Maybe the best behavioral design framework for your website is the same one that you can use to change your personal habits.

The man walked onto the stage in a colorful robe. He was holding a small oar. He claimed he was wearing a magician’s robe and that the oar was his magic wand and that he was going to do something magical with us.

This was seven years ago at Conversion Conference 2012. I still remember this keynote — and I’ve forgotten many.

The magic he performed was to teach us an important model for changing behaviors. Before the hour was over, he had asked us to teach the person next to us what he had shared: his behavioral model.

I live by the belief that, “The best way to really learn something is to teach it to someone else.” Indeed, his model was one I never forgot having taught it to someone else.

So, when BJ Fogg announced that he was finally releasing a new book, I invited him to be on the Intended Consequences podcast. With few changes, what he taught us seven years earlier had changed little. His new book, “Tiny Habits” has turned those business management lessons into a program for individual behavioral change.

My mindmap notes from his Conversion Conference session are available on the Intended Consequences website at

Real time behavioral design

At one point in our conversation, BJ visualized how to apply his behavioral model to the problem of conversion. I animated this part of the conversation for you.

Click to hear an explanation of BJ Fogg’s Behavioral Design Framework

BJ knows behavioral design and clearly applies it in his life. BJ teaches at Standford. He founded the Behavioral Design Lab there to study human behavior. Each year, his course tackles issues big and small. Like peace. And connecting to nature.

Anyone involved in marketing is involved in what he calls “Behavioral Design”. Listen to how this science can change your behaviors and your marketing effectiveness.

Habits make time for themselves.

When you get back to the office…

Let’s see if we can develop a tiny habit around experimenting. The habit we want to get into is considering data when we begin any creative project. As BJ told us, it doesn’t have to be big. In fact we should make it very small.

So the Prompt or Trigger is this: you sit down to write copy, to design an ad, to layout a webpage. I recommend that your tiny behavior be this: log into analytics. You don’t have to look at any reports. You don’t have to do any analysis. Just log in. Then you can log out and begin your project.

I’m trusting the process here, but according to Tiny Habits, you’ll begin to think about data more often. And then something will begin to change.

Now go behave like a scientist.

Resources and Links

Maybe the best behavioral design framework for your website is the same one that you can use to change your personal habits. Sketch of BJ Fogg presentation at conversion conference 2012

BJ Fogg Conversion Conference 2012 Notes

Brian Massey
4 replies
  1. Ole Gregersen
    Ole Gregersen says:

    Hi there. What a great episode. I was also introduced to this model many years ago, can’t remember if it was at Conversion Conference i San Francisco or When BJ was in Copenhagen some years later. Anyways, this part about the commercial application is just fab.


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