Behavioural Economics and User Centred Design: Opening up New Vistas in Research Processes

Using behavioral research methods to understand customer behavior

This note provides a high level view of qualitative research approaches for behavioral economics/user-centered designs. It explores cornerstones and process of behavioral research. The note focuses on the Market Insights for Innovation and Design (MI4ID) approach developed by MicroSave. The approach has been used to conduct research on product design of insurance products, finding solutions for MFIs in India to tap savings, create financial education program design for MFIs, and assess agent behavior in East African mobile money markets. The note also discusses the three steps involved in a typical behavioral economics/user-centered design research process:

  • Defining the problem: this step identifies problem(s) faced by users as they would move from observed to desired behavior;
  • Understanding the observed behavior: the most important part of a behavioral research is enquiry into the context in which the users choose or act. To understand the observed behavior, the research design focuses on use of adequate tools, sharp behavioral probes, and an appropriate intervention strategy;
  • Analyzing information gathered through research: the information gathered is used to map bottlenecks or challenges that the customer faces with respect to desired behavior.

About this Publication

By Tiwari, A., Mukherjee, P. , Singh, A.