[Elective] Design for Behavioural Change (Persuasive Technology)



Persuasive design helping overthinkers to change bad sleeping habits


Getting a sufficient amount of sleep is of utmost importance for human well-being. It increases our performance and makes us happier, energized and healthier. However, in this modern world, the scope of problems in regards to sleep hygiene is increasing. There are numerous factors in the literature that affect the sleeping behaviour of an individual. Sleep and wake times are often determined by external factors that competed with healthy sleep habits. In the design process described in this paper, we report our attempt of designing a persuasive technology that change the behaviour of an individual that is struggling with a bad sleep hygiene. In the design process we utilized multiple models and theories such as the Elaboration Likelihood Model (ELM), {Theory of Planned Behaviour (TPB), and Cialdini’s Six Principles of Persuasion to make an analysis of hypothetical performed behaviour in our design case.


The basic idea of Sparkle, was to let people tell others about their worries anonymously, and in that way let their worries be heard. It worked by letting people hold down a big button, to record a message that would then be anonymously shared in the Sparkle community. Before recording, the button kept a neutral white, which turned warmer and warmer the later in the night it got. While recording the button would pulsate red, to let the user know what was happening. After recording, another user would have the possibility of listening to the recording and when the user is done listening, the button would flash yellow for a moment, to let the recorder know that his or her problem was heard. This concept was in part inspired by the ‘Reciprocation’, ‘Social Proof’ and ‘Provoke Empathy’ cards, from the Design with Intent Cards by Lockton.




[1] Petty, Richard E., and John T. Cacioppo. “The elaboration likelihood model of persuasion.” Communication and persuasion. Springer New York, 1986. 1-24.



[2] Ajzen, Icek. “The theory of planned behavior.” Organizational behavior and human decision processes 50.2 (1991): 179-211.



  • Jens Ager Sørensen
  • Josephine Thomsen