Ruth Schmidt

Ruth Schmidt
Innovation Program Lead
Doblin/Deloitte

Ruth Schmidt is an innovation program leader at Doblin, where she leads teams and senior clients to frame and solve complex challenges. She combines deep experience in user-centered research with a background in design strategy, helping senior clients and teams develop solutions for both customers or end users and address organizational business challenges.

Schmidt leads Doblin‘s design capability and behavioral design work, which integrates key principles from behavioral economics with user research and business insights to build and “de-risk” innovation solutions.

Schmidt is adjunct faculty at Illinois Institute of Technology (IIT)’s Institute of Design, where she has taught master’s level courses in behavioral economics, semiotics and communication theory and design. She received a BA in semiotics from Brown University and a master’s of design from IIT’s Institute of Design.


De-risking User-centered Design: Behavioral Design

Human-centered design has become the norm as a way to design with user needs in mind—yet people reliably don’t save for retirement, are paralyzed when choosing between options and fail to maintain habits. In other words, ideas that look smart on paper, often fail to get traction with the very people they were designed for.

The emerging field of behavioral design combines key principles from behavioral economics with user insights—allowing designers to de-risk new ideas and increase user adoption by acknowledging and embracing how users “irrationally” perceive their choices and actually behave, rather than what they say they want or will do.

Ruth Schmidt of Doblin/Deloitte will describe and demonstrate a behavioral design “toolkit” that can be used to build competency in applying behavioral economics to user-centered design—resulting in more effective, “stickier” solutions.