Reframing Behaviorholly kretschmar, Gretchen Wustrack

Sustainable change requires the right mental model

“Almost everyone wants to change something. Perhaps it’s a major change, like quitting smoking or shedding unhealthy pounds. Or it might be a smaller lifestyle decision, such as starting to take vitamins, selecting a new phone, or walking to work. Big or small, changing one’s habits can require significant physical and mental effort.

Designers have traditionally focused their energies on physical objects, seeking to optimize their functionality, usability, and desirability. But helping people make needed changes in their lives requires more than physical objects. People import mental models to new experiences, and if they are to change their habits, they must first change the attitudes on which they rest. Designing for sustainable change means finding the right mental model.

Designing around a mental model can help people overcome obstacles to successful, sustainable change. Reframing helps them envision their efforts in a new way, increasing the likelihood of success and building loyalty toward the products, services, interactions, and communications that show them the way.” holly kretschmar, Gretchen Wustrack