Is less innovation actually better in product design? - Deepstash
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Design shapes behaviour

Design shapes behaviour

Design is the science of changing or influencing behaviour. But changing behaviour always results in friction. And friction makes it less likely that someone will take the desired action.

For example, getting a customer to switch to your product, even if your product is leagues ahead of what they were using, is still behaviour change and a point of friction.

Designers are often given the impression that it is vital to innovate at every turn. But science and history show that limiting novelty to the minimum viable innovation is more likely to succeed.


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The best innovations are often just one “Critical Behavior Change” away from current behaviors

Humans value things they own more just because they own them, and then they try to confirm the decisions they have made. The more they are exposed to something, the more they like them.

The most innovative companies are not those who innovate the most but innovate only in essential ways.


3 reads

How designers can change the trajectory of their companies

How designers can change the trajectory of their companies

Highly usable products are typically those that limit behaviour changes to those essential to the differentiated value of the product.

Designers can increase the likelihood of succeeding in critical behaviour change by limiting friction elsewhere in the product experience.


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Identify your company’s “Critical Behavior Change”

  • If your company want to do something better but already has competition, your company is likely aiming to be a "market-winning" company. Your critical behaviour change may be getting people to be willing to switch so they can experience your superior solution.
  • If your company aims to do something new or different, your company may be aiming for a "market-creating" company. Therefore, you will have to generate demand.

Consider the single, core behaviour change in your product that could make your product more valuable to adopt.


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Increase incentive and decrease cost of that “Critical Behavior Change”

Increase incentive and decrease cost of that “Critical Behavior Change”

Evaluate how you could offset the cost of a behaviour change by increasing the incentive to change while reducing the cost to change.

The Fogg Behaviour Change Model states that people have three behavioural drivers that motivate them to action:

  • Sensation: Can your product save people time, save money or increase their joy?
  • Anticipation: Can your product help individuals avoid things they fear?
  • Belonging: Can your product help people feel a sense of acceptance?


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How to reduce the cost to change

Switching Cost is the friction of switching from one product to another, but can also apply to situations where the customer has not used a product like yours before.

Ways it can cost a user to switch to a new solution and change behaviour:

  • Financial cost
  • Time cost
  • Effort cost
  • Psychological cost.

Solutions may be as simple as using a different language when discussing the service or framing options in a different way.


3 reads

Innovation happens by degrees

Innovation happens by degrees

Significant behaviour changes can be the right strategy for a company, but it is vital to know the cost your product will need to offset.

The most innovative companies understand the existing behaviours of their customers and introduce the "minimum viable innovation" that can drive massive change. Even one variable can change everything.


3 reads



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