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RESOURCE: 10 Scientific Insights That Could Make You A Better Designer

In the design world, the term “persuasive design” tends to be met with a mix of intrigue, skepticism, and occasionally repugnance. (Doesn’t persuasion imply that we’re forcing people to do things they typically wouldn’t want to do?) And yes, it’s true that persuasive design, like many tools, can be used for good or for evil.

But the reality is, regardless of whether we label a piece of work as “persuasive design” or not, most of the things we design–from toothbrushes to tablets to road signs–are influencing people’s decisions and behaviors in some way. We may not intend it to happen, and we may not be aware of it, but it’s happening.

Think about what you ate for breakfast this morning. You might be aware of some of the obvious things that influenced your choice: maybe out of habit you selected the same thing as yesterday, or picked your meal for convenience. Maybe a recent medical concern drove you toward a healthier option. But what about less obvious factors that could’ve influenced your choice, like the size and color of the dish you ate off of, or the news story on the TV in the background?

via 10 Scientific Insights That Could Make You A Better Designer | Co.Design | business + design.

Brian S McGowan, PhD

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Brian is a research scientist and educational technologist. He helped transform Pfizer’s Medical Education Group and previously served in educational leadership roles at HealthAnswers, Inc.; Acumentis, LLC.; Cephalon; and Wyeth. He taught graduate medical education programs at Arcadia University for 10 years. Dr. McGowan recently authored the book "#socialQI: Simple Solutions for Improving Your Healthcare" and has been invited to speak internationally on the subject of information flow, technology, and learning in healthcare.

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