Behavioral design as well as UX user research, design thinking, and game theory have all made a substantial difference in engagement and product success and are used in many of the products and services we have come to rely on. These methodologies have contributed greatly to the success of giants like Disney, Google, Spotify, and Instagram and have been known to create population-level behavior change.
When you take a “big picture” view, you reduce blind spots that lead to phenomenal products and positive benefits. We now how the science to know how healthy habits are formed. We can use behavioral interventions that people enjoy and that make them feel motivated. Because of this, can create large scale positive change in society as a whole.
Game theory, User Research and Design Thinking have all made significant individual contributions to improving the products and services we all use. However, while they sound related in many ways, these three approaches have grown mostly in parallel over the past several years, which has led them to be more like cousins than siblings, specifically, cousins that only talk at family gatherings.
There is overlap in their backgrounds and they share many overarching beliefs, but these 3 use different “dialects” to talk about the same things and demonstrate those beliefs through different methods. Thus, for companies looking to employ these best practices to improve their products and services, it can be almost impossible to know which approach is best for what types of problems.
Comparing the three disciplines/ methodologies is rarely, if ever, done. There is no real guidance on what falls into the realm of gamification versus behavioral economics versus UX design or even which approach is best in any given situation. Often, the course of action is determined by the type of professional assigned to the project who simply defaults to their area of expertise. This is clearly not the best way to understand problems or identify solutions as it always eventually leads to blind spots or pitfalls.
Download our in-depth white paper that explains the difference between Gamification, Behavioral Economics, User Experience and when to use them, by clicking below.