Persuasive Technology Design Examples

Last week i posted about a simple yet handy tool to ideate persuasive technologies. It’s time to to test it out some more and and use it to produce 3 examples of Innovative/ Whacky/ Crazy ideas about a serious issue. I’ll pick one small issue and come up with 3 unique design solutions. I hope the tool proves useful to generate random ideas! Okay so lets get started!
Persuasive Tech

Environmental Issue: People driving to work alone instead of using public transport or carpooling.

Design #1 Eco-pool stickers and web service

User Interaction Example
User Interaction Example

The main ideas behind this design are:

  • In many cities a lot of people go to work to the same area, which are the business hubs of the town. Example: In New York a huge population works in areas like Financial district, Around Times Square, MetroTech Center, etc.
  • They also travel at the same time (Office hours 9am -5 pm)
  • The few problems with carpooling include dealing with strangers and finding people who are willing to do so.
  • There are apps that deal with these issues (Carma, Hitch-A-Ride), but setting up a carpool ride is still a big hassle.
  • A simple addition to their utility would be putting small stickers on cars of App-users to increase publicity and usage.
  • These business hubs have huge parking lots and have hundreds of cars and just walking by them looking at stickers might be helpful to find potential carpooling buddies.

A simple scenario would be as follows:

  • User drives to work on first day, walks around parking lot, notices a car from the same area she lives in.
  • She requests the user for the travel time. He replies that  he arrives at 9 am and leaves work at 5 pm.
  • They add each other as carpooling buddies.
  • She has multiple carpool buddies. One day her buddy has to stay at work late and updates situation on app. She requests other buddies for carpool.

Note: This solution might raise concerns in terms of security, as people would know the area where you live. This might or might not be an issue for users. It can be solved by putting encrypted data which can be decrypted on request, but it kills the simplicity and efficiency of the design solution.

Design solution #2: EcoDrive: a car dashboard dialogue


The main Ideas:

  • A lot of new cars have digital dashboards. By using simple (and cheap) sensors in the seats, the car occupancy can be calculated.
  • By assuming the regular occupancy of the car as 1, the amount of fuel saved, the amount of money saved and the reduction in carbon footprint can be calculated and displayed on the car dashboard.
  • The assumption is that bringing these stats into users’ conscience will motivate them to have more than 1 passengers in the car.

A scenario:

  • User enters car, looks at stats, which are pretty bad.
  • 98% user are more Eco-Friendly than her.
  • The stats say that App users have saved more than 45 million dollars in total by carpooling.
  • User considers carpooling to save environment and money.

Design Solution #3: CarPool Mania – A mobile game that simulates carpooling


  • Simulate a carpooling game using geo-locations of players
  • Players can pick up and place people in their cars, or place themselves in other peoples cars.
  • Players get points if there is a match. i.e: the person they placed in their car also placed herself in their car (both players made the same game action).
  • The players complete to be on top of the leader-board.
  • The theory of change is that by playing this game players might realize the abundance of options for carpooling and then seek out options in real-life.

User scenario:

  • Jim is in his car and before starting his trip, opens Carpool-mania, to pick up a few rides close to his place.
  • He places a few people in his neighborhood in his car.
  • He finds out that Kelly who he had placed in his car also performed the same game action. Both players are awarded points.
  • They find out that travel to the same area on Wednesdays and Fridays and start carpooling in real life.

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