Creating evidence-based health and wellness programmes for your customers and employees

3 Things to keep in mind when designing prompts/nudges for your app users

1.     Get the channel right.

The best first step with nudges is to get the channel right i.e., where do your audience hang out/pay attention. For healthcare interventions research has found that text messages have been the most effective channel.


2.     Nudges that focus on implementation over information work best.

Nudges work best under conditions of uncertainty. That is when individuals do not have strong preferences for particular choices, or established habits. Forwood et al. who created a system that nudgesindividuals towards healthier food choices, suggested that a number of factors such as the strength of preferences for certain food choices, and the extent to which food choices are habitual, can influence the effectiveness of the nudge. Räisänen et al. displayed warning pictures related to the dangers of smoking and observed that the best time to show these pictures to smokers, was not when they were already smoking but rather much earlier.

In an interesting summary of a recent meta-study looking at results from 96 field experiments on nudging for healthy eating. Results found that overall nudges that facilitate action rather than providing knowledge or inducing feelings worked best to support behaviour change. What type of nudges facilitate action?

1.     Nudges that modify the environment

2.     Personalised nudging

3.     Default options

4.     Positioning

5.     Hiding


3.     Ask, is a nudge even needed in this circumstance?

It’s important to acknowledge that sometimes that the best option is no nudge at all. Not (intentionally) nudging is always an option. When selecting from a range of nudges, those who care about maximizing welfare should always keep this idea in mind.


Want more on nudges? (references):



Published on 7th Jul 2022 at 09:31 by Dr Heather McKee

"Heather has so generously contributed to so many areas of our work this year, her thoughtful feedback and insights have allowed us to evolve our work and product in profound and impactful ways. I speak on behalf of all of us when I say we can’t imagine having done it without her unique, informed perspective and diverse voice. She has made an incredible amount of impact on our work in a small amount of time and we are so grateful for her."

Sara Rice, lululemon HQ

"When you work with Dr Heather McKee you know you are in the presence of a true professional. You cannot ignore the passion she has for her field of behaviour change, especially around healthy living. She is committed to making sure that you -- client, patient or project partner -- understand the key facts, appreciate the context and embrace the decisions you made together."

Edna Kissman, CEO The Wonder of Me

"Heather’s academic and applied understanding of behavioural psychology has been invaluable in helping us mould our proposition to the corporate wellbeing market over the last 12 months. Heather was a perfect fit with our culture; enthusiastic, diligent and highly skilled in everything that she does. We look forward to working with Heather on future projects"

Richard Westman, CEO KAIDO

"Heather's practical knowledge and expertise around behaviour change have been an enormous value-add for the Welltodo audience. By incorporating her tools and insights into our course curriculum, we were able to add a whole new layer of credibility. Heather is professional, reliable and an absolute pleasure to work with!"

Lauren Armes, CEO Welltodo

"Heather is a ninja when it comes to behaviour change, and a delight to work with. She has been invaluable to BetterSpace in working out how to nudge people into more mentally health lifestyles."



By continuing to use this website, you consent to the use of cookies in accordance with our Cookie Policy. DISMISS NOTICE

Copyright ©2024 Dr. Heather McKee

Dr. Heather McKee is registered in Ireland Reg. No. 687397 with the registered address at 314 Mother Teresa House, Loreto Abby, Rathfarnham, D14 NR20, Co. Dublin, Ireland

This work is in no way meant to replace any medical advice. Dr. McKee is Non-HCPC-registered. Photography by Dylan Madden.

Designed by Aeronstudio™