Ben Kertman

Integrating Behavior Change Science into Human Centered Design

Key Learnings

  • They will be able to describe how a research process might look for discovering which factors will be most critical to a target audience and behavior.
  • discovering the key factors, and making recommendations for how to integrate those factors into design prototypes to motivate the target behavior.
  • The audience will be able to recall the library of factors and what they're used for.

When we design products and experiences to encourage users to re-share an article, complete an online course, or wear their fitness tracker while exercising, we are attempting to change thoughts, emotions and behaviors.
Though much of our work centers on behavior change, we have not yet integrated behavior science into the foundations of our methods. We have the opportunity to do so in a thoughtful, meaningful, and academically rigorous way.

I will walk the audience through an open-source, open-access map of academically-vetted behavioral factors that can either facilitate or limit any given behavior. We, of course, know some of these behavioral factors already: ‘Usability’ and ‘Accessibility’ are two among this list. Since after all, if a product or experience is not ‘usable’ or ‘accessible’, then our target audience will not be able to engage in the target behavior. This Behavior Change Framework radically expands beyond the factors of ‘Usability’ and ‘Accessibility’ to reveal a whole world of missing factors illuminated by the behavioral sciences.

We must begin to integrate these insights if we hope to design our products and experiences in ways that have real, lasting impact on shaping healthier behaviors.

Date: Thursday, October 14th
Time: 10:30 - 11:15


Ben Kertman

Ben is a behavior change scientist and public health specialist who became a user research consultant to help organizations design experiences that change behaviors and improve human well-being. Impatient with the tendency of behavior change companies to use a single discipline approach (e.g. behavioral economics) and guard their methods behind paywalls, Ben spent the last 7 years developing an open-source, multi-discipline, behavior change framework for researchers and designers to apply to UX. Ben holds a masters in Social and Behavior Science and Public Health from Harvard.

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