6 Persuasive Design Products to Watch

Meg Davis  

May 18, 2012

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Persuasive design seeks to understand how products and experiences can influence people in the most effective way. At the center of persuasive design is the knowledge of what incites people to change their behavior and what can trigger or encourage this change. As user experience professionals, this hits the core of our work: how do we encourage users of our designs to take actions, make a change, and engage with our products?

BJ Fogg leads a Stanford University research group that focuses on behavior design. His group believes that mobile phones will become the #1 platform for persuasion. Here’s a great talk from BJ Fogg that gives an overview of behavior design:

So how do these theories and methodologies play out in products? Below I’ve listed the top 6 persuasive design products to watch in the next year. Every user experience designer can glean something from these great companies that are finding ways to engage people to change their behavior:

  • Financial
    • Ready for Zero – Web tool that guides people to track and understand debt so that they can make a plan to get out of debt faster
  • Health
    • Basis – Heart rate monitor watch that seamlessly monitors & tracks people’s health goals
    • Health Month – Website that encourages people to set and track health goals through social interaction and gamification
  • Environment
    • Nest – Thermostat that learns people’s behaviors and automatically adjusts itself in order to conserve energy
    • Good Guide – Website that helps people understand how healthy, green, or ethical products are based on certain criteria and suggests alternative products