Designing for ActionOpower’s 5 principlesDeena RosenDirector of User Experience, OpowerAction Design DC Meetup, May 14th, ...
2Agenda»  Who is Opower?»  5 Design Principles»  Next steps for you»  Q&A
Action Design + Opower
Opower’s mission: Motivate everyone on earth to use less energy
US $250 million saved
That’s equal to:Powering the NYsubway for a year
How we do it»  Government & utility industry regulations»  Data-driven insights»  Behavioral science»  User-centered design
Opower’s 5 Design Principles
9Quick note on design principles»  Should combine best design practices + your unique design challenges»  Should be action...
Why?We should be experts in the science ofhuman behavior if we’re trying to change it.Principle #1
Largest behavioral science experiment in the world!
Social proofWe will do things we see other people doing. Especially ifthose people are similar to us.
Behavioral levers»  Social proof»  Commitments»  Loss aversion»  Defaults/choice architecture»  Priming»  Collection/compl...
CommitmentsIf we commit to an idea, we are more likely to honor it,because it becomes congruent with our self image.
Action we want people to take:complete energy efficient actions
Case study: tips»  Social proof»  Commitments
Why?People need to be compelled to takeaction.Principle #2
Action we want people to take:complete our online questionnaire
Case study: Energy audit»  Delighters»  Completion
Why?People will be more likely to complete anaction if they can easily take the first step.Principle #3
Action we want people to take:remember to adjust their thermostat when theyleave the house
What are the barriers?»  Education»  Motivation»  Memory
Case study: adjusting thermostat»  Anticipate barriers»  Show one clear message
Why?Behavior change takes time.Principle #4
Action we *don’t* want people to take:opt-out of our program
Case study: in-app feedback»  Enable a two-way conversation
Why?A large impact necessitates broad reach,not just action from a few.Principle #5
Wants to “win” the thrifty game: saves as much as possibleShe’s a “2-for” girl: uses her entertainment-savings bookto get ...
Understanding channels: not one-size-fits-all
5 Principles
Takeaways for Action Designers
For your todo listAudit your problem spaceWhen are you asking users to take action?How can you apply science at each actio...
And one last thingYour next step right now:»  Choose 1 idea to take back to your company, and 1person to share it with. Co...
Thank you!opower.com/designprinciples
Appendix: Design principle tactics
Tactics:»  Elicit emotions»  Hide demotivating context (eg- small $amounts)»  Rely on empirical evidence, not self-reporte...
Tactics:»  Always pair data with insight»  Expose personalization»  Don’t make people work to understand»  Use familiar me...
Tactics:»  Anticipate and eliminate barriers»  Offer realistic goals»  Ensure one clear message
Tactics:»  Don’t burn bridges»  Ensure experiences adapt over time»  Encourage users to share their thoughts»  Make users ...
Tactics:»  Check designs against personas»  Keep it simple, but provide deeper levelfor engaged users»  Understand user’s ...
OPower's 5 Principles of Action design meetup 05 14-13
OPower's 5 Principles of Action design meetup 05 14-13
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OPower's 5 Principles of Action design meetup 05 14-13

  1. 1. Designing for ActionOpower’s 5 principlesDeena RosenDirector of User Experience, OpowerAction Design DC Meetup, May 14th, 2013
  2. 2. 2Agenda»  Who is Opower?»  5 Design Principles»  Next steps for you»  Q&A
  3. 3. Action Design + Opower
  4. 4. Opower’s mission: Motivate everyone on earth to use less energy
  5. 5. US $250 million saved
  6. 6. That’s equal to:Powering the NYsubway for a year
  7. 7. How we do it»  Government & utility industry regulations»  Data-driven insights»  Behavioral science»  User-centered design
  8. 8. Opower’s 5 Design Principles
  9. 9. 9Quick note on design principles»  Should combine best design practices + your unique design challenges»  Should be actionable•  Help you make decisions
  10. 10. Why?We should be experts in the science ofhuman behavior if we’re trying to change it.Principle #1
  11. 11. Largest behavioral science experiment in the world!
  12. 12. Social proofWe will do things we see other people doing. Especially ifthose people are similar to us.
  13. 13. Behavioral levers»  Social proof»  Commitments»  Loss aversion»  Defaults/choice architecture»  Priming»  Collection/completion
  14. 14. CommitmentsIf we commit to an idea, we are more likely to honor it,because it becomes congruent with our self image.
  15. 15. Action we want people to take:complete energy efficient actions
  16. 16. Case study: tips»  Social proof»  Commitments
  17. 17. Why?People need to be compelled to takeaction.Principle #2
  18. 18. Action we want people to take:complete our online questionnaire
  19. 19. Case study: Energy audit»  Delighters»  Completion
  20. 20. Why?People will be more likely to complete anaction if they can easily take the first step.Principle #3
  21. 21. Action we want people to take:remember to adjust their thermostat when theyleave the house
  22. 22. What are the barriers?»  Education»  Motivation»  Memory
  23. 23. Case study: adjusting thermostat»  Anticipate barriers»  Show one clear message
  24. 24. Why?Behavior change takes time.Principle #4
  25. 25. Action we *don’t* want people to take:opt-out of our program
  26. 26. Case study: in-app feedback»  Enable a two-way conversation
  27. 27. Why?A large impact necessitates broad reach,not just action from a few.Principle #5
  28. 28. Wants to “win” the thrifty game: saves as much as possibleShe’s a “2-for” girl: uses her entertainment-savings bookto get deals for her and her friends, even though she’srelatively well-off financiallyHates being taken advantage of: still remembers a timeshe mailed back a rebate form but never got her rebatecheckInterested in learning more, and takes advice from anyone“with technical authority”Called utility about an unusally high winter bill ($400) andtrusted the utility’s explanation that she was using herheater incorrectly (even though she has been using it sameway for 12 years)Challenging herself to use less is part of life—Joyce learnedthat her cousin sets his thermostat to 64 in winter and “ifhe can do it, I can do it”In complete control over household behaviors but doesn’thave the money to make large investments, such asreplacing windowsJoyce “Hobby Saver”Joyce is a mostly-retired lawyer who works a few hours a weekfrom her small 2-bedroom house in the suburbs. Joyce, 62, sharesher 40 year-old home with her dog, and they are making do withold windows and insulation.“I live like an Eskimo in the winter —my nose is often cold.”No concern Loves to saveSaving money as part of identityNon-believer EnvironmentalistSaving energy as part of identitySponge SkepticOpenness to new knowledgeComfort-focused Will sacrificeWillingness to take actionChannels to receive knowledgePaper High-techHigh barriers In-controlAbility to take actionBe careful of sending Joyce a negativerating, as this wouldn’t feel credible to herBehavioral tips or low-medium cost investmenttips would resonate most with JoyceLet her share her pride: would be a goodcandidate to get testimonials fromKeep Joyce engaged by giving her somethingto strive for; shed be up for some healthycompetitionDesigning for JoyceJoyces ReportBehaviorsReport rating:KnowledgeTaking actionMotivationHow she thinks shes doing:Religiously adjusts her thermostat, and will turn offcentral heat, wear sweaters, and carry around spaceheater in the winter to avoid heating the whole houseCouldn’t afford to install new windows, but installed aceling fanCalls utility when there’s a problem, pays bill withcheckbookLoves the reports, is very proud to see her behaviorrewardedGreatGreat“This is great information, everyone should get this.”User personas
  29. 29. Understanding channels: not one-size-fits-all
  30. 30. 5 Principles
  31. 31. Takeaways for Action Designers
  32. 32. For your todo listAudit your problem spaceWhen are you asking users to take action?How can you apply science at each action point?Learn the scienceWhat tools are at your disposal? Become fluent inthem.Take an online class with your coworkers. Have abookclub.Create your own principlesWhat makes your design challenge unique?What do you want to ensure you’re keeping in mind?
  33. 33. And one last thingYour next step right now:»  Choose 1 idea to take back to your company, and 1person to share it with. Commit: when will you share it?
  34. 34. Thank you!opower.com/designprinciples
  35. 35. Appendix: Design principle tactics
  36. 36. Tactics:»  Elicit emotions»  Hide demotivating context (eg- small $amounts)»  Rely on empirical evidence, not self-reportedpreferences»  Make the preferred option the default»  Prime before key decisions
  37. 37. Tactics:»  Always pair data with insight»  Expose personalization»  Don’t make people work to understand»  Use familiar mental models
  38. 38. Tactics:»  Anticipate and eliminate barriers»  Offer realistic goals»  Ensure one clear message
  39. 39. Tactics:»  Don’t burn bridges»  Ensure experiences adapt over time»  Encourage users to share their thoughts»  Make users feel in control
  40. 40. Tactics:»  Check designs against personas»  Keep it simple, but provide deeper levelfor engaged users»  Understand user’s existing relationshipwith utility
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