I research how products and services can be developed to change behavior. My research shows that persuasion as a strategy is especially appropriate and effective when people are consciously willing to change their behavior. Persuasive products and services are often explicitly positioned as helping people to change their behavior. In my thesis (“Social design or how products and services can help us in ways that benefit society”) I also consider situations when it is effective to introduce the change unconsciously. When social problems, like immigration or high unemployment are considered, often conflicting concerns are present, therefore in such situations implicit strategies are more effective. We investigate various design approaches, aiming to help designers consider what type of strategy would be the most effective in realizing behavioral change.
In my research I apply two types of studies. First one (the narrative based study) to test concept designs that don’t exist yet and evaluate them with experts to learn if they would expect the behavioral change to occur as it was intended. The other is evaluating interventions for behavioral change and testing their efficiency through experiments.
social design, behavioral change, design methodology
text by Malgorzata Pawlak