Behavioural Insights units around the world
- UK, Behavioural Insights Team (BIT). Their annual report is especially rich with approaches and examples.
- Australia, Behavioural Insights Community of Practice : (Check out their report on Behavioural Approaches to Increasing Workforce Diversity )
- USA, Social and Behavioral Sciences Team .
- Behavioural Insights Applied to Policy, European Report 2016 , covers 32 European Countries (EU + EFTA) and presents a wealth of policy interventions either implicitly or explicitly informed by Behavioural Insights. It also reviews institutional developments and puts forward a comparative framework (PRECIS) describing national teams applying BIs to policy-making.
Other interesting sources about this subject
- Bohnet, I. (2016). What Works, Gender Equality by Design. Cambridge, Massachusetts: The Belknap Press of Harvard University Press.
- The Swedish Nudging Network (SNN) is a network of organizations, institutions & companies dedicated to developing and applying insights from behavioural economics. Their website is active and links to numerous useful resources in many contexts.
- Kumpf, Benjamin. (2016) “Opinion: Solving last mile challenges: The potential of behavioral insights for the 2030 Agenda” . DevEx.
Tools & techniques for understanding context & behavioural insights
Human centered design
We often describe the process of using behavioural insights as human-centered design. Human-centered design is a process that starts with the people you’re designing for, generating new solutions tailored to suit their needs. Building empathy with people (i.e. your constituents) is at the heart of human-centered design. The design process proceeds from the exploration and generation of behavioural insights, through idea generation, prototyping, experimentation, and iteration of design ideas. This process is often applied to consumer products, but is also widely used in service design around the world. Numerous organizations have developed guides for various human-centered design contexts:
- An overview of the process and tools, from Designorate: “Characteristics of Human Centered Design” .
- Guide of methods and examples, from IDEO.org: Toolkit .
- Guide of methods and examples, adapted to African contexts, from Future By Design: Toolkit & Background .
Divergent and convergent thinking
Divergent and convergent describe two ways of thinking used in behavioural research, analysis, and human-centered design. According to most methods of service design, we approach a problem with a divergent point of view, and approach a solution from a convergent point of view. In other words, “divergent thinking” describes a problem-solving strategy defined by a mindset open to many possible solutions or approaches to answering many questions. It usually happens in a free-flowing, spontaneous manner, where multiple creative ideas are engendered and evaluated. “Convergent thinking” describes a problem-solving strategy involving the bringing together different ideas from different participants or fields to determine a single best solution to a lucidly defined problem. In other words, this is a kind of thinking that concentrates on finding out the single best or frequently, correct solution to a problem or answer to a question. We can think of using divergent thinking as what we use when gathering behavioural insights, trying to understand as much as possible about the problem and its context, and convergent thinking is what we do to analyze and synthesize those insights, pointing us toward what is relevant.
- Many service design resources refer to these ways of thinking in a model called the “double diamond,” which was created by the British Design Council. Innovation by Design (see page 15).
- Divergent and convergent thinking in problem-solving. “Idea Generation: Divergent vs. Convergent Thinking” (2015)
Specific techniques to help you understand & analyze behavioural insights
“Personas are fictional profiles, often developed as a way of representing a particular group based on their shared interests. They represent a “character” with which client and design teams can engage” and help us understand values shared between different types of people in a community. Learn more about personas here:
- The website accompaniment to the reliable book This is Service Design Thinking . Book by Stickdorn, Marc, and Jakob Schneider. (2012). Wiley. (You can also find a PDF version of this book online.)
- A primer on personas and how they are useful. “Personas: The Foundation of a Great User Experience” . UX Mag. (2011)
- A guide to create personas yourself. Lee, Kevin. “The Complete, Actionable Guide to Marketing Personas” . Buffer Social. (2015)
- A tool (for purchase) that can help you build personas, with a clear introduction (for free) to the basics, as well as stakeholder maps and journey maps. Smaply .
While the persona aims to build a character that reflects the demographic data and interests of the target constituent, empathy mapping puts the researcher in the shoes of the constituent and builds empathy by imagining how that persona would see, feel, and say about a given product or policy. Learn more about empathy mapping here:
- A guide to using empathy maps, from Designorate. “Using Persona Empathy Mapping to Understand User Behavior” .
- Empathy mapping guide from Stanford University’s d.school. “Method: Empathy Map” .
To understand how we can impact a system (e.g. a society or organization), we must understand how components within the system are related. A system map is a visual description of the different actors involved, their mutual links and the flows of materials, energy, information, and money that pass through the system. Learn more about system mapping here:
- An explanation of why system mapping is effective. “An Introduction to System Mapping” from FSG (2015).
- A guide to making system maps, with tips. “System Mapping for You” from Human Systems Dynamics Institute (2014).
A stakeholder map is like a system map, but it is a visual representation of the people involved in a particular service. It also represents the relationships between managers, customers, service agents, support staff, etc., and may also be an indication of a particular event that unfolds over time or space. Learn more about stakeholder mapping here:
- The website accompaniment to the reliable book This is Service Design Thinking . Book by Stickdorn, Marc, and Jakob Schneider. (2012). Wiley. (You can also find a PDF version of this book online.) See pp. 144-146.
- A step-by-step guide from Leadership Thoughts. “How to make a stakeholder map” .
- A clear explanation of how to make a stakeholder map yourself, easily translated from management to policy design. “Stakeholder mapping and management is key to successful project management” .
Customer journey maps
A customer journey map identifies key interactions that the customer has with the organization. It talks about the user’s feelings, motivations and questions for each of these touchpoints. It documents the customer experience through their perspective, helping us best understand how customers are interacting with us now, and helps us identify areas for improvement moving forward.It is a a way to walk in our customer’s shoes and chart his course as he interacts with our organization (channels, departments, touchpoints, products, etc.)
- For a clear explanation of what a Customer Journey map is and what we use it for. All You Need To Know About Customer Journey Mapping , by Paul Boag (2015).
- Explains the difference between the journey map and the lifecycle map Are You Creating a Journey Map or a Lifecycle Map? , by Annette Franz (2015).