Aug 6, 2021
Today I am very excited to have
Dr. Amy Bucher on the show to talk about how you can design for
behavior change using insights from her fantastic career and
wonderful book, Engaged.
Amy graduated magna cum laude
from Harvard when getting her A.B. in Psychology, after which she
went on to get her Ph.D. in Organizational Psychology from the
University of Michigan. She has been a consultant in addition to
working at Johnson & Johnson, CVS, and was vice president of
behavior change design at Mad*Pow before recently moving to her
current role as vice president of behavioral design at
- [00:06] In today’s episode I’m
excited to introduce you to Dr. Amy Bucher, author of
Engaged: Designing for Behavior
- [03:02] Amy shares about
herself, her work, and how she got into behavioral design. She
moved from a consulting role back to an in-house
- [04:43] She loves behavioral
design and she really thinks it is a wonderful application of the
skills you learn in academic training.
- [06:51] Amy considered actually
becoming a physician. Her first job out of grad school was in
- [09:11] Amy defines behavioral
design as applying the scientific method to the process of design.
It is extremely compatible with human-centered
- [10:08] Measurement is a
constant in the behavioral design process. They want to be
gathering data at every step; that lets them know if they are on
the right track or not to adjust and optimize
- [11:17] Amy shares one of her
favorite projects looking at cities in India with an increase in
- [13:12] Amy explains why this
project was so rewarding.
- [15:27] As a behavioral
designer it is really critical to have respect for the people you
are designing something for.
- [17:23] Amy shares about a
project she did recently looking at behavioral health and
healthcare. One of the primary barriers for people using that type
of healthcare is the cost of it.
- [19:05] Even if we know we are
not going to make the change with speaking up in that one moment,
speaking up can be like a grain of sand that will ultimately add up
to something more meaningful.
- [20:34] Finding that right
problem is so critically important even when it seems so obvious
what the issue is.
- [23:25] Amy first recommends
reading books to better understand behavioral
- [23:52] As a general process
she recommends going through discovery, design, and
- [24:37] Here are three steps
that someone who is new to behavioral design can use to get
started: doing a literature review, creating an outcomes logic map
for yourself, and doing a lens brainstorm.
- [26:46] She also uses the
self-determination theory of motivation a lot. One of the
basic ideas is if you want to get someone really intrinsically
interested in something and interested to the point where they are
likely to pursue it, you should support their feelings of autonomy,
competence, and relatedness.
- [28:12] Amy shares an example
of putting these into action.
- [29:39] Be comfortable with the
gray area. You will go through a lot of the process not
really knowing yet, but the process works.
- [31:00] Primary research is a
really big part. Behavioral design work is very heavy upfront with
all the research.
- [32:52] As a behavioral
designer after the research her role becomes someone who is making
sure that all of the intervention ingredients are being brought to
life with fidelity.
- [34:13] There are certain types
of behaviors that are compatible with certain types of
- [35:31] Sometimes what we think
is the problem, doesn’t turn out to be the problem when we do the
- [38:53] Every project is
- [39:38] Amy shares an example
from her book of an Outcome Logics Map.
- [42:06] The visual reminder of
what our brain is doing is very helpful.
- [42:58] Such small things can
produce such big changes in the way we perform.
- [44:53] Melina shares her
- [46:21] Being a curious
questioner is so important to solving the big problems.
- [48:49] The Brainy Business was
nominated for the best market research podcast of 2021. Vote for
The Brainy Business
here by August
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