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Behavioral-Based Design

Edward Gardiner's Behavioral-Based Design Speech Merges Art and Science

— December 7, 2013 — Keynote Trends
In his behavioral-based design speech, Edward Gardiner discusses the Behavioral Design Lab, the brainchild of WBS and Design Council. The concept is to apply behavioral science on product design in order to create better, more impactful commodities. The organization is committed to better understanding humans, challenging the assumption that they exclusively act in self-serving, rational ways. In fact, behavior is dependent on a host of environmental and social factors that need to be considered if you want to design products that will improve the quality of everyday life.

Gardiner describes the project as a "form of creative problem-solving" in which problems are re-imagined from their typical top-down perspective to truly consider who the product is for. The Lab follows two principles: "look beyond the message," meaning that they go beyond the idea that information alone will change behavior, and "create opportunities for enterprise."

Gardiner touts the Design Council Double Diamond, an approach which challenges companies to push past their prejudice and rediscover the problem, speculate on why people behave the way they do, crowd source ideas and refine the product through continuous experimentation. As Gardiner says, "the purpose of evaluation is to improve, rather than prove."
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