Insights 02/11/2022 Nye Jones

Closing the intention-action gap: Making change accessible with nudge design


As humans we’re imperfect. A gap exists between our intentions and our actions.

We often assume that consumers know what they want. This in itself is not entirely true, but even when they do know what they want consumers might not follow through, despite their best intentions. For example, we want to be more sustainable and want brands to provide us with solutions that help us make a change, but even though there are lots of sustainable choices out there, we don’t always choose them, defaulting to our go-to brands and normal habits. 

So a problem presents itself: How do brands deliver change for consumers that gives them what they want, while encouraging them to follow through with their intentions?

Rather than focussing our efforts on appealing to people’s better nature, instead we look at how to appeal to their human nature. Sometimes all it takes is a little nudge.

Nudge design combines design thinking with behavioural science to bring nudge theory to branding. When we talk about nudge, we’re talking about a subtle suggestion made through design or written communication that draws the attention of the consumer, communicates information to them, and suggests a preferable action which triggers either a conscious or unconscious response. 

Through design, nudges can appear across every touchpoint of a brand experience to help reframe perception and influence behaviour. But to be successful a nudge has to be easy, attractive, social, and timely in order to impact the consumer and achieve the intended outcome. The results can be transformative or used to achieve marginal gains. 

If there is a point of human interaction, there is an opportunity to nudge.

If you’re facing a challenge with consumer adoption and need to shift perception or behaviour, think about the following questions: 

1. How do you eliminate barriers to adoption and make change accessible? 

2. How do you grab attention and make it desirable and enjoyable? 

3. How do you tap into our herd mentality to create new social norms? 

4. And how do you time your nudge to maximise response?

To help answer these questions and overcome your challenges, get in touch with us here:

Want to see nudge design in action? Read more here