Persuasive Technology and Digital Design for Behaviour Change

17 Pages Posted: 8 Aug 2012

Date Written: August 7, 2012


The convergence of the 'digital' and 'real' worlds has been rapid and transformative of everyday life, as well as design practice - to the extent that talking about 'digital design' and 'the digital context' seems anachronistic and redundant. Nevertheless, the arrival of digital technology, the Internet and social media has, from a design perspective, created a new field of affordances, constraints, information flows and possibilities. This paper reviews some of the ways in which digital architecture influences behaviour, and what the implications could be for designers seeking to influence behaviour for social and environmental benefit. Topics covered include Persuasive Technology, gamification, Lessig's 'Code is Law' perspective, digital rights management and Zittrain's concept of generativity.

Suggested Citation

Lockton, Dan, Persuasive Technology and Digital Design for Behaviour Change (August 7, 2012). Available at SSRN: or

Dan Lockton (Contact Author)

Royal College of Art ( email )

Kensington Gore
London, SW7 2EU
United Kingdom

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