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Rational overrides: influencing behaviour beyond nudging


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Service organisations struggle to understand and change customer behaviour since it is complex, dynamic, multidimensional and very often not rational. Behavioural sciences can provide us with the ability to fundamentally understand, predict and guide customer behaviour. While service designers increasingly use nudging interventions, we propose that different efforts are needed to increase the chances of having a durable impact.

We introduced rational overrides as an additional approach for influencing behaviour in services at the DRS conference in Limerick. Rational overrides introduce micro moments of friction in the customer journey, which makes customers more active and aware.

Published in: Business

Rational overrides: influencing behaviour beyond nudging

  1. 1. 1 London Oslo Rotterdam Sao Paulo Livework Studio © 2018 Rational Overrides: Influencing Behaviour Beyond Nudging A service design approach towards creating behavioural interventions DRS Limerick 2018 Anne van Lieren dr. Giulia Calabretta Prof. dr. Jan Schoormans
  2. 2. 2 A joint research How can service designers use behavioural sciences in the design of services to understand and influence behaviour? LEARNINGS FROM PRACTICE KNOWLEDGE & INTELLIGENCE
  4. 4. 4 Key insights from the research Why do we need to go beyond nudging? 1. Nudging interventions are not the holy grail - they are not always suitable, sustainable or scalable in a service context 3. Micro moments of friction are needed to disrupt customers out of mindless, automatic interactions and enables them to make better decisions 2. Getting customers in the right mindset at the right moment is crucial to create lasting impact on customer behaviour
  5. 5. 5 1. Nudges but not the holy grail ar o
  6. 6. 6 Nudging examples in a service context Amazon Uses smart defaults to streamline operations and increase customer experience on their customer service. UK government Using social norms to highlight positive behaviour of peers to reduce fraud, error and debt in by UK taxpayers. Nudges are not the holy grail
  7. 7. 7 Resolve adoption problems E.g Smooth channel migration Digital transformation Streamline operations E.g Increase response rate Reduce complaints Impact moments of change E.g. Temporary changes to service delivery Nudges are effective in services to... Nudges are not the holy grail
  8. 8. 8 Disadvantages of nudging in a service environment Dynamic Customers move from touchpoint to touchpoint Based on joint value creation that relies on active and engaged customers Used by different customers that need solutions that fit their personal situation A stable context To effect immediate behaviour Creating a frictionless experience That makes people lazy & inactive One-size fits all situations No active input is required Nudges are effective in... But services are.... Bovens, 2009; Schubert, 2015 Bisset & Lockton, 2010; Stutzer, 2011; Hansen & Jespersen, 2013 Botti & Iyengar, 2004; Dholakia, 2016 Nudges are not the holy grail
  9. 9. 9 Getting customers in the right mindset at the right moment 2. in to j u y
  10. 10. 10 Getting customers in the right mindset A proposed solution Nudging: Facilitate the subconscious mindset by making behaviour really easy, social or attractive. Instinctive subconscious mindset Reflective conscious mindset
  11. 11. 11 Micro moments of friction can switch customers to the conscious mindset A proposed solution Instinctive subconscious mindset Reflective conscious mindset Disrupt automatic interactions Prompt moments of reflection Stimulate conscious decisions making
  12. 12. 12 A rational override example A proposed solution Uber uses a small moment of friction to reduce human error and increase the customer experience during surge pricing. Uber introduced a micro moment of friction; the app forces users to type the correct surge price to confirm that they are consciously accepting. This patented method of ‘forcing’ users to manually agree to the higher fare drastically reduced customer complaints.
  13. 13. 13 Combining 2 types of behavioural interventions at the right moment in a customer journey A proposed solution Use nudges and rational override to either speed up or slow down the user’s momentum? RATIONAL OVERRIDE RATIONAL OVERRIDE NUDGE
  14. 14. 14 Micro moments of friction are required3. fu t a
  15. 15. 15 Rational overrides are not new Rational overrides in detail BEHAVIOURAL LITERATURE UX AND DESIGN LITERATURE ● Debiasing interventions (Jolls and Sunstein, 2004) ● Mindful nudges (Ly, 2013) ● System 2 nudges (Sunstein, 2015) ● Inclusion nudges (Nielsen, 2016) ● Frictional feedback (Laschke, Diefenbah & Hassenzahl, 2015) ● Micro boundaries (Cox & Gould, 2016)
  16. 16. 16 A working definition of rational overrides Rational override in detail A rational override is a small moment of intentional friction that attempts to influence people’s behaviour or decision-making by intervening automatic thinking and activating reflective conscious thinking.
  17. 17. 17 Strategies to create rational overrides Rational overrides in detail Interventions from the case studies Literature study on deliberate friction, mindful nudges, etc. Desk research into examples of existing interventions 45 rational override examples 9 rational override strategies Relative ranking Real-time feedback Personalized feedback Extra decision points Reminders & alerts Enhanced active choice Commitments Functional friction Checklists
  18. 18. 18 An approach & toolkit to design for behavioural interventions
  19. 19. 19 Behavioural Intervention Design in three steps A behavioural analysis can support designers to understand the underlying factors of (unwanted) behaviour. Design approach and toolkit Integrate behavioural factors with qualitative or quantitative user insights to find the key moments in the journey to influence behaviour. Intervention strategies to create the right combinations of interventions to maximize the effect and create lasting impact. Behavioural analysis Behavioural journey mapping Behavioural interventions Behavioural factor cards Behavioural interventions strategy cards Database of cognitive biases Database of over 150 examples Behavioural journey template
  20. 20. 20 Rational overrides will enable us to go beyond nudging and find that holy grail of behaviour change!
  21. 21. 21 @liveworkstudio@theliveworker Livework Studio Anne van Lieren Design for Behaviour Expert +31 6 50879162 Thanks! Please reach out if you’d like to know more or visit: