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Mental Models
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EAST Framework

Let's start with a very quick primer on where the EAST Framework fits in. Behavioural economics essentially demonstrated that humanity spends much of our time in 'Fast Thinking' or autopilot; Nudge theory took advantage of that to push us towards desirable behaviours; and the EAST Framework is a good place to get started with nudge design. The EAST Framework helps to encourage, or Nudge, desired behaviours by making them Easy, Attractive, Social or Timely (EAST).  DEFINING NUDGES.  Before we go deeper let's define Nudges, or even better, we'll let Richard Thaler and Cass Sunstein define it from their book of the same name: "Any aspect of the choice architecture that alters people's behaviour in a predictable way without forbidding any options or significantly changing their economic incentives. To count as a mere nudge, the intervention must be easy and cheap to avoid. Nudges are not mandates. Putting fruit at eye level counts as a nudge. Banning junk food does not." BREAKING DOWN EAST. EAST TRY THIS EXAMPLE Easy Use defaults and pre-set options. Reduce friction, or increase friction (sludge) for the alternative.  Simplify and breakdown the message and provide a clear next step.  Organ donations in Denmark are 4.25%, compared to Austria which makes it default, at 99.98% Attractive Grab attention through surprise, novelty or anything to stand out. Use rewards and incentives, including lotteries. The classic porcelain fly in the men's urinal example, which reduced 'spillage' by 80% and cleaning by 8%. See the In Practice section for more. Social  Describe the behaviour as normal for that group.  Use peer testimonials. Leverage networks and social commitments. UK Tax payments increased by 15% by adding a line to tax bills that stated: "9 out of 10 people in your town are up to date with payments." Timely Prompt people at the decision point or when they’re receptive.  Focus on immediate costs and rewards over distant ones. Help people create a plan to bridge the intention/ action gap. An insurance company asked people to sign at the top of a declaration form, rather than the bottom, generated more accurate reporting.   A SIMPLE NUDGE DESIGN PROCESS. The founders of the EAST Framework, the Behavioral Insights Team (also known as the original ‘Nudge Unit’), recommend the following process to apply the EAST Framework:  Define the outcome: identify the desired behaviour and consider how it might be measured and what results it would give you.  Understand the context: Explore the environment and empathise with the people who you wish to impact.  Build your intervention: Use the EAST Framework to apply behavioural insights. Test, learn, adapt: Apply the intervention iteratively, with feedback loops to gain and apply learning. Ideally use split testing to compare the impact with a control group. APPLICATIONS. While the use of the EAST Framework to create Nudges should be considered more as a high-level design guide rather than an exact science, they can deliver great results with low expenditure.  Use Nudges in product design, policy, architecture, UX design and consider how you might redesign your own environment to nudge yourself.  IN YOUR LATTICEWORK.  As described, the EAST Framework is based on our understanding of Fast & Slow Thinking, which essentially points out that our brains are on autopilot for much of the time. Nudges help to direct that autopilot, similar to models such as Habit Loops and Systems vs Goals.  You can view the EAST Framework in the context of the Paradox of Choice and even the Social Proof aspect of Cialdini's Six Principles of Influence, as well as broader cognitive biases and heuristics such as Hyperbolic Discounting.  Finally, an essential tool to help identify relevant points of Nudge interventions comes with combining the EAST Framework with Journey Mapping to consider Nudges in the context of a target audiences' experience and key decision points. 

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