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
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.
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