Design for behaviour change aims to influence user behaviour, through design, for social or environmental benefit. Understanding and modelling human behaviour has thus come within the scope of designersâ€™ work, as in interaction design, service design and user experience design more generally. Diverse approaches to how to model users when seeking to influence behaviour can result in many possible strategies, but a major challenge for the field is matching appropriate design strategies to particular behaviours (Zachrisson & Boks, 2012).
In this paper, we introduce and explore behavioural heuristics as a way of framing problem-solution pairs (Dorst & Cross, 2001) in terms of simple rules. These act as a â€˜common languageâ€™ between insights from user research and design principles and techniques, and draw on ideas from human factors, behavioural economics, and decision research. We introduce the process via a case study on interaction with office heating systems, based on interviews with 16 people. This is followed by worked examples in the â€˜other directionâ€™, based on a workshop held at the Interaction â€™12 conference, extracting heuristics from existing systems designed to influence user behaviour, to illustrate both ends of a possible design process using heuristics.