Lens 2: Choice Architecture

For each touchpoint or situation, you then look at the choice architecture elements shaping people’s behavior and that’s where  behavioral economics come into play. To analyze a situation in terms of choice architecture lens 2, you actually have to break it down in 5 dimensions

Data & Information presentation

This dimension is looking at the well-known biases and human tendencies at play when looking at quantified data and other structured information. This is where framing effects, anchoring bias, etc. are at play. If the touchpoint or behavior you’re analyzing presents some sort of data or structured information, you need to look at this dimension.

Contextual persuasion and copy

This dimension looks at the contextual persuasion elements used to influence behavior. This could be the addition of an arrow to a form, shifting the order of questions, and all copy changes are also in that category. These elements are mostly medium-independent, i.e. they are valid whether you use the copy changes on digital or printed media.

Choice ergonomics and usability; user experience

This dimension is closely linked to the actual medium used within a particular touchpoint or behavior. Digital media will have different rules and impact than printed. Mobile is very different than web. Wearables are yet another category, etc. Some tools here will translate to other medium, some won’t. This category should also look at the user experience best practices existing in each field, and which are not linked (formally anyway) to behavioral sciences. Looking to influence behaviors through a mobile app? Well, you need to know the state of the art best practices of designing user interactions on mobile. Trying to nudge people entering hospitals into using hand disinfectant? Better know the best practices in terms of spatial architecture, etc.

Options and possibilities structuring

This dimension looks at the actual choices offered to agents when they have to make a decision. Do they have to actually choose an option (forced choice) or can they postpone the decision? Do you offer plan A and B or decide to add plan C as well? Do you offer them a choice between existing behavior and targeted one only or throw also an easier-to-adopt intermediary behavior into the mix available?

Choice commitment

Finally, the last dimension to examine is to look at the ways to help people stick with their choices and actually follow through with them. If the intended behavior in a situation is not immediate, then you need to examine this.