Project 3: Understanding Behaviour

Most of our daily behaviour is governed by our intuitive mode. We’re acting on habit (learned patterns of behaviour), on gut instinct (blazingly fast evaluations of a situation based on our past experiences), or on simple rules of thumb (cognitive shortcuts or heuristics built into our mental machinery). Our conscious minds usually only become engaged when we’re in a novel situation, or when we intentionally direct our attention to a task.

There are five things needed for the person to execute an action; together they spell the acronym C-R-E-A-T-E.

NOTE: As you review the interface design, ask whether each of these conditions is met for each small step the user needs to take (i.e., each page click and each form entry, along the way toward the final target action).

1. Cue. Something needs to start the person thinking about the action. It can be something already in the person’s daily life [figure 1 of Choose One Of Two Choices].

Android Mobile – 0.png

2. Reaction. The intuitive mind will automatically and rapidly react to the idea of taking the action. That reaction includes a basic sense about whether the action is interesting and pleasant, and it will also activate thoughts about other possible, related, ideas and actions. The product needs to get past this reaction without being rejected or having the person be distracted.


3. Evaluation. The conscious mind will evaluate the costs and benefits of the action, including the value the product provides and the frictions or other challenges in using it. That evaluation is relative, not absolute—the action must be sufficiently worthwhile and better, on net, than the other things that person is thinking about doing at that moment.


4. Ability. The person actually has to be able to act right then. Potential barriers include not knowing what to do, not having what you need to act, or feeling that you’ll fail.


5. Timing. There has to be a reason to act now, rather than doing something else that is more urgent.


TABLE 10-1 Tactics to support action on a particular page

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Five processes are needed for action: a cue, an intuitive reaction, a deliberative evaluation, the ability to act, and the right timing.

Each decision to act (or not) occurs within a particular context: made up of the user, the environment, and the potential action.


Screen Shot 2017-04-22 at 16.20.54.png

The three targets of design: the action, the environment, and the user

The purpose of the design is to create a context that drives action. Products can shape each aspect of that context by:

1. Structuring the action to make it feasible and inviting for the user; [figure 2].

Clicking a Particular Mini Scenario – Each Individual Image List Format is Inviting to User and is further backed by the colour Blue

Android Mobile – C.png

2. Constructing the environment to support the action; and

Each Image is an Interactive Element

3. Preparing the user to take the action.

The Blue Coding on the Name also suggests that this is an Interactive Element – as this is the visual language/use of the Blue througout the app


The process starts by writing out the obvious steps a user would normally take to complete the action. [figure 3 customer experience map].

Customer App-01.png

NOTE: The plan can include the stages of the individual experience and also draw out the “customer types” (similar to our personas), areas of frustration and delight, and user emotions along the way.

1. Look for missing steps, especially for new users. Take the perspective of a completely new user—one who has never interacted with your product.

Are there additional steps required in the beginning (e.g., creating a new account)

2. Look for one-time steps. Take the perspective of an experienced user—one that has often interacted with your product.

Are there steps that can be skipped for experienced folks? (e.g. signing in)?

3. Note particular obstacles users face, and see if the steps can be changed to avoid those actions. (e.g. having to enter in login detail more then once)

MAKE IT “Easy”

Look for ways to combine multiple steps into one.

Four Stages of creating the Mini Scenario: both the Description & Drawing Functions in one

Android Mobile – 32.png  Android Mobile – 34.png

NOTE: There is a tension between breaking the action into steps to make each one more manageable and having so many steps that it overwhelms the user.

PROVIDE “Small Wins”

In order for an action to provide a “small win,” it needs another characteristic— it must be clear to the user that the step has actually been completed. In other words, there must be a clear definition of success or failure.

The Numbers are Blackened as User Progresses Through Task

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If after each small step, people feel they’ve done something, and they’re closer to finishing their goal. They are then more likely to continue.

Screen Shot 2017-04-22 at 17.03.59.png


In the agile and lean development world, user stories convey product ideas in outline form (Cohn 2010; Rubin 2012).

They are short, plain-English statements of what the user wants to do. Ideally, they also include why the user wants to do it.

App example:

As a user, I want to upload my idea, so I can share it with people and see if they agree.

User stories can come straight from the behavioural plan.

The user stories indicate what the user needs to do to get a particular job done. They are helpful because they force the product team to think about the specific actions that the user takes from the user’s perspective.


In the behaviour change space, a variety of templates have been established that can be used for mobile and online applications. Often a given product employs more than one of these templates in different parts of the application. In that sense, you can think of the templates as reusable design patterns for behaviour change that you can deploy within your app where needed (Gamma et al. 1994; Alexander et al. 1977). Each pattern provides guidelines for promoting behaviour change in a particular context.

Under the banner of behavior-change games (and serious games and games with a purpose, etc.), designers have developed games with explicit social or behavioral “lessons.” Users may play the games as part of a job requirement (as in military simulations or job training games), physical or mental therapy, or in a school context.

Whereas behaviour change games deploy full-fledged games, gamification employs aspects of game design in nongame contexts— often social rewards and elements of competition around a set of target actions (see Deterding 2011 and Zichermann and Cunningham 2012 for two perspectives on Gamification).


Rather than the antiquated idea of pushing consumers to “buy more!”, engaging users in order to generate revenue is the marketing model of the future. Simply put, engagement does not follow revenue. Instead, behind engagement, revenue follows.

SAPS: SAPS is an acronym that stands for status, access, power, and stuff. Simply put, it is a system of rewards. Conveniently, it lists each potential prize in order from the most to the least desired, the most sticky to the least sticky, and the cheapest to the most expensive.

Status: Status is the relative position of an individual in relation to others, especially in a social group. Status benefits and rewards give players the ability to move ahead of others in a defined ranking system.

Persons Score in their Profile

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This ranking system does not need to be based on the real world at all—it works perfectly in a purely constructed environment.

Some examples of status items include badges and leaderboards.


Badges are a known status item. They can be given out virtually or physically. However, they must be visible to other players in the game; otherwise, their meaning and valuation is limited.

The amount of Stars the Author has In The Mini Scenario Screen

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People desire badges for all kinds of reasons. For many people, collecting is a powerful drive. For game designers, badges are an excellent way to encourage social promotion of their products and services. Badges also mark the completion of goals and the steady progress of play within the system.

The player is at the root of gamification. In any system, the player’s motivation ultimately drives the outcome. Therefore, understanding player motivation is paramount to building a successfully gamified system.


A working theory for why people are motivated to play games maintains that there are four underlying reasons, which can be viewed together or separately as individual motivators:

• For mastery

• To destress

• To have fun

• To socialize


One well-accepted theory is that players in any experience are seeking mastery.

Five core levels:

  1. Novice: A novice is someone who’s just arrived to the experience. It is his first minute with a new system.

2. Problem solver: Similar to a novice but with some information already in hand, a problem solver is on her way toward figuring out what is going on.

3. Expert: An expert has already started to learn how the system works. At the expert level, a player knows something that is not obvious to the casual player.

4. Master: A master believes that she truly understands the system. She believes that she is in control. She is aware of its nuances and its ins and outs.

5. Visionary: A visionary is a special kind of master. He puts himself inside the designer’s shoes. No player should be obligated or expected to progress to visionary.

NOTE: most people in the world are not yet your customers, which means they are novices and problem solvers in your system.

In gamification, we can leverage one of five point designs to form the foundation of our experience.

The points palette includes the following:

1. Experience points

2. Redeemable points

3. Skill points

4. Karma points

5. Reputation points

  1. Experience points:

Of the five kinds of point systems, the most important are experience points (XP).

Everything a player does within the system will earn her XP—and, in general, XP never goes down and cannot be redeemed.  XP never maxes out. A player continues to earn them as long as she plays the game. That is the power of XP.

2. Redeemable points:

The second point system is made up of redeemable points (RP). Unlike XP, RP can fluctuate. The expectation for most people is that these points are usable within the system in exchange for things. They are earned and cashed, similar to the frequent-flyer miles we redeem for awards.

3. Skill points:

The third point system is called a skill point system. Skill points are assigned to specific activities within the game and are tangential to both XP and RP. They are a bonus set of points that allow a player to gain experience/reward for activities alongside the core.

By assigning skill points to an activity, we direct the player to complete some key alternate tasks and subgoals.

The app could accommodate for this in that the more points the user acquires they can now create Prototype, Scenarios or Action Plans

4. Karma points:

Karma points are a unique system that rarely appear in classic games. The sole purpose of karma is to give points away. Often, karma points are given as part of a regular grind, or check in behaviour, for example: earn 3 karma points for every monthly check in.

5. Reputation points:

Finally, reputation points make up the most complex point system. Any time a system requires trust between two or more parties that you can’t explicitly guarantee or manage, a reputation system is key. Its purpose is to act as a proxy for trust. Integrity and consistency will be paramount.


To begin with, it’s imperative to string an XP architecture around the gamified system.

It informs you and your players about which activities are more important.

Example: Assigned Point Values

Action Point value

Explore 100 points

Comment 200 points =  not relevant in this app

Join 400 points

Express 400 points

Recommend 200 points

“Join” is a once-only action, so it’s likely to be much more valuable.

“Recommend” is among the most extreme forms of player viral expression, so it is naturally weighted more heavily.


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