One of the things I like most of my job is the opportunity to learn always something new and doing that having fun!

My last experience was the workshop "Design for good" in Milan and it was great! It gave me the simple and effective tools for changing the daily behaviours of people combining design+psychology.

The big surprise of the day was to find there my beloved ex-colleagues Elisa and Chiara. Destiny? Karma? I do not know but this day will be unforgettable also because of them.

Elisa and Chiara

The event started with coffee and networking, a warm-up introduction among team members, and then facilitators gave us instructions and a sort of framework to approach the challenge.

Challenge: Reduce waste of water
Persona: Luciano, 66 years old citizen of Ravenna, with an ecological attitude.

As team, we first defined barriers that prevent Luciano from saving water and then we found bridges that could help him to get closer to his goal.
Facilitators introduced the touchpoint -a touchscreen in our case- and we designed multiple solutions with the crazy 8's method.
Then we expressed our preferences using sticky dots and found the most valuable solutions.

The constrains of our challenge

Until this point, the workshop could seem very similar to many others. And right here it comes the best.

Just after lunch, Anna Fusillo made his talk about Behavioural design that will influence the rest of the workshop and, more important, my future design.

Anna Fusillo

So, in a nutshell, what is behavioural design?
Everyday we take decisions: these decisions define our behaviours.
In most cases, we take decisions using our fast system. We rely on slow system only for rational and important choices.

Fast system is named so because works with heuristic rules, a sort of mental shortcuts that valuate only superficial or partial aspect of the decision. Some heuristics are social proof, scarcity, loss aversion.
So it's easy to fall in systematic errors, also known as biases.
If we underestimate biases or, worse, we deliberately use them for tricking the users we are making a bad design.

The full spectrum of cognitive biases

But we are not bad designer, right?
So we can use this knowledge to design for good.
How can we make changes in slow and fast system?

To make interventions in the slow system we can create frictions. They're good if user must take conscious decision and evaluating the consequences of his action.

A modal window that creates friction

For the fast system we can use nudges.
Nudges affect people behaviour with simple and small changes in the environment (physical or digital). They respond to a principle of "libertarian paternalism" and people are free to decide if embrace or not the change.

Definition of Nudge
Nudges we can use in design
Examples of feedback

As our world is complex -or better human beings are- designers should also evaluate side effects of nudges and future consequences.

With this food for thought, we came back to our challenge.
Facilitators asked us to finalise our solution adding a feedback, one of the nudge we just saw in the talk.

So, in few words, this is what we designed.

An app that track how much water people is using in their own places.
The app collects data about residents and home features and provide a clear and easy model to follow for saving water.
Alert can be prompt if family is not doing good: here we provide a first feedback and encourage people to correct their behaviours.
The app also shows a weekly report that include feedback about the progress made by the residents.
The weekly feedback should be something like:
You stick to the model Single and saved 30 buckets of water and € 40 from your wallet!"

If I could, I would attend workshop all the time!
But this is not possible so, for the moment, I can also say thanks to Digital Entity and UX book club Milano for this experience!

Are you a Instagram lover? Want to see more pictures? Take a look to the story of the event!