Here are some signs that made me blink and think.
Signage isn’t the first, or only, tactic to think about when designing a behaviour change project.
However a nicely designed sign can do a lot of support work, reminding people of the correct behaviour and, importantly, projecting social norms.
And signs are often the only long-term legacy of a project – so they deserve care and attention.
P.S. Notice that there are plenty of non-conventional ‘signs’ here! A sign doesn’t have to be a flat, square and on a stick.
1) Location location
High impact local data, at the toilet entrance – where almost everyone passes by! So simple.
Is this the world’s most potent behavioural sign? These touching memorials always make me think, and feel.
Here are some signs perfectly positioned at the spot where people make their choices:
2) “I can do that” moments
Probably the single most effective use of a sign in a behaviour change project is to DEPICT THE CORRECT BEHAVIOUR, clarifying uncertainties that are inherent whenever we use just text.
A gentle ‘ting’ says ‘I’m passing safetly’. Yes, I can do that!
OK, not just slow down, but say ‘hi’ to people too. Yes, I can do that!
So that’s how to ‘not litter’. I can do that!
Ikea-inspired instructions for being a street vendor. Now I can stay legal.
3) The next great thing a sign can do is clarify social norms.
What does this community stand for?
Hey, here’s how I learned what other adults in my community think about alcohol and teenagers.
Hey my neighbour’s doing something about Lantana. Maybe I’ll talk to him.
Wow. My neighbours are ‘going FOGO’. I wonder what that’s about!
A light-hearted touch is a brilliant way to grab attention. Plus, it lowers resistance to otherwise harsh messages.
Wanted! An outlaw cactus! Different to the traditional agricultural poster.
Yarra City’s litter bins are somewhat disturbing. I noticed them!
Zoos Victoria are genius! ‘Wipe for wildlife’ is a memorable campaign to get kids badgering their parents to buy recycled toilet paper. It’s fronted by Crapman – which, of course, is hilarious!
5) Here’s looking at you
Interestingly, it turns out that ‘don’t do it’ signs might get more compliance if they have forward-facing eyes. Here’s the research paper.
6) And lastly, here is a one-page guide to good sign-making.
Upcoming Changeology workshop (details and booking are here).