Fun can change behavior

Once in a while I come across something really inspiring, and this time it was The fun theory – a “thought that something as simple as fun is the easiest way to change people’s behavior for the better.”

Getting people to use the staircase than the escalator

Getting people to throw into the garbage bin

Getting people to iron their clothes

Road Roller Iron

“Ironing clothes can be a boring task and getting the creases removed from your clothes perfectly is next to impossible. Now all you need to do is place your shirt on a customized iron board with sensors. You need to define the task. What is to be ironed? Shirt, trouser etc. The board defines your play area with lights depending on your selection. Creases are highlighted. Place the mini road roller iron on the shirt, sit back and let the fun begin. With a remote control you need to guide the road roller around the highlighted creases. If you move out of your play area, you lose points. If you get all the creases sorted in quick time you gain points.”

Getting children to clean their rooms

So what?

I hope to keep this inspiration in mind whenever I’m building products for others to use.

P.S. Go vote for the best entries before January 15, 2010!

5 thoughts on “Fun can change behavior

  1. I think it’s more about novelty than fun.
    After a 2nd try at the piano staircase, convenience of the escalator will win.

  2. @Umang The point is to encourage, not enforce. And even if only 20-40% of the people find it fun enough to continue to indulge in the right behavior, that is a massive success.

  3. I don’t see how the “encourage” vs “enforce” point arises here. It’s an open choice here.

    20-40% is HUGE conversion rates on a sustained basis.
    For something like the piano staircase, I’m expecting more like 0.1%.

    Convenience is a great driving force.

  4. @Umang You have a point there. People prefer the shortest path always (the easier one). I wonder if they did a prolonged experiment on what was the max number of times each person did the right behavior… 1-2 times, 5-6 times, 10-15 times, etc.

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