Applying a Nudge

As a follow-up to last week’s pain point, I implied a nudge that would hopefully prevent from passersby to sit on my staircase.

My inspiration for this nudge was to create a border between the street and the staircase. I wanted to distinguish it from the street in a way that the staircase will be perceived as a private space. At first, I tried to use a projection, I wanted to make the staircase look very appealing, perhaps even like an art piece and in that way to distinguish it from its surrounding. However, there was too much light and therefore was very hard to see the projection (I tested this idea with two different projectors). The fact that the staircase is so illuminated is probably one of the reasons why it is so inviting to sit on.

My second attempt was to physically create a border. I took a white sateen ribbon and tied it to the lower level of the staircase.

That solution was very successful, not a single person set on the staircase that night. I was amazed to see how such a simple change can affect immensely on one’s behavior.

The ribbon main disadvantage was that it did not last long. When I climbed down the stairs in the morning the ribbon was already ripped off. I guess one of my neighbors did not find it amusing or helpful.




In addition, as can be seen in the video, the ribbon seemed to harden claiming up the stairs (someone literally fell because of it).

I would like to improve this nudge by creating a visible border that can be easily crossed, but at the same time will create the separation effect in one’s mind, a laser light beam, for example.

Categories: Designing for Change

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