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Build habits with APIs

Osaango´s Ashwin Rajan elaborates on the competitive edge of Digital Behaviour Design

· Behaviour Design,API,Intelligent APIs

The deliberate design of behavioural intervention and change isn’t new. But a systematic approach to it based on clear theoretical models and evidence is.

Traffic systems regulate and shape our collective driving behaviour. Urban centres enable specific consumption and lifestyle habits. Even school auditoriums and hospitals enable specific ways of efficient human functioning. As influential Japanese industrial designer Natao Fukasawa said: design dissolves into behaviour. (The original inspiration behind my personal focus on Behaviour Design, by the way.)

The design of behaviour has been around forever. And now this practice hits a new level of sophistication with digital technology. Consumer technology is currently widespread as smartphones. It will soon extend to voice and gestural interfaces. It provides new options to design and shape the fabric of human lives in ways valued by humans.

What does behaviour design as a discipline encompass? I’d like to apply the well-known model of the T-shaped professional here. The vertical stem of the T represents behavioural, cognitive, evolutionary and social psychology. As well as the exciting area of behavioural economics. The horizontal stroke of the T is a breadth of competencies in design thinking methods and tools.

APIs and Behaviour Design

An API stands for an Application Programming Interface. It is a programmatic ‘interface’ which can help a developer tap into the core powers of a digital platform. APIs leverage artificial intelligence and platform economy capabilities, for example. They have the capacity for dramatic shift in business models. And so APIs now offer a major competitive edge for companies (API Economy 101 -book out now!)

Digital product development got an "average user" into a "standard" product to lock them in. Data-driven product development is something else altogether. It is about adapting the product to the behaviour of its most valuable users. Our approach is unique. We combine Behaviour Design tools with APIs expertise. We help you choose and apply the right APIs to impact your user behaviour in ways they will find desirable.

For example, users buying habits can be combined with personality traits. Or to the way a user speaks, writes or listens to music. All of these can be analysed with APIs. When we leverage the power of APIs to enable and empower human lives, we can create digital services that truly sustain in value.

And so, behaviour-led and API-supported development can improve existing products based on current user behaviour. Or then create new generations of products by targeting behavioural change. It can reshape your strategy and tactics for user growth, retention and brand value. We see these practices becoming a cornerstone of product evolution in the future. We can help your teams with trainings, workshops and Digital Behaviour Design consulting.

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