Ghent, Delft and Enschede on Design with Intent-related business, as well as managing to go camping on the Isles of Scilly with Harriet, which was fantastic.
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Design with Intent toolkit 1.0 now online

Design with Intent cards

It’s been a long time coming, but a year after v.0.9, the new Design with Intent toolkit, DwI v.1.0, is ready. Officially titled Design with Intent: 101 Patterns for Influencing Behaviour Through Design, it’s in the form of 101 simple cards, each illustrating a particular ‘gambit‘ for influencing people’s interactions with products, services, environments, and each other, via the design of systems. They’re loosely grouped according to eight ‘lenses‘ bringing different disciplinary perspectives on behaviour change.

The cards (Download them here)
The intention is that the cards are useful at the idea generation stage of the design process, helping designers, clients and – perhaps most importantly – potential users themselves explore behaviour change concepts from a number of disciplines, and think about how they might relate to the problem at hand. Judging by the impact of earlier iterations, the cards could also be useful in stakeholder workshops, and design / technology / computer science education.
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Learning from game design: 11 gambits for influencing user behaviour

Games are great at engaging people for long periods of time, getting them involved, and, if we put it bluntly, influencing people’s behaviour through their very design. Something conspicuously missing from Design with Intent v.0.9 is a satisfactory treatment of the kinds of techniques for influencing user behaviour that can be derived from games and other ‘playful’ interactions. I hope to remedy this in DwI 1.0, so here’s a preview of the eleven patterns I’ve included in the new Ludic Lens on behaviour change: patterns drawn from games or modelled on more playful forms of influencing behaviour.

These aren’t original, by any means. People such as Amy Jo Kim (see her great presentation ‘Putting the fun in functional’), Sebastian Deterding, Francisco Inchauste, Jeremy Keith, Geke Ludden, and of course Ian Bogost have done work which explores this area from lots of different angles, and it also draws on decades of research in social psychology. Russell Davies’ Playful (which I really should have gone to!) looks like it was very pertinent here too. (Note, this lens doesn’t cover Game Theory-like patterns, some of which are indeed relevant to influencing user behaviour, but which I’ve chosen to group under a new ‘Machiavellian Lens’)

My main interest here is to extract the design techniques as very simple design patterns or ‘gambits’* that can be applied in other design situations outside games themselves, where designers would like to influence user behaviour (along with the other Design with Intent techniques). So these are (at least at present) presented simply as provocations: a “What if…?” question plus an example. The intention is that the card deck version will simply have what you see here, while the online version will have much more detail, references, links and reader/user-contributed examples and comments.

Challenges & targets, Santa Barbara beachChallenges & targets

What happens if you set people a challenge, or give them a target to reach through what they’re doing?

« Whoever laid out this coffee tub as a target for throwing coins knew a lot about influencing people to donate generously and enjoy it

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Why it’s been quiet here

I haven’t blogged for a couple of months, which is not unusual, but I always feel I owe loyal readers an explanation! Primarily, I’ve been so wrapped up in PhD-related work (now in my final year, and desperately trying to get the thing finished by the summer), that most of my writing energy has been going into the thesis and some papers and articles for various outlets, rather than towards the blog. Our Applied Ergonomics article, ‘The Design with Intent Method: A design tool for influencing user behaviour’ (co-authored with my supervisors David Harrison and Neville A. Stanton) has just been published in the print version of the journal (I will put an open-access preprint version online soon), and I’ve written articles with Fergus Bisset and Nick Marsh for the next issue of the Service Design Network’s Touchpoint journal – ‘Designing Motivation or Motivating Design? Exploring service design, motivation and behavioural change’ and ‘Research in practice: Bringing behaviour change from lab to studio’. Look out for them in the April/May issue.

There have also been a few other projects with which I’ve made an effort to get involved, mainly to secure my own future and enable expansion of research in this field once the PhD studentship runs out! I’m pleased to say that things seem to be progressing OK on that front, with some very exciting projects lined up, working with some very interesting people indeed.

In parallel, DwI toolkit v.0.95, which I think I will henceforth name Design with Intent 1.0 (shows a bit more confidence!) is nearing a stage where I’m happy to release it. More on that very soon.

As Richard Hamming said, “You have to neglect things if you intend to get what you want done. There’s no question about this.”

New card deck under development