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6 Behavioral Science Resources Every Product Manager and Product Designer Should Know About

June 6, 2022  |  By: Irrational Labs

Behavior change is a tough nut to crack.

Fortunately, leading companies continue to try – with promising results. Their experimentation and testing has, in countless instances, led to insights about human psychology and consumer behavior. And these same companies are seeing impressive returns on their investments into behavioral research. For instance, an ‘experiment with everything’ approach helped Bing increase revenue per search by 10 to 25 percent per year.

These results and insights are typically kept private within companies, trapped in PowerPoint decks and internal dashboards. Some companies, however, have chosen to share their A/B test results with the public. Though none of these sites are peer reviewed (nor do they have an IRB!), the sample sizes tend to be impressive and the insights surprising.

Read on for a curated list of behavioral science resources that are jam-packed with insightful data about real behavioral change. If you’re a product manager, marketer, or designer, you’ve come to the right place!

Behavioral Science Resources: Podcasts

Science of Change

The Science of Change

The Science of Change, a podcast from Irrational Labs, seeks to demystify how businesses apply the psychology of decision-making. Hosted by our very own Kristen Berman, it’s a crash course in behavioral science with take-home tools to boot.

If you’re looking to understand the tactics that leading companies like Airbnb, Lyft, and Netflix have used to drive behavior change, this is the podcast for you. In each episode, leaders from these organizations share their hard-earned secrets on what drives their customers’ behavior – and how they have learned to change it. Chock full of industry insights and surprising lessons, The Science of Change gives listeners an opportunity to see behavioral science in action – and contextualize it with products they use every day.

Kristen adds expert commentary, behavioral insights, and a healthy dose of skepticism as she dives deep into questions like these:

  • What strategies help Peloton keep its massive fan base coming back for more?
  • How does Netflix turn every viewing session into a binge-watching extravaganza?
  • How does Weight Watchers keep people motivated to lose weight – and what does the data tell us about their results?

Whether you’re a PM looking for inspiration or a curious consumer wondering about the science behind your favorite app, we guarantee you’ll learn something. Listen here.

Behavioral Science Resources: Websites

Want to see behavioral design applied in the real world? Stuck in a product design rut and need inspiration for split tests? Need some ideas for improving employee engagement within your organization? 

We’ve compiled a list of our favorite websites that answer these questions and many more. Because behavior change is hard, but finding the resources to help shouldn’t be.

behavioral science resources

MarketingExamples.com

Has your creativity been hitting the snooze button? Marketing Examples is the wake-up call you need to jumpstart those juices again.

Set up as a virtual canvas of clickable images that you could scroll for hours, this site catalogs marketing efforts from a variety of companies – Volvo, Apple, and Coca Cola, to name a few.

For example, the above photo references ‘The Vegetable Name Change,’ a Belgian supermarket’s 2018 campaign encouraging children to eat more produce. The strategy? Altering fruit and vegetable names to be more kid-friendly. Carrots became ‘orange rockets,’ and tomatoes became ‘clown’s noses.’ The end result? Sales jumped by 151 percent.

Thanks to its user-friendliness, Marketing Examples gets bonus points for choosing the ‘path of least friction.’ Each example provides an estimated reading time, and it’s easy to filter results by category so you don’t get lost in the marketing jungle.

The only downside? Not every example includes real data points – so you might not know whether a given campaign actually increased conversion rates or achieved more email opens. Still, you won’t be able to leave this site without feeling inspired. Try it. We dare you.

GoodUI.org

Any product with a poorly-executed UI is like a song without a hook. No matter how much you want to like it, it just doesn’t work.

When done well, a site’s UI can improve conversion rates and give it a leg up over the competition. But designing an attractive, efficient, and intuitive UI is trickier than it sounds – and even the greatest product can pay the price when the UI feels off.

No pressure, right?

If you’re stuck in a UI rut, you’re not alone. Enter Good UI: a one-stop inspiration shop that allows you to benefit from other companies’ experiments. Projects cataloged include landing pages, listings, shopping carts, and more. The site also publishes leaked A/B testing, offering a window into UI insights from leading companies like Amazon and Etsy. Go sneak a peek.

DoWhatWorks.io

behavioral science resourcesThere’s no denying that experimentation is critical to product design.

Unfortunately, the marketing gods have yet to bestow unlimited time, money, and web traffic upon all of us. But we have good news: If endless experimentation is a pipe dream, Do What Works is the superhero swooping in to save your design game.

The blog shares insights from split tests run by the world’s top companies. By taking a look at what worked (or didn’t) for others, you can bet smarter on your own company’s design ideas. For example, see how HelloFresh Australia ran a 3-way split test on social proof to optimize their landing page – and apply their takeaways to your own work. It’s a safe bet that you’ll learn a thing or two about accelerating your conversion rates, so what are you waiting for? Go check it out.

The Behavioral Evidence Hub

Isn’t it a shame when brilliant ideas and insights are buried in academic journals, never to see the light of day?

The Behavioral Evidence Hub thinks so – and they’re working to change things. Their easy-to-search platform shares rigorously-tested behavioral research and solutions for even the toughest social problems. For instance, in one featured project, implementation of a peer referral system increased adolescent usage of family planning services in Uganda by 45 percent.

Best of all? Each project summarizes relevant behavioral design tools and strategies so that others can apply them too. Hello, maximum impact!

In case you need another reason to visit, ‘B-Hub’ also offers handy behavioral design checklists to help optimize your product for success. Try them on for size here.

Behavioral Science Resources: Case Studies

Irrational Labs Case Studies

behavioral science resources

At Irrational Labs, we’re invested in good behavioral design – and we want you to be, too.

We partner with top companies to elicit behavior change that drives customer and business outcomes. Then, we share our results so that others can learn and benefit from new insights.

Our website exhibits case studies of our work with Aetna, TikTok, Google, and dozens of other leading companies. Outcomes include increases in overall behavior change (i.e., paying off loans and savings) and engagement (e.g., retention and conversion outcomes).

For example, we worked with One Medical to make small changes in the onboarding process for new employer-sponsored members. The result? A 20 percent increase in appointment bookings. We live for positive outcomes like these in our quest to make people happier, healthier, and wealthier with behavioral science. Visit our library to learn more.

Behavioral Science Resources: Bonus Round

Hungry for more? Satisfy your information craving with these delicious extras.

  • Curious about the onboarding strategies of large companies like Duolingo, Slack, and Apple Music? UserOnboard Teardowns breaks it all down for you with teardowns of onboarding flows for dozens of leading companies.
  • Lenny Rachitsky’s newsletter is a must-read for all things product, growth, people management, and office topics. And don’t miss Lenny’s podcast either—aptly titled Lenny’s Podcast—where he interviews world-class product leaders and growth experts.
  • If you need a weekly behavioral science fix (because who doesn’t?), you’re in luck with Habit Weekly. They share the most compelling weekly behavioral design research, case studies, and more – all in one user-friendly location.
  • Interested in adopting an ‘experiment with everything’ approach? Check out this website to learn how Booking.com has built a culture of scientists – by keeping 1,000 experiments going at all times. Yes, we’re serious.
  • Want to look at popular topics in project and product management through a behavioral science lens? Just consider UX Core Guide your new best friend.
  • To explore how small tweaks in your product can yield big returns, visit this Irrational Labs blog.

Are you a voracious reader? We have a book list with your name on it. Check out our favorite behavioral science picks here.

Looking for a more in-depth guide to implementing behavioral design to your research process and product? Check out our Behavioral Design online bootcamp.

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