Over the past few decades, researchers have codified many of the patterns that describe why people behave irrationally. As researchers, how can we be on the lookout for these patterns of behavior when we go into the field? As designers, how can we use our understanding of patterned irrational behavior to help people make better choices?

A group of graduate students at IIT Institute of Design have developed tools that apply findings from the fields of cognitive psychology and behavioral economics to the design process. These tools provide a head start on framing research as well as developing new strategies for solving user problems.

Brains, Behavior and Design: 5 tools to understand and influence decision-making is a collection of their research and a toolkit that includes factors, short-cuts, strategies and exercises to help us understand human behaviour throughout the design process.

The students are currently testing these tools in real world design problems in domains like healthcare and sustainability.