Behaviour Focused Design is a science-backed approach to problem-solving.
It’s a process that starts by looking at people’s behaviour. Breaking down what influences our behaviour, how we actually act, and why we act.

Behaviour Focused Design applies provable behavioural insights at each problem-solving phase. The 5 phases take a challenge from research to a solution. Redefining challenges to focus on behaviour. Using motivation and decision science to discover what people are doing, what they are motivated to do and what influences their current behaviour. Creating a motivation-directed profile which determines which type of behaviour focused design to invest in. From Habit Design, Persuasive Design, Preventative Design and Intervention Design. Behaviour Focused Design pinpoints when people are already motivated to act and designs for these moments. Building ethics into the approach’s foundations. In the design phase, you identify opportunities to change key decisions, improve people’s behaviour, prototype and test solutions.  

Behaviour Focused Design is people-led, evidence-led and ethics-led.

Behaviour focused design is...

Problem-solving that focuses on people’s behaviours.
To change and improve their behaviour for the better.

What is Behaviour?

We are all in the business of influencing people’s behaviour.

All our behaviour. However diverse. Can be understood, decoded and structured by looking at behaviour not what we do, but as patterns.

These patterns are captured in key theories of behaviour. Defining everything from health, wealth, consumer and digital behaviours.

One of the leading theories of behaviour is by Behavioural Scientist Prof. BJ Fogg.

Fogg's theory called B=MAT shows that all behaviour, both large and small, is composed of three elements:

  • The motivation to act. Our want, or desire to do something.
  • Our ability to act. Having enough time, skill or money to do something.
  • The trigger to prompt us to act. The cue, call to action or sign. Letting us know we should do something.
Three elements must converge at the same moment for a behaviour to occur: 
Motivation, Ability, and Trigger. 
When a behaviour does not occur, at least one of those three elements is missing.
BJ Fogg

Behaviour Focused Design is built on B=MAT.

Starting with motivation. Researching, assessing and designing for when people are already motivated to act. We concentrate resources on areas where we know people already want to act but are currently not doing what we expect.

Designing for motivation ensures that BFD is built on ethical principles. Creating safeguards to make sure we aren’t manipulating people to do something they don’t already want to do. Creating a more cohesive and better user experience for people.

Two main types of motivation, extrinsic and intrinsic.

Digging into motivation

Motivation is more than “I am motivated” or “I am not motivated”. Motivation is a scale that changes with our behaviour, our experience and over time. Behaviour Focused Design uses research practices from behavioural science to structure and guide how to research people’s motivation. Using the insights to create a Motivation Profile. We use this profile to pinpoint key areas of behaviour to design, determine which subtype of Behaviour Focused Design to use and which behavioural theories to apply.

The three spheres that influence our behaviour. The individual level, social and wider context.

Decision focus

Our behaviour isn’t just what we do. It’s the choices we make that get us there. Behaviour Focused Design looks at the decisions people are making. When, where, why and how they are making a decision.

A decision is more than left or right, yes or no, do or don't. It's a decision in context. BFD combines decision science, motivation science and behavioural theories to understand these key decisions. Not just looking at the active moment of choice, but how events running up to and after frame and influence the decisions we make.

Behaviour Focused Design approach



Discover what people are currently doing.
Method: Behavioural Research. Behaviour Chain

Discover what we want to encourage people to do.
Method: Design intention

Discover where and when the behaviour happens.
Method: Context Analysis in CIS Analysis

Discover who are the people directly involved in the behaviour.
Method: Individual Analysis in CIS Analysis

Discover who influences the behaviour.
Method: Social Analysis in CIS Analysis

Discover people’s motivation to act.
Method: Motivation profile


Define the behaviour people are currently doing.
Method: Behaviour Chain

Define the behaviour we want to encourage people to do.
Method: Behaviour Objective


Determine and pinpoint the key decisions leading up to that influence a person’s behaviour.
Method: Decision Focus

Determine which behaviour focused design type to use depending on a person’s motivation.

Behaviour focused design types 


Design, ideate and iterate solutions to change or improve people’s behaviour.
Method: Decision Framework, Nudget ideation tool, Trigger Design

Design prototypes

Design behavioural tests
Method: Trial design using Randomised Controlled Trials


Deliver on ethics
Method: Ethical Evaluation

Deliver solution at scale

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