Are we using behavioral design (and ethical manipulation) for good? How do we know? Now that we have the power to profoundly change peoples’ habits through technology, how do change behavior ethically?
In this short video, I talk to Amir Shevat, formerly at Google and now at Slack, about a simple test for moral persuasion and ethical manipulation. Let me know what you think in the comments below.
Larry Page, CEO of Alphabet (the company formerly known as Google), has a quirky way of deciding which companies he likes. It’s called “The Toothbrush Test.” According to the New York Times, when Page looks at a potential company to acquire, he wants to know if the product is, like a toothbrush, “something you will use once or twice a day.”
Page clearly understands habits. As I wrote in my book, “Hooked: How to Build Habit-Forming Products,” frequently used products form sticky customer habits. But what if your product doesn’t pass Page’s Toothbrush Test? Perhaps you’d like people to use your product or service frequently, but it just doesn’t make sense to do so.
Changing user habits isn’t easy — but understanding how to conduct Habit Testing will increase your odds of success.
In this video, I provide a brief introduction to the three steps of Habit Testing. I explain how product designers use these steps to identify their devotees, codify what makes the product habit-forming, and modify the user experience accordingly.
Let me know what you think of the video and your own experience designing user habits in the comments section below.