We ❤️ behaviour design. It’s our belief that it’s the missing piece from the majority of digital products launched today. If you're launching an app, web app or digital service, behaviour design is something you should be taking seriously.
The problem? Most books on behaviour are written by behavioural scientists which makes them sometimes, painful to read, but also, difficult to apply to your work
But fear not! The books we’ve selected here are the best we’ve found that turn behavioural insights into tangible, actionable ideas for your design work so you don’t have to waste time looking for the best ones.
You'll be a better UX Designer, Product Manager, Marketer, Entrepreneur, in fact person, for having read these books.
Tiny Habits - The small changes that change everything
Will it help you do what you already want to do? Will it help you feel successful? The answers to those questions is freeing because if the change program doesn't satisfy these two requirements, it's not worth your time.
Technically, Tiny Habits isn’t a design book. It’s a book on forming habits by BJ Fogg.
But what it provides is one of the clearest and most brilliantly explained ways of how habits are formed that we’ve come across, and for that reason alone, it had to be included.
His Tiny Habit format is simple, but effective. I mentioned his "Maui Habit" to 4 other people, and 3 of them remembered it when they woke up the next morning.
It’s a great read and the thoughts behind it are included in our own behaviour design framework.
Hooked - How to build habit-forming products
To change behaviour, products must ensure the user feels in control. People must want to use the service, not feel they have to.
We think you’d be hard pushed to find someone who’s not read Hooked by Nir Eyal, but if you haven't, you're in for a treat.
Hooked has landed across some of the biggest tech companies in the world's desks and provides a valuable insight into how habits are formed, especially within digital products.
I believe that Nir Eyal, the author of Hooked, was a student of BJ Fogg (from Tiny Habits above) at Stanford University; and it shows in this book. The influence of the method from Fogg is prominent throughout Hooked, but Nir takes it further and explains where and how it can be applied to product design work. Nir's work in the field of behaviour design on his own products also speaks for itself.
Hooked was the first book we read on anything relating to behaviour and the framework provided is a great introduction into how you can improve your design work by using the ideas from within the book.
For anyone wanting to know more about habits and how you can form them within products, we highly recommend it. Nir followed up Hooked with another best seller, Indistractable: How to Control Your Attention and Choose Your Life.
Check Nir out on Youtube
Human-Focused Design optimises for human motivation in a system as opposed to optimising for pure functional efficiency within the system.
As the title suggests, the book is about gamification - but what we really enjoyed is the Octalysis framework and the explanations behind human motivation.
The way Chou breaks down his 8 pillars of motivation is hard to find anywhere else (and believe me, we’ve tried!). It forms such clear categories of motivation to help you base your design decisions on.
We've recently completed Yu-kai's Behaviour Design Masterclass and we're excited to use some of the skills we've picked up.
If you’re into behaviour design or exploring gamification, we would recommend this book without hesitation.
Check Yu-kai out on Youtube
The Choice Factory - 25 behavioural biases that influence what we buy
The way to improve your research is to stop just listening to what customers say and start looking at what they do.
When I first picked up this book, I thought it was going to be another science-based exploration of behaviours - but I was wrong.
At the end of each bias, Shotton goes on to explain how each bias can be used and that makes it much easier to take these biases and make them actionable. Something that is missing from most behaviour books.
The Choice Factory is a brilliant book to have on your shelf for when thinking about and designing products and services.
Make sure to follow Richard Shotton on Twitter as he shares more of his insights.