Do you:

  • order the cheeseburger sometimes when you'd really like to lose weight?
  • wait to work on your taxes even though you expect to get a refund check when you complete them?
  • refuse to let go of the camping equipment you've never used, but can envision yourself having an epic adventure with it?

So do We!!

The Action Design ATX Lab is interested in helping understand and solve problems related to disconnects from our intentions and our actions. How do we do that? By seeking insights from behavioral sciences and other fields. The human brain is a fascinating organ that with limited inputs (and being incased in complete darkness in a very hard skull) creates a representation of our reality in our consciousness, allows us to access memories, and allows us to make both snap decisions and ponder the universe. Given all that impressive capability, these brains of ours have faults, such as cognitive biases, that help explain this gap between our actions not aligning with our goals.

Our lab's key tenets:

  • We are interested in taking behavioral science insights gained in a lab, and deploying them at scale. This field has been known by several names, including Applied Behavioral Science, Behavior Design, Behavioral Design, and Action Design.
  • We seek to be force for good. We a strong advocates for the ethical application of behavioral insights, helping people accomplish their goals, not as a mechanism for manipulation
  • We are highly experimental and engage in projects to support the Action Design community and to give back to non-profits
  • We believe in seeking insights from diverse fields
    • examples of prior guest speakers have included
      • Nathan Waechter Vice President with BrainJuicer - Redesigning surveys to tap into System 1 (non-conscious) thinking
      • Mark Voss, Senior Project Architect at Robert Trent Jones II, LLC - Player Psychology considerations in Golf Course Design
      • Gabe Krajecik, CEO at Kasasa - Onboarding, Customer & Employee Engagement for Community Financial Institutions
    • examples of outings
      • Touring the Vision, Cognition and Action Virtual Reality Lab in the Institute of Neuroscience at the University of Texas
    • examples of member-led discussions
      • Strategies to combat digital device addiction using behavioral design theory
      • Designing Learning; Designing Space
      • Customer Personal Non-Grata
      • Conversion Optimization

Lab History

The lab was formed by Robin Krieglstein and Alan May in 2016, birthed out of some projects originating from the Action Design ATX Meetup (as of March 2018, with over 1700 members). Our members are some of the dedicated learners of Action Design from and beyond the Austin meetup. We generally have 15-25 members, and induct members in cohorts. We currently have members in Austin, Boston, New York City, and Durham. The lab and the meetup belong to the Action Design Network.

We're proud to be part of the