Making Change Easier: Applying Behavioral Science to Design

"Behavior change" often comes up in today's medical design briefs. We want patients to better manage chronic conditions and change habits, or persuade healthcare workers to hand wash more to reduce hospital acquired infections. Designers often give products attributes that may not be thought of as behavior change, such as making it easier for a surgeon to adopt a new procedure. At the core of user-centered design is a desire to work with users the way they actually want to behave—rather than wagging fingers at them.

Bill Evans, IDSA, finds that the science of behavior change has evolved rapidly in recent decades with new research tools like real-time brain scanning and the emergence of behavioral economics as a sub-discipline. He will review advances relevant to product design—giving insights to help designers of both physical and digital medical products cut through the hype to get to approaches that are more likely to win over willpower.