CHANGE YOUR ENVIRONMENT CHANGE YOUR BEHAVIOUR FOGGY EXPERIMENTS IN BEHAVIOUR DESIGN by @ashpodel Inspired by BJ Fogg’s behavior design principles
Behavior happens whentrigger, motivation and ability converge at thesame time. HIGH ABILITY HIGH MOTIVATIONThat is, if something is easy to do and you want to do it, everytime it is triggered, you will do it. TRIGGER WORKS LOW ABILITY LOW MOTIVATIONBut, if something is hard to do and worse, you don’t want todo it, no matter how often it is triggered, it won’t happen. TRIGGER FAILS See BJ Fogg’s behavior model. http://behaviourmodel.org
Your environment is a rich groundfor facilitating behavior change by:modifying your ability to do thingsproviding artifacts that trigger behavior, andmanaging your motivation levels.
1. The Two ToothbrushesCreating a trigger to brush teeth at night To remind myself to brush my teeth before sleeping, I put an extra toothbrush by my bedside.
Did It Work?Not exactly. It worked for the ﬁrst twodays, and then I ignored it.And so, instead of brushing my teeth, Imade it even simpler. I decided to justuse mouthwash.LearningIf a trigger is not working because oflow motivation, make the behavior eveneasier to do.
2. Hiding Notiﬁcation Counts Reducing ability to peek at unread emailThese icons show I moved the iconsunread email counts. below the visible area, so that I had to scroll to get to them. To prevent myself from looking at email every few minutes, I moved the email icons on my phone so that I would have to scroll to see them.
Did It Work?Nope. Scrolling wasn’t enough of adisability.And so, I’ve turned oﬀ push email. Thisis actually a bit scary, but I’m going totry it for a week.LearningWhen impairing ability, small changeswork less well, you might have to makea drastic move.
3. The ‘Work’ Zone Keeping my motivation to work highSince I was Now, I’veaway for the converted itsummer, I had back to achanged my work spaceworkspace to to stay ‘inbe a storage the zone’space, but I whendidn’t switch it working.back. To keep my motivation levels to keep working high, this physical space marks the territory that represents this work zone.
Did It Work?So far. I have found myselfconcentrating for longer periods of time.Work related stuﬀ is always on the tableand fewer people stop by to chat anddistract.But, I don’t know why it is working. Itcould be the space, the people orsomething else.LearningChange one thing when running anexperiment.
To summarize, If a trigger isn’t working, make the behavior easier to do. When reducing ability, make it really hard. Experiment and iterate. But change something you can learn from. What’s next: See if these behaviors are sustained, that is, if they are ‘path behaviors’. (See http://www.behaviorgrid.org)Follow me on @ashpodel as I explore BJ Fogg’s behavior design principles.