SXSW Interactive 2016

"Nudge Units": Building Teams to Design Behavior


Google, the US Government, Jawbone, Uber, and the UK Government... What do these organizations have in common? They have all hired teams, dubbed "nudge units,” to design and test interventions based on behavioral science (see books like Nudge and Thinking Fast and Slow). In the UK alone, behavioral scientists have conducted over 150 random control trials to tremendous impact - one small change to the UK’s organ donation form added 100,000 additional organ donors. In this panel, you will hear from experts running such units for product companies and the government. They will offer practical advice on building a team, pitching projects, structuring work, and executing for improved outcomes.

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  1. How do you integrate behavioral science into your organization? What are the pros and cons of a “nudge unit” model?
  2. How do you identify projects? Are there ethical boundaries? How do you sell members of your organization on using a behavioral approach?
  3. How should you structure a typical project? What skill sets do you need to deliver work (i.e. PhDs, UXers, Designers)? How do you measure success?



Andrea Dinneen, Business Experience Designer, Deloitte Digital

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