A toolkit to help designers and business leaders understand and influence consumer decisions.

The toolkit is designed to be both informative and actionable - helping you integrate the latest research in human behavior and decision making into your practice. Donate now and help us keep the tools available for free.

IntroductionThe Toolkit

The Brains, Behavior & Design Toolkit features five tools to help designers apply findings from the field of behavioral economics to their practice in order to provide a head start on framing research as well as developing new strategies for solving user problems. Download the introduction book.

This tool kit includes:

reference Reference Cards
behavioral economics research findings organized and described

These reference cards are helpful when becoming familiar with basic behavioral economics concepts. This tool is by no means a complete or comprehensive collection of all behavioral economics concepts; they are a selection meant to provide enough depth and coverage to help establish a foundation. Terms on the reference cards are categorized into four decision-making factors and four decision-making shortcuts. Each category includes an index card that provides an overview of the category and suggestions for related design strategies.

Introduction to Reference Cards
All Reference Cards


posterConcept Ecosystem Poster
the relationships between concepts

The Concept Ecosystem poster helps visualize behavioral economics concepts. We have identified four decision-making factors and four decision-making shortcuts in our research. These concepts are organized into different levels of specificity to help designers understand how these decision-making drivers relate to one another.

Concept Ecosystem Poster


irrationalsituationIrrational Situations Guides
when people act irrationally, what to look for and how to design for these situations

These three guides help evaluate different irrational situations during the research synthesis and generation process. Irrational situations include:

  • Trying Something New: when you want to introduce new routines, this will help you think about routines in terms of current habits, experiences and stories, and peer groups. Download

  • Delayed Gratification: when you suspect that people are having trouble evaluating trade-offs between getting something now and getting more later, this will help you think about how to help people act on their intentions in terms of their plans, habits, activities, regrets, and goals. Download

  • Good Intentions: when there is a mismatch between people’s future intentions and their behavior, this will help you understand trade-offs in terms of relevant decision processes, value of outcomes, and experiences and associations. Download



strategyStrategy Cards
ways to design for the irrational mind

This deck of cards provide 21 strategies to change user behavior. This tool will help you or your team brainstorm and design solutions during idea generation. This card deck works best as a synthesis tool if you have at least a basic understanding of user needs and motivations.

Strategy Cards Introduction
Strategy Card Deck


placementLoss/Gain Worksheet
understanding and designing for trade-offs

Once you have basic understanding of your target user’s needs and motivations this worksheet will help you evaluate losses and gains. The worksheet will help you generate ideas about how to redesign losses and gains to make a behavior or activity more desirable.

Loss/Gain Introduction
Loss/Gain Worksheet and Cards