Research into habits and daily routines finds that the easier a behaviour is for someone to do, the greater the chance that they will build a new habit. Any friction involved can put people off and make a new behaviour seem too daunting. Yet friction can also be engaged to discourage undesired behaviour and steer people towards the behaviour you want to happen. Our latest article in the Market Research Society’s Impact magazine, “Behavioural friction”, explores how to identify, analyse, reduce - or increase - friction.
In the first half of our article, we discuss the importance of identifying any friction that may be preventing people from adopting a new behaviour. We look at examples of how researchers used data from a cycle app to understand the friction points along the journey where cyclists have to slow down, stop or get off, as well as looking at how friction points can lead to uncertainty and a lack of clarity in government communication.
The second half of the article shares three simple strategies on how to reduce friction for the desired behaviour to happen or, how to increase it to discourage undesirable behaviour. Here, we look at examples from reducing friction to sign up to a green energy tariff and the low friction involved in contactless payments, to adding friction to discourage people from using the lift and instead encourage them to use the stairs.
With our lives upturned for months on end, now is the time to leverage this ‘once in a generation’ opportunity to shape and drive new behaviours.
Read our article here.