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Hi, folks,

Technology can play an important role in changing behaviour. That is the good news. It also can foster problem behaviours. Ugh!

Something I noticed

We have been working for several years with an association of charities that collect textiles for re-use and recycling. We designed and maintain the afterwear.ca website (http://www NULL.afterwear NULL.ca) that tells people in my home province of Nova Scotia what textiles they can recycle and where to take it.

There is a story in the news today that reports Halifax Regional Municipality is considering developing a smartphone app (http://www NULL.cbc NULL.ca/news/canada/nova-scotia/textile-solid-waste-management-halifax-phone-app-1 NULL.4383083) that would link people with clothes to donate/recycle with agencies that will collect it from their homes. Behaviour change folk will recognize this as a step towards reducing a barrier to diverting textiles from landfills. Halifax already has an excellent app called HFX Recycles (https://itunes NULL.apple NULL.com/ca/app/halifax-recycles/id1019304211?mt=8) that provides information on collection schedules and how to sort waste. Perhaps the new initiative will be included in the existing app.

Something I read

Gamification to foster behaviour change has been on the increase. You know it is getting big when a financial services company uses online technology to promote climate change reduction behaviours. (https://reliefweb NULL.int/report/china/china-s-ant-financial-shows-how-digital-clout-can-fight-climate-change)


Something I watched

This video on Norman doors – those infuriating doors that have pull handles on them but should be pushed (https://www NULL.youtube NULL.com/watch?v=yY96hTb8WgI) – describes one example of crappy design. They are called Norman Doors after author Don Norman, who wrote The Design of Everyday Things (https://www NULL.amazon NULL.ca/Design-Everyday-Things-Revised-Expanded/dp/0465050654/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1509718866&sr=8-1&keywords=the+design+of+everyday+things), a funny and enlightening book about design. Read the book and you will have a better insight on how to design systems without introducing barriers to their proper use. Door handles are simple technology, but they are often used in a manner opposite to what was intended.

On a related note, last week in a busy US airport I saw a waste sorting station with no signage at all. Only different coloured bins. When I approached it, a fellow turned to me and said “I am trying to figure out which one is for food waste.” He and millions of others every year, no doubt.


Something I spoke about

Last week, while speaking on behaviour change, I mentioned that I used Community-Based Social Marketing (http://www NULL.cbsm NULL.com) techniques on my kids to get them to brush their teeth. Other than the reference to social norms associated with urinals, it was the example most often mentioned by people I spoke to later. So:

To get your kids to brush their teeth before bed, put a small sign on their door just above the handle, saying “Don’t Forget To Brush Your Teeth.” It will be the appropriate message with the right information, seen at the right time. Some people I spoke with suggested putting it on the bathroom mirror. The problem with that is, if they don’t go to the bathroom, they won’t see the sign.

Here are some more tips on creating effective behaviour change communications materials.


A quote I am pondering

The advance of technology is based on making it fit in so that you don’t really even notice it, so it’s part of everyday life.” – Bill Gates (without any sense of irony although he gave us an operating system that for decades required you to hit the Start button to turn your computer off)

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Footnote

Although I have no knowledge that it is the case, I am haunted by the thought that some of the people killed or hurt this week by the terrorist on that Manhattan bike path may never have known what was coming because they may have been wearing earbuds as he approached them from behind. 

If you have feedback or ideas on topics, I would love to hear from you (and thanks to all of the people who have already done so). I would especially appreciate recommended examples of excellence in behaviour change (if you have an example of one of your projects, don’t be shy, tell me about it). You can email me at ken@beyondattitude.com (ken null@null beyondattitude NULL.com?__s=%5Bsubscriber NULL.token%5D&__s=%5Bsubscriber NULL.token%5D&__s=%5Bsubscriber NULL.token%5D).

Ken Donnelly
President
Beyond Attitude Consulting
www.beyondattitude.com (http://www NULL.beyondattitude NULL.com/?__s=%5Bsubscriber NULL.token%5D&__s=%5Bsubscriber NULL.token%5D&__s=%5Bsubscriber NULL.token%5D)

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