What is Behaviour Focused Design?

What is Behaviour Focused Design?


what is behaviour design@2x.png

The business of behaviour


We are all in the business of influencing people’s behaviour.

All our behaviour. However diverse. Can be understood, decoded and structured by looking at behaviour not what we do, but as patterns.

These patterns are captured in key theories of behaviour. Defining everything from health, wealth, consumer and digital behaviours.

One of the leading theories of behaviour is by Behavioural Scientist Prof. BJ Fogg.

Fogg's theory called B=MAP shows that all behaviour, both large and small, is composed of three elements:

  • The motivation to act. Our want, or desire to do something.

  • Our ability to act. Having enough time, skill or money to do something.

  • The prompt to act. The cue, call to action or sign. Letting us know we should do something.

Three elements must converge at the same moment for a behaviour to occur: Motivation, Ability, and Prompt. When a behaviour does not occur, at least one of those three elements is missing.
BJ Fogg

Behaviour Focused Design is built on B=MAP.

Starting with motivation. Researching, assessing and designing for when people are already motivated to act. Concentrate your resources on areas where you know people already want to act but are currently not doing what you expect.

Designing for motivation ensures that BFD is built on ethical principles. Creating safeguards to make sure we aren’t manipulating people to do something they don’t already want to do. Creating a more cohesive and better user experience for people.


Digging in to motivation


Motivation is more than “I am motivated” or “I am not motivated”. Motivation is a scale that changes with our behaviour, our experience and over time. Behaviour Focused Design uses research practices from behavioural science to structure and guide how to research people’s motivation. Using the insights to create a Motivation Profile. We use this profile to pinpoint key areas of behaviour to design, determine which subtype of Behaviour Focused Design to use and which behavioural theories to apply.


Decision focus


Our behaviour isn’t just what we do. It’s the choices we make that get us there. Behaviour Focused Design looks at the decisions people are making. When, where, why and how they are making a decision.

A decision is more than left or right, yes or no, do or don't. It's a decision in context. BFD combines decision science, motivation science and behavioural theories to understand these key decisions. Not just looking at the active moment of choice, but how events running up to and after frame and influence the decisions we make.

Lauren Kellynudget-red