Meaningful Experiences: Meaningful Innovations for Behavior Change
MA IN DESIGN FOR SUSTAINABILITY NAJMEH (NAZ) MIRZAIE PROFESSOR SCOTT BOYLSTON
"Sustainability represents not so much an environmental crisis, but a crisis of meaning; it prompts us to reassess many of our most fundamental assumption, and to re-examine and change our approaches." Stuart Walker
Despite the significant of sustainable life cycle thinking, current market more than ever in the history of design, has created enormous pressure on innovation that resulted in competitive atmosphere, conspicuous consumption patterns, and obsolescent relationships between users and their possessions. Therefore, changes in user’s behaviors and habits could also create unbelievable and impressive results in protecting our natural resources. The user experience of products and services is an important factor in the user motivation to alter his or her behavior. Creating desirable and meaningful experiences require innovative engagement and valuable relationship between user and products.
at a deeper level in design process and raise users ‘ awareness about sustainable choices. The proposed framework provides guiding principles for brands and designers to create innovative product service systems that empower customers to cautiously adopt sustainable behaviors by building meaningful experiences. Therefore, the resulted innovations are meaningful with ability to connect deeply to customers’ lifestyles. The framework has 6 overlapping frames. Arrows in the framework display that at any level in a project, you can move between these frames. The objective of this framework is creating fundamental guiding principles to provoke further research depending on a project scope.
Consequently, this project addressed opportunities to incorporate consumers’ needs and behaviors Page 3
6 BRAND CRITERIA
The future of innovation is not products, it is behavior change. So, this framework starts with behavior change as the heart or foundation of this framework. This frame provides the main criteria in understanding "human behaviors."
A strong design process is one of the foundations for a successful brand. The proposed design process includes a four-step method to connect behavior change criteria to the creation of meaningful experiences.
Design process is one of the foundations for a successful brand. The design process to the right represents a 4 step method to connect behavior change criteria to the creation of meaningful experiences.
Strategies are the fourth frame that are derived from the design process and result from behavior change and meaningful experience. They have been presented through a companyâ€™s before, during, and after execution touchpoints.
New products that result from the previous four stages will be the messenger of behavior change A sample set of criteria is presented in this frame phase. The main attribute is a connection to a broader system: the product service system.
And the last frame is brand as the inclusion of all the other frames. It presents the required criteria for a successful brand that facilitates sustainable behavior change.
The most effective strategies are upstream... something in the performance environment will be changed (Verplanken and Wood, 2006). These changes in the experienced outcome of the behavior will break the habit. (Zachrisson, 2012)
Successful behavior change begins with unique and memorable ways of attracting attention. Contemporary advertising techniques can be applied, from surprising the audience to the novelty of the context, and emotional triggers. The ensuing results stand out, creating durable, long lasting, and recognizable memory.
Motivations (intentions), ability (control), and opportunity/triggers are required to illicit the adoption of new behaviors. This project’s primary target group— infectious agents—require a trigger, while enthusiastic explorers—the secondary target groups—require the ability as well as the trigger.
Awareness, consideration, and practice are three steps in adopting new habits. Efficiency and convenience are strong elements in attracting attention to new behaviors. People cycle in and out in adopting new habits, so any behavior change program requires constant delivery and augmenting programs.
Intention, habit, and context are the three primary influencing elements of behavior change, with context possessing the strongest influence. Context defines our daily habits. Elements within any system— connections, social norms, rules, environment, trends and market conditions— all inform this context.
In designing triggers, two factors should be considered: interaction between customer and touchpoint; and aesthetic and emotional nature of these interactions. Triggers can be associated with sensible influences: emotional ties, status associations, and personal identifiers that have increasingly stronger effects, and are harder to achieve.
1. Thorough understanding of the engaged customers 2. Right time, place, and context 3. Supporting social norms 4. Smart and informed changes in the default context 5. Systematic and holistic solutions 6. Engaging storytelling 7. Reciprocation
According to Appraisal Theory 3 universal key variables should be considered in the process of emotion elicitation: • Concern • Stimulus ( Triggers) •
The extent to which a user considers the implication as personally beneficial defines what type of influence is possible or most appropriate. between individual and collective concerns plays a prominent role. (Tromp, & et al, 2011)
Appraisal (Connection &feedback) ( Desmet, 200?)
Meaningful experiences can happen when a customer has a visceral connection as she/he interacts with a product service system that mirrors her/his values.
These needs should be satisfied in a meaningful experience that, in ascending order, have a stronger effect: aesthetic, sensibilities, social acceptance, self-esteem, and personal growth.
A product with ability to connect to the existing meanings of customers’ lives has the potential to create sustainable behavior, and results in creative consumption patterns.
Meaningful experiences engage customers through a unified system of touchpoints that evokes a constant sense of integrity and familiarity to people’s perspectives of the world.
Creating meaningful experiences for behavior change require motivations, awareness, insightful triggers and strategies based on the context and the level of user intentions.
Ease of use, effectiveness, and efficiency are three aspects of usability which enhance a user's goal attainment, resulting in positive emotions, and meaningful experiences. Beauty is a critical factor in usability assessment because an individual's like or dislike of a particular product is affected by perceptions of beauty.
The design challenge revolves around helping customers make better choices for their lives and for the planet. The value of design is in its power to connect these personal and collective concerns. The design process presented on the right page is a suggestion for effective steps to connect these two concerns through design.
Analysis: The results of analysis helps to find leverage points in system where experiences can have a strongest effect. The data from systematic immersion helps a designer through the analysis phase to respond to these questions:
Systematic immersion: As with many other design processes, the first step involves understanding the current context through systems and lateral thinking. Systematic immersion is about studying all the influential factors of a behavior. The focus is on understanding the connections between a product, the user, and a behavior in a specific context. Knowledge, intents, beliefs, values, habits, rituals, current level of user control, and eWxperience should all be considered in user immersion.
Through this process, the right trigger can be selected based on the user's intentions and awareness, and defining a scope for the behavior change project.
All the entities and their connections, social norms, rules, environment, trends, market, and economic factors are essential aspects of exploring the context. All the entities and their connections, social norms, rules, environment, trends, market, and economic factors are essential aspects in exploring the context. Page 8
What will motivate the users? How can design attract attention?
Synthesis, simulation, and evaluation: In the third step, the appropriate strategies for defining different touchpoints through the product lifecycle will be determined. The iterative co-design and prototyping sessions provide direct communication between a brand and its infectious agents. Delivery and constant refinement: Adopting new behaviors is a time consuming process that requires constant and long-term delivery and refinement. The delivered experiences should constantly be developed based on trends and customer needs. Maintaining offering phase requires strong connection to customers, direct feedback from customers, and empathy among all employees,
1. Know the
people & context
4. Delivery &
Decision & Offerings
motivations & scope
3. Strategy, co-design, &iterative prototyping
Synthesis, Simulation & evaluation
Design for behavior change is an iterative, transparent, and collaborative process that requires a holistic view and systematic considerations.
Infectious agents generate their solutions to solve their own problems and follow the brands that support their life style. In defining strategies to communicate with these agents, two maps were created; the first is a systems map of key considerations, strategies, and tactics; and the second
But, according to this project objective, approachable strategies are more supporting and preferable due to their ability to empower the infectious agents and explorers to adopt more socially conscious behaviors without reducing their own power to interact with products
one, which is featured on the next spread,
(critical factor in designing triggers).
shows the distribution of strategies based
A very important factor to consider is the
on different touchpoints.
successful creation of an experience that
A customers' willingness, responsiveness,
reaches into behavior change decisions,
and control on the existing context such as environment, social norms, and rules
requiring a unified strategy system of touchpoints.
that will be explored in the first stage of the design process are guiding factors in selecting any of the presented strategies. Approachability and effectiveness: According to behavior change studies, there is conflict between approachability and effectiveness of different strategies. Most of the approachable strategies like 'informing' are not that effective in creating long term changes in behavior.
Co-creation strategies significantly are effective in recognizing objective and subjective barriers that influence context and remove them through designing informed product service systems. As mentioned before, context has the strongest effect in ecological behaviors.
Key considerations, strategies & tactics
e ativ n Cre ptio m su s con ttern pa
Goal base & tailoring
Emotions Create action tendency
Adoptability Personal possessioness
Key consideration Strategy Tactic
Behavior change strategies & touchpoints
Strategies in different touchpoints
Strategies that are related to all the touchpoints.
Sample of behavior change strategies in different touchpoints
Support and support by the context
term Long tenance main
en nv Co
n of a ty cy rie uen e Va eq nc fr sse e
Adju sta resp ble to onse s
e str Up
Vi si b an ility d of re u su se lts
After e xe c
Unde rstan dable
ay fu l
ing ett al s Go
t ten sis
Communication Initiatives to promote behavior change are often most effective when they are carried out at the community level and involve direct contact with people. This is because it could powerfully affect how people view themselves (McKenzieMohr, 2011). Consequently, it will have a huge impression on their support for policy changes or moving toward a new paradigm. Moreover, by encouraging self-organization and removing the burden from the intervenor, the members of communities will be connected to each other based on shared ways of doing things and relating these practices to one another. This will allow them to achieve their common value as a more sustainable community. Also, over time, the resulting practice becomes a recognizable bond among those involved toward a strong sense of community as has been called “dynamics of culture” (Capra, 2002). These communications help customers to be heard, feel satisfied and respected, and result in meaningful experience.
Adoptability & Personal Identification Adoptability that can be part of the cocreation strategy gives direct voice to customers. It allows them to modify products and services to their needs which will result in valuable experiences. Adoptability enhances personal responsibility, because the customer takes an active role in the creation of the product and she/he will thus feel more connected, and eventually will more likely take better care of her/his possessions. It is a powerful strategy to enrich, the "I-you" relationship between a customer and her/his possessions, rather than an "I-it" relationship. Adoptability is also tied to a sense of identity because customers can add their values to their favorite products.
"‘I-It’ relationship is a subject-object relationship by which we view products with ‘an ethic of alienation, exploitation, and disengagement’. The alternative is an ‘I-you’ relationship that is mutual, reciprocal, and profound." Stuart Walker
Among all the mentioned strategies, storytelling is the most effective strategy that thoroughly connects the behavior change context to creating meaningful experiences. We are surrounded with an overwhelming amount of information everyday, and only that information with strong and consistent storytelling is able to initially attract the required attention, keeps curiosity to transfer the message, and possesses enough pattern recognition to be remembered.
As human beings we like to be associated with and are likely to be influenced by the group of people who share the same values, see the world with similar perspectives, and have similar identities with us. Generating experiences according to shared identities is a strong strategy for a company to create a group of members who will be infectious agents and representatives for their valuable causes or meanings and eventually of a company which support these causes.
Creating cohesive narratives is an extraordinary strategy for communicating with customers, and keeps this communication personal, elicits delightful emotions, and creates triggers and finally convey deep awareness. Therefore, an engaging narrative is a strategy for creating experiences that are inspiring and have stimulating elements to create action tendencies toward sustainable behaviors. In addition, if a story is consistent and honest, it will create trust for customers.
These experiences depend on a unified system of symbols and images based on special personal and social beliefs. Our causes come from what we respect in life, our social beliefs, rituals, and social norms in the society. Personal norms have a strong effect on our habits and intentions and are affected by the social norms and our values. A company can use visible touchpoints to communicate these identities among its members. For example, a company that supports water protection can create credit cards with different colors for Ocean protection, drinking water in developing countries, and other related causes. Strong memberships can create valuable bonds that will change a company's position from a business to a family for its members and earn their commitment. Page 15
Information & feedback
Healthy and transparent information flows is a required trait for all of the strategies; although, it may not be successfully achieved without a clear storytelling framework or communication strategy. Finding an apt audience and presenting the information in a consistent and organized manner helps companies create effective triggers for the aware customersâ€”our infectious agents.
Engaging playfulness and creating pleasure are extremely effective tactics. They keep customers' attention, and maintain their sustainable bahavior with engaging experience. Delightful experiences help people learn new patterns of behavior. Positive incentives, games, goal-based activities, gifts, and badges are different persuading tactics and strategies.
Information should be presented in a personally engaging and accessible fashion, and it should be aspirational and future-oriented. The best way to present information is with persuasive messages that are normative, and refer to perceptions of what should or should not be done by individuals. The most effective messages should be presented during the behavior (in close time and space proximity) in the context that is called upstream information. This feedback should be coherent and consistent.
Gamification creates entertainment, competition, visual attraction, and rewarding incentives.
Respect safety of environment, workers, & customers Expose the resources use & embodied resource efficiency Create usable & environmental friendly interactions (Human-centered Eco-design)
Be part of a product service system
Avoid functional, aesthetic, & technological obsolescence (Durability)
Support with customersâ€™ values
Create emotional & aesthetic engaging experiences
Provide tangible incentives
Connect customers with shared values
Respond to customer behvaior changes
Create benefits for local communities
(Provide feedback in real time)
Has ethical, trustful, & transparent lifecycle such as intent & outcomes
Provide tangible & measurable outcomes
Has justifiable performance & criteria
Respect cultural diversity
Create healthy habits
Enhance customers knowledge
Connect individual & social concerns
Be economically viable
Fit in customer personality & lifestyle
Collective consumption (Repair, remake, reuse,
(Produced & maintained locally)
share & exchange instead of buying new products)
Transparent communications Visible life cycle thinking, honest measuring and demonstrating of environmental and social impacts, loyalty in initial claims, and constant enhancement of customer knowledge will result in invaluable trust.
Meaningful identity Meaningful identity and sense of membership among customers can be generated by addressing shared values in different touchpoints.
Reframed experiences The focus should shift from products to the experiences and context through consistent product service systems, and meaningful storytelling in a unified system of touchpoints.
Enhanced empathy &social efforts Efforts should be commenced from the brand itself with creating or enhancing corporate social responsibility and then investing in social innovation projects and working closely with related organizations.
Behavior changes will be applicable through brands if they have transparent and trustworthy business practices, and the essence of trust is all about familiarity and consistency. Innovation is no longer just about new product, but is more Page 18
Sustained meaningful innovations Concentration on product service systems, collaboration consumption patterns, green innovations, and enriching sustainable strategies (reduce, reuse, recycle, & restore) are among the guidelines in this category.
Self-evolving communities Through consumer collaborations, user-generated contexts, fostering powerful leadership and infectious agents, companies can assist in creation of resilient communities.
and more about intense collaboration at all the touch points. These collaborations create ideal opportunities for influencing behaviors and providing effective, actionable and meaningful feedback.
sense of membership fostering powerful leadership and infectious agents
Addressing shared values in different touchpoints. enhancing corporate social responsibility
Enhanced empathy &social efforts
MEANINGFUL EXPERIENCES FOR BEHAVIOR CHANGE
constant enhancement of customer knowledge
loyalty in initial claims
Sustained meaningful innovations
Visible life cycle thinking
Product service systems
collaboration consumption patterns
Sustainable living in organizations In the context of our modern and complex society, organizations possesses some of the best opportunities to design sustainable behavior change. It is common to hear that people in organizations resist change, but in reality, as Fritoj Capra suggests, people do not resist change; they resist having change imposed on them. In bringing sustainable behaviors to these complicated systems, the designer could apply the principles of living systems in eco-systems, which are the basis of sustainability. According to a study by Harvard Business School, large, resilient, and long-lived corporations that have survived major changes in the world around them,
commonly exhibit the behavior and certain characteristics of living entities. The study identified two sets of characteristics that are helpful in encouraging sustainable behaviors in organizations: â€˘
Strong sense of community and collective identity around common values- In these companies, members know that they will be supported in their endeavors to achieve their own goals. Like communities in the neighborhood, a strong feeling among the employees of a company that they belong to the organization is essential for its survival. â€˘ Openness to the outside world- These companies have the required tolerance
for new individuals and ideas and a manifest ability to learn and adapt to new circumstances. To encourage sustainable behaviors in a company designers should consider special responsibilities for leaders as source of influence. Leaders should be able to recognize emergent novelty and create a fostering culture of freedom to make mistakes. In such a culture experimentation is encouraged and learning is valued as much as success. Therefore, the most effective way to enhance an organization’s sustainable learning potentials is to support and strengthen its communities of practice. Designers could help these leaders to integrate the challenges of ecological
sustainability into their strategies by shifting their priorities toward developing the creative potential for employees and enhancing the quality of the company’s internal communities. (De Geus, 1997) Bringing life into human organizations by empowering their communities of practice not only increases their flexibility, creativity and learning potential, but also enhances the dignity and humanity of the organization’s individuals, as they will be connect with those qualities in themselves. So, mentally and emotionally healthy working environments in which people feel that they are supported in achieving their own goals and do not have to sacrifice their integrity to meet the goals of the organization will be accomplished.
“In an organization that is alive knowledge creation is natural.” Fritjof Capra
Savannah College of Arts and Design Spring 2013