Sebastian Deterding: Research for Behavior Change - The MAO Model

23 May 2012 - 5:23am
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So your client is excited and wants some of that “persuasive design” juice for his health application. And you did your homework! You read the books and blogs. You got yourself your “Mental Notes” deck and “Design With Intent” toolkit. And as you shuffle through the cards with their abundant patterns and principles to influence behavior – now what? Where to start? Where to focus? What part of the interaction to tackle? Which pattern to choose? And why?

Interest in design for behavior change has been growing rapidly in interaction design in the past years. In part thanks to that, we now have tools and libraries to inspire our designs. What we are lacking are focus and guidance in applying them. Usually, we get those from user research. But current research methods and deliverables arguably do not provide ready springboards.

This presentation introduces the Motivation Ability Opportunity (MAA) Model for consumer behavior, nicked from environmental psychology, as a tool to structure user research around a single behavior to be changed, and to guide subsequent design in prioritizing issues to tackle and choose ways to tackle them.

With practical examples from past client work, the presentation will lay out the model, the research behind it, methods and interview questions to fill it, and how to use it to guide design. Plus you get a handy handout! So the next time your client wants some of that “persuasive design” juice, you'll know “now what” to do.


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