Day 2 Stream Sessions – The Fundamentals


The fundamental elements that are critical in developing behavioural insights trials are the three D’s: Data, Design, and Delivery. Select one stream to hear three experienced corporate leaders and academics talk about their experience and specific case studies. 

Stream 2 - Design

Professor Kees Dorst, Professor of Design, University of Technology Sydney

  • View Kees Dorst's presentation (PDF)
  • Professor Kees Dorst gives three case studies to describe how product design can give ideas to be evaluated. In the first case study, he describes how they designed out crime in Barcelona by drawing people out of dark tunnels using signs which required them to walk up to right up to it to read it and avoid pickpockets.
  • In the second case study Dorst describes how design can help the Kings Cross suburb in Sydney to reduce crime by redefining it as a museum festival, rather than a gang of thugs. He posited that salsa dancing can encourage people to dance rather than fight- which will reduce violence. 
  • In the final case study Dorst describes how good fieldwork can be used to better town planning, by understanding people’s values and how they can drive people’s behaviour. 

Mr Damien Mu, General Manager, AIA/Vitality

  • View Damien Mu's presentation (PDF)
  • Damien Mu states that much research has found that insurance companies would benefit by helping people lead healthier lives. However, this has focussed on stating that there is a problem, rather than how to address it.
  • Vitality has developed a platform for people to know their health, improve their health and then be rewarded for it. They found that: it costs $10 to get people to swap a $2 doughnut for a salad and that if you give people free health checks they don’t value it – so they gave them points for it.
  • The Vitality programme has been evaluated by Harvard Medical School and found that the programme led to fundamental life changes.

Mr Bram van der Lans, General Manager, Telstra Digital Studio

  • View Bram van der Lans' presentation (PDF)
  • Previously Telstra focussed on selling the brand, rather than helping customers. Telstra Digital, a new part of Telstra, has focussed on how a single user experience can create a design and user driven experience.
  • This was based on an initial product with lots of refinements based on A/B testing with a fast iterative, “Test, Learn , Adapt” approach.
  • They also looked at the choice architecture and restricted choice in terms of the mobile phone plans that they offer to create a simpler system.
  • The final initiative they implemented was a transparent un-moderated forum to support customer. This allowed Telstra to help customers who have had a poor user experience and then deal with their complaints, as well as let other customers help each other.

Professor Dan Lovallo, Professor of Business Strategy, University of Sydney

  • Professor Dan Lovallo describes a how an investment firm had a rule in which two people can veto any project will lead to a situation in which people do not veto anything in case other people will veto their projects in retaliation.  By changing the system in which four people are required to veto a project, people stopped vetoing project in retaliation and there was a more rigorous discussion of projects.
  • In another study, Lovallo finds that using inductive and deductive framing of instructions can change how people choose innovative projects and make business decisions.
  • In a third study, Lovallo describes how most business operations are based in the inertia of the previous year and we need to be smarter in overcoming this. 


Facilitated by Martin Stewart-Weeks