The Heather Browning Hypothesis: Great Product Design Can Make Healthy Behaviors Easier

Heather Browning is VP of Product at Ria Health, which has an innovative program that enables people to reduce their drinking. Heather is a growth product leader with a background in game design, cognitive psychology, and behavioral economics. She uses this expertise to build products aimed at sustained behavior change with a focus on improving engagement and retention. In this episode of the Product Science Podcast, we talk about how building products that drive behavior doesn’t work if you don’t frame it the right way.

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Questions We Explore in This Episode

The Heathing Browning Hypothesis: Great Product Design Can Make Healthy Behaviors EasierHow do you give people the tools to make the changes in their life that they want to make? How does Heather use her cognitive science background to inform her work? Why are games such effective motivational systems? How did Heather move from academia to game design and, eventually, into product? Why do you need to do more than just solve problems in an early-stage startup? How did Heather realize her team was asking the wrong questions and what did she do to change that?

What are the key product market fit problems in the educational games space? Why didn’t Heather start her own educational game design company? Why is the pipeline of educational games into school so difficult to disrupt? Why did this work help Heather understand the realities of product market fit?

How did Heather approach her goal of using technology to scale Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) treatment? Why is technology a good solution to bring CBT to the people who need it? How has funding changed over the years for mental health startups? How could this industry move to a blended model of in-person and app-based care? What is it like to work in an industry where there aren’t any models for success?

How can technology create longterm behavior change? What is it like working for a business that centers an evidence-based approach to building product? How do you make a business case for aligning the business model and what’s best for your user? How do you consumers and your organization to care about outcomes?

What is Heather’s framework for designing experiences to change people’s behaviors? Does giving people more information actually change their behavior? Why does Heather start with defining an outcome? How can directly driving someone towards their outcome backfire? How do you make your desired outcome to solution to a problem rather than the problem itself?

Quotes From This Episode

One thing about early-stage startups is you have to be asking the right questions. I kept getting to the point where I had solved the question put in front of me very well, but it felt like we were asking the wrong questions as far… Click To Tweet The Heather Browning Hypothesis: Great Product Design Can Make Healthy Behaviors Easier Click To Tweet The first thing to do is understand what outcome you're looking for. Are you looking to increase awareness? Or are you out looking for people to actually change something? Once you have that outcome clearly defined, you can design… Click To Tweet You really have to put a lot of thought and effort into your engagement and how you're going to make this interesting and engaging for people rather than points and badges. Otherwise, you’ll only provide very short term benefits to… Click To Tweet


Holly Hester-Reilly: Hi, and welcome to the Product Science podcast, where we’re helping startup founders and products leaders build high-growth products, teams and companies through real conversations with people who have tried it and aren’t afraid to share lessons learned from their failures along the way. I’m your host, Holly Hester-Reilly, founder and CEO of H2R Product Science.
Holly Hester-Reilly: So my guess on the Product Science podcast today is Heather Browning. Heather, I’m super excited to have you on the podcast.
Heather Browning: I’m really excited to be here. Thank you.
Holly Hester-Reilly: So Heather and I are going to talk about how we can use product and game mechanics and things like that in particular to drive forward good behavior, right? And change things and help people. I can’t wait to hear more about how you got here and what you do. So would you mind starting us off with a bit of a background of sort of like how did you get into this area?
Heather Browning: Yeah. So I was one of those very idealistic teenagers who wanted to make a big positive change in the world and sort of started out on an intellectual quest examining that idea. A lot of the initial ways that we think about when we want to make a big positive impact on the world are getting people to do the things that we think are best, and that’s a lot of the way we sort of initially think about it. And over time, what I really came to in watching other people and the initiatives that they’ve built was that I wanted to focus on helping people bring into existence the things that they want to exist rather than things I want to exist. So I really wanted to focus on empowerment and self-efficacy and giving people the tools to make the changes in their life that they wanted to make, and from that, taking a very cognitive science view of how to build that self-efficacy.
Holly Hester-Reilly: Yeah. That is really awesome. I know from some of my own studies in behavioral science that not only does that have a sort of a moral appeal, but it’s more effective. I’m curious to hear… I mean, I guess you mentioned starting off as a teenager with that view, and then what did your first steps into this area look like? Was it academia? How did you get into this?
Heather Browning: Yeah. So my undergraduate degree was in cognitive science and pedagogy, and it was focused on how to design educational experiences that would help build people’s rational thinking, because at the time, that was one of the things that I thought would be useful. The more and more I studied cognitive science, the more I realized rational thinking is not how we make decisions. And so for my master’s degree, which was focused on climate change and climate impact, I really looked at how the need for consumption comes from, there’s a psychological theory called the empty self. And so we’re trying to fill the sort of emptiness in our lives with other things or success.
Heather Browning: In that master’s degree, I was looking at what do people really need in their lives. That’s where I came across this concept of self-efficacy and building that, and really looked at how do we increase people’s motivation and where does that come in? That led me down the path of game design because games are these amazing motivational systems that you can get people to do all sorts of things in a game that are hard work, but they’re still very compelling. So as far as how I could help people increase their motivation, understanding games and game design was then sort of like the career path I went down out of academia.
Holly Hester-Reilly: That is really fascinating. And I feel like… I’m trying to think back to different guests, but I don’t feel like I talked to too many people who started with academic research, although, certainly, I myself did, so I understand that path here. But you, because I haven’t mentioned this to our listeners, I know that you are now VP of Product at a tech company that creates programs that help people with their behavior. So I really want to hear a little bit about how you got from this research to actually working in tech.
Heather Browning: Yeah. And so games were a great way for me to move into tech personally. So I had been doing math teaching previously and a lot of my undergraduate work was in math and physics teaching. And so it really naturally flowed into educational game design. I’m completely addicted to early stage startups, so working at an early stage startup, making educational games, which was I think still one of the most fun jobs I’ve ever had. And we were making games for two to four-year olds and trying to teach them math concepts.
Holly Hester-Reilly: Would we know those games today or?
Heather Browning: Probably if you had a small child during the time that company was operational, called Agnitus.
Holly Hester-Reilly: Okay. When was the company operational?
Heather Browning: And I think that was about 2013 to 2015, if I remember correctly.
Holly Hester-Reilly: Okay. My daughter was probably too young for being on games yet, so not me, but some of our listeners perhaps. Cool. So you were there, and what role did they bring you in as?
Heather Browning: As an educational game designer.
Holly Hester-Reilly: Okay. And how did you move from educational game design into product?
Heather Browning: Yeah. And so a lot of the, again, working in early stage startups, I was very good at solving the problems given to me well, but one thing about early stage startups is you have to be asking the right questions. And so I kept getting to the point where I had solved the question put in front of me very well, but felt like we were asking the wrong questions as far as what would make a business successful.
Holly Hester-Reilly: Yeah.
Heather Browning: So as I worked for the early stage startups, I initially went into UX design and then product mostly from the advantage of being on small teams and wearing many hats and finding sort of the level of question that most interested me. And the idea of what is actually going to be a good market fit is the type of question that I was most interested in solving, because again, I had been feeling very frustrated for making these amazing experiences and amazing products that then maybe didn’t quite have enough of a market fit to take off. And that was sort of my move into product, is really wanting to answer and understand those product market fit questions better.
Holly Hester-Reilly: Those are some of the biggest questions that come up at early stage startups and I certainly talked to a lot of people who have the same frustration you just described. So I’m curious if you could tell us a little bit, I mean, if you’re able to share a story about what were the things that you saw at the company you were at. I guess, did you get enough access to be able to do some of the research that would help you see why it didn’t reach product market fit, or what it was like being there at that time?
Heather Browning: Yeah. Well, I think actually in the educational game space, the problem that I still think is yet to be cracked in educational technology and in general is sort of how to actually get into the hands of students, and it’s just the pipeline into schools has not yet been disrupted. And that was also a big reason why I didn’t go ahead and start an educational company myself, was the question that if you are an educational tech fit that you have to have the answer to is how do you disrupt the pipeline into schools? And I just didn’t have an answer to that question. And so without an answer to that question, it doesn’t matter how amazing, how engaging, how educational the software you build is because your end user and your buyer is not the same person. You have to solve the, how is the person who’s going to buy this going to do that? And I think that’s a really still an open question in educational software.
Holly Hester-Reilly: That’s really the go-to market strategy and the go-to market fit for that vision.
Heather Browning: Yeah.
Holly Hester-Reilly: For those of us who are not from that field, what is the existing pipeline into schools that’s so hard to disrupt?
Heather Browning: So it’s very sort of locked down and controlled by existing textbook manufacturers, so it’s hard to get in without going through that channel. And then the timeframes for getting into that is not something a startup can endure.
Holly Hester-Reilly: Yeah.
Heather Browning: You know, waiting two to five years to get into the hands of the students, you just can’t have a startup waiting that long without a massive investment.
Holly Hester-Reilly: Yeah, absolutely. That sounds the same as other companies or people I’ve talked to who are trying to sell into schools. I haven’t worked with an educational games company, but selling into schools in general is like you better have a lot of runway.
Heather Browning: Right, yeah.
Holly Hester-Reilly: They have very regimented buying cycles. So that must’ve been painful to be a part of that, like to put all of your sweat into building a great game and then not see it take off.
Heather Browning: It really was. Also, because it was such a great team and I really solidly stand by the educational efficacy and also the enjoyment of the games we made. There’s still some of the proudest things I’ve ever made, but it was a really great learning for me, especially as my first job in software and my first venture-backed startup. It really helped me understand I think product in a way that I maybe wouldn’t have otherwise because if that had worked out, I would sort of just have this idea that, “Oh, if you make a good enough product, that’s all you need.” And that’s not the reality of what makes a startup work. So I’m really grateful for that experience and learned a lot out of it, and I think it really set me on the path I’m on now.
Holly Hester-Reilly: Yeah, I totally hear that. I think a lot of the best product people have failure stories at some point in their career, and that’s how we learned how important it is that you got to do this. So tell me what happened next.
Heather Browning: Yeah. So math was not the main thing I wanted to do with technology. The main thing I wanted to do with technology was actually work on scaling cognitive behavioral therapy treatment, because that seems very doable in electronic form, and also, it’s a place that really needs someone to bring an eye of engagement to because you’re taking a population with very low motivation and you’re sort of saying, “Well, if you did all this homework, you would get better.” [inaudible] like this Catch-22, whereas cognitive behavioral therapy is very effective, but it can be a sort of crushing weight to put on someone who’s not in a state where they have a lot of energy and motivation. But we as a culture, we as a society, we as designers, we know how to make something that would otherwise be boring, be interesting. And as a math teacher, I had a lot of feedback from cranky teenagers that I was good at that.
Heather Browning: And so I really wanted to bring that same understanding to cognitive behavioral therapy, but the industry really hadn’t quite matured yet. It is getting to the point where there are lots of early stage startups tackling digital mental health now, and that’s really exciting. But when I initially had this idea, that was not the thing that was happening. So I worked at a lot of different early stage startups to build my skills and knowledge, some in fitness, some in things like meditation, and finally, the explosion of mental health startups happened. And so for the last few years, I’ve been working specifically in addiction because that’s another place where there’s a lot of interest in solving those issues, and one big component of addiction treatment is the cognitive behavioral therapy aspect. And so I’ve been lucky that I have finally found the industry moving in this direction.
Holly Hester-Reilly: Yeah. So I’m a little bit aware of the mental health apps that are out in the marketplace. I’m definitely not aware of the culture around how the funding is changing over these years and things. So I’m curious to hear, it sounds like you see a big explosion in that. Is that-
Heather Browning: Yeah, at least it feels like that to me from how it was before.
Holly Hester-Reilly: And so I think there’re some elements of what you just described that are in many ways the same, in that you’ve got a science-backed strategy and understanding of how people behave and what would be good for a society. But the area you’re trying to play in is just full of entrenched enterprise players that… I mean, one of the reasons why cognitive behavioral therapy is so hard to access is cost and who pays for it, right? So how does a startup look to get to the market?
Heather Browning: Yeah. Well, so one thing is cognitive behavioral therapy is delivered very sort of human to human now. I think there’s a lot of ability to automate and create interesting experiences around practicing those tools and techniques. I think just that adds sort of a scaling aspect that’s going to lower the costs. It’s also going to increase access because one huge issue in mental health care is access and helping people get to them because the mental health care providers are very concentrated in large cities. And even in large cities, it can still be really difficult to even find people who have openings on their schedule.
Heather Browning: So I think that’s going to be a big thing that we see, is in the blended model that we saw coming into educational software. We’re going to have a blended model of in-person and app-based care, and it’s going to help therapists treat more people, it’s going to give people access who wouldn’t otherwise have access, and I think that’s really going to sort of change the landscape of this.
Heather Browning: Now, we still don’t have really like a wide set of examples of what is the math, what is the path to this? That is what we’re all sort of competing on at the moment, is what is the strategy that is going to breakthrough, that is going to get adopted by other large health systems or large payers, or have such a great direct-to-consumer that you don’t need any of these big institutions? That’s still an open question, and I don’t think anyone has… We haven’t seen the breakaway success that we can be like, “Oh, we’re going to do that, but for something else.”
Holly Hester-Reilly: Yeah, totally.
Heather Browning: So it’s interesting that’s sort of the open field and that’s one of the things that I’m finding very fascinating being on this very task is, okay, how are we going to crack that nut?
Holly Hester-Reilly: Yeah, that sounds like a really interesting time to be working in that space.
Heather Browning: Yeah.
Holly Hester-Reilly: So what are the ways that… It sounds like now you spend sort of this role of product management within the startup that’s doing the things that apply all the stuff you learned in your research. I would love to know more about where is your strongest passion now? Do you see a strong overlap between the research and the actual practicing of product? Or is it kind of like, I practice product and then I apply this research, and I’m just doing it all?
Heather Browning: Yeah. So one way I’ve been fortunate in my career and still am, is that I’ve chosen companies where the outcome, so the patient outcome is very aligned with the business goals so that longterm efficacy is needed for the business success.
Holly Hester-Reilly: Yeah. I just want to pause for a second and note how really sad it is that that’s a thing you had to find. So you found your way to one of those.
Heather Browning: Right. Because I considered working for fitness trackers and things like that, but really, fitness tracker just has to convince you that it works, it never has to prove that it works. And those are just questions that less interesting to me. I want to figure out how to create longterm behavior change rather than convincing someone I’ve created longterm behavior change.
Holly Hester-Reilly: I’m so there. Yeah, there’s been a lot of conversations around that. It’s things I’ve seen and it’s really frustrating when you are the person who wants to drive that longterm behavior change to have people around you be like, “Well, that’s okay. We just got to convince them of it and they’ll buy it.”
Heather Browning: Yeah, yeah.
Holly Hester-Reilly: And no, that is not okay. So tell me more then. So you did the groundwork to make sure this company and other companies you’ve been at are those places, and then you’re able to just focus on what drives the outcome. Is that right?
Heather Browning: Yeah. So for example, Ria Health, where I am currently, we’re an evidence-based program. So everything we do, we look to the literature first to see what has been proven effective, and we build things off of that literature, and that’s very core to our vision, it’s core to our mission, and also, we are getting judged on our actual outcomes. One of the great things that we have is we have several years of outcome data where we can show our retention and our efficacy, and this is the thing that we’re hoping will help us stick out, is that we are going to be an exceptionally effective program because we’re built on evidence-based practices. That gives me the amazing opportunity to build everything that I want to based on the primary research and be compelled to prove that those outcomes do last a year later.
Holly Hester-Reilly: Yeah. So that’s really awesome and exciting. And I think the fact that you’re at a company that’s like that, probably we’ll have lessons for a lot of our listeners. I know that I talk to people… There are a lot of people in product who want the right thing for their user, but do end up in situations where the business model and what the best thing for the user are not 100% aligned. I’m being generous. And so I’m curious if you have any tidbits of like how you tell that story, how you make a business case for that story. It sounds like you found a place where people’s hearts were in the right place, but every startup has people who care about the dollar. So you must have to make that argument somehow. How do you do it?
Heather Browning: Yeah. Well, a lot of it is actually the business model of the company. And so if there’s no pressure to show results, it’s just going to be hard to make that case. There have been businesses that I’ve been consulting with and I’ve sort of said, “You know, you actually really don’t need to hire me because there is nothing in your business case that actually requires that you show these outcomes.” So it’s much more about how you build the business model. I don’t know if it’s really possible to make that argument when it’s not aligned with the business model, unless you’re just doing it out of the generosity spirit of the people who work there, and that’s the mission and the value that is important enough.
Holly Hester-Reilly: I mean, I agree with you, but I also would say that there’re some senior experienced product leaders who… And don’t try this at home if you’re a junior product leader because people will not be happy to hear it. But when you’re at a high, high level of product, you can also change the business model. So you can impact it if you find the right place.
Heather Browning: Yeah, but I think that would be… The thing would be, for your industry, how could you change the business model so that it was aligned with outcome goals?
Holly Hester-Reilly: Yeah.
Heather Browning: And is there a path towards that?
Holly Hester-Reilly: Yeah.
Heather Browning: But I think without that change, it’s just never going to be a convincing argument.
Holly Hester-Reilly: So in the space that this one is in, so it’s addiction, and I think, did you say it’s specifically alcohol or is it all addictions?
Heather Browning: Well, specifically alcohol.
Holly Hester-Reilly: So was there an existing pressure in the marketplace towards outcome?
Heather Browning: Yeah. So basically, it’s sort of about who your customer is, and does your customer care about outcomes? So if you’re going to do direct-to-consumer, direct-to-consumer may care about outcomes, but they might not be sufficiently sophisticated to analyze outcomes in a meaningful way. But if you’re looking at large employers, large health systems, large payers, all of those companies have sort of a bottom line that you can speak to.
Holly Hester-Reilly: Yeah.
Heather Browning: So through being in effective treatment, we would save them a lot of money. And so that is a solid alignment of, we can show you that we’re going to make this effect and this effect, and the effect we’re going to make is going to continue to reduce your costs over a long period of time, but one thing is, again, making sure that you’re aligned. People in medicine are there to help people, there’s still no harm. But as far as getting institutional support to push things along, large hospitals sort of make money out of people visiting them. So selling to large hospitals as a “we will reduce your cost” is a less definite 100% hit out of the park proposal.
Holly Hester-Reilly: Right, right.
Heather Browning: Unless there’s a specific need there that you can pull out.
Holly Hester-Reilly: Yeah. You have to sell to somebody who’s burying some of the longterm costs, so that improving longterm outcomes makes them save money.
Heather Browning: Yes.
Holly Hester-Reilly: So tell us more about the actual work you do on the efficacy and making decisions there. I know that you have a framework for the design of… Tell me more about this framework for the design of experiences to change behavior.
Heather Browning: Yeah. So one of the things that I sort of looked around the world to see how people were trying to change people’s behaviors, and it seemed that people were very well intentioned but maybe not sufficiently rigorous in understanding what the outcomes that they were targeting were. A lot of interventions seem to be designed around giving people more information, and you can see that with recycling programs, all sorts of things. The first steps that people take is, “Oh, we’re going to give you more information.” Then it’s very important to know whether or not giving people more information will actually change their behavior if that’s what you’re going for.
Heather Browning: And so the first thing to do is really understand what is the outcome that you’re looking for. Are you looking for increasing knowledge, increasing awareness? Or are you out looking for people to actually change something? And once you have that outcome very clearly defined, you can then design an experience around creating that outcome. But without that very well-defined outcome and without a rigorous understanding of what does the literature say that gets people to do this… One interesting example is the dire warnings on a cigarette package. It’s a really interesting example because it seems like, okay, yes, this is great information for people that will help them want to smoke less. What the literature says on that is when you have a mortality related message, people do ego reaffirming behaviors. So if smoking is tied to your vision of yourself, having that mortality related message might actually cause you to smoke more.
Heather Browning: And so that’s why it’s always good to not rely on your intuition of what will work, but to again, go back to the literature and see what does actually work towards that outcome.
Holly Hester-Reilly: Yeah. I love that that goes back to your very early statement about looking at rational decisions and then realizing that we don’t make decisions with being rational. It’s right there in front of you, right?
Heather Browning: Yeah.
Holly Hester-Reilly: So how does this play out in designing the interactions? Obviously, you can do better than just show them the info.
Heather Browning: Right. And so the really crucial aspect, once you have the outcome to find, is you’re going to create an experience and you’re going to want this outcome. The other thing that people are very tempted to do is – I’m going to use game language because that’s the easiest way for me to conceptualize it – they have their end game goal or their in-the-experience goal be their outcome. So you’ve created an experience that’s obviously driving people towards trying to do this thing. And that can really backfire because, generally, the outcome is going to be something that people already have a concept around. They already have self-efficacy related to their ability to do that thing.
Holly Hester-Reilly: So can I ask to make this a little more concrete for us? What kind of health outcome or behavior outcome can you paint a picture of this?
Heather Browning: Yeah. So for example, if I had read some research that said sprinting was the healthiest thing you could do for your body, and half an hour of sprinting a day increases your life 20 years, so I want to get people to sprint. I could just set up something that gives you points every time you sprint, but people are already going to see themselves as good or bad at sprinting. And if they already see themselves as bad at sprinting, they’re going to feel very confronted with the system that you’ve created, that you’re getting the rewards or you’re getting the points for sprinting. But if instead I create an end game goal that is separate from sprinting, but the only way to get to the end game goal is by sprinting, that’s where you’ve created a compelling intervention. So sprinting is something that the user comes to themselves as a way to achieve the goal that you’ve set up for them.
Holly Hester-Reilly: That’s very interesting. So just in case, I don’t know how familiar with game mechanics all of our listeners are, what are some of the end game goals that one might use?
Heather Browning: Yeah. So for example, with sprinting, so let’s say I want people to spring. And so now I’m going to create a goal and set up obstacles for the person who wants to complete that goal. And so let’s say, all right, I’m going to have a court that is certain length. The goal will be to put this ball through this hoop, but I’m going to put two hoops on either side of this court and put them many feet up in the air. And then I’m going to put five people who are 6’4″ of the hoop and tell people to figure out how to get the ball in the hoop. The effective ways to do that will usually involve sprinting. And so that’s become a discovery and an interesting solution to a problem rather than the problem in itself.
Holly Hester-Reilly: Cool. So what does applying this understanding of human behavior look like day-to-day for you as the product leader at Ria Health? How do you work this into the process of designing and developing and delivering the product?
Heather Browning: Yeah. So it’s about creating those experiences around how do you set up a compelling objective for people that they then go through the important behaviors to accomplish. So for example, one of the big things to learn is emotional self-regulation. One of my favorite examples of this is not something that’s super easy to do in a digital environment, but there was a game in the UK that was in-person live game and you were being chased by zombies. It was terrifying because you’re like a real human running around the city being chased by people dressed up like zombies, and you get very into it. So you get very stressed. And so there was a door that you could only open if your heart rate was at 80. And so while you’re being chased by zombies, you are trapped in this room, you need to open this door, you have to lower your heart rate, and that’s the only way you can escape.
Heather Browning: And so that sets up this need to learn to emotionally self-regulate. You would find whatever tool would work the best for you and calm yourself down, calm your pulse down, so that you could then open this door. And that’s the kind of things that, again, you’re setting up these goals that train you in the behavior that you need to learn.
Holly Hester-Reilly: Yeah, that’s really interesting. Is that kind of set up something that you… Has doing that kind of thing at scale anywhere yet, or is that mostly just in the early sort of prototype are tested?
Heather Browning: Yeah. It’s all sort of in their early prototype phase. There’s nothing I’ve seen that’s launched yet that really operates like that, and it’s going to be interesting to see how things evolve there. Yeah, I think we’re going to see more and more people coming up with interesting ways to do this. The main thing that I’ve seen so far is more along the lines of doing digital workbooks and having the workbook that you would do if you are doing cognitive behavioral therapy, but it’s easy to use and it’s on your phone so that it’s more part of your every day. But I think as companies mature and find their fit and their channel, they’re going to have more bandwidth to do things like that and we might see things that look more like the brain training games, but for your emotional health rather than for your brain fitness.
Holly Hester-Reilly: Cool. Well, I’m excited to see more of these things come out.
Heather Browning: Yeah, me too.
Holly Hester-Reilly: Definitely. All right. Well, are there other things that you want to share with our listeners if they’re looking to either move to product from a background like yours, from a research or behavioral change backgrounds or anything you’re passionate about that you wish every product person knew about behavior change?
Heather Browning: Definitely. I mean, I think early stage startups are a great way to get to try on different hats. And that’s really how I did it with being at a company where it’s sort of everyone has to take on roles beyond what they’ve been brought in for. And then just through that, finding out which roles felt really true to me and the questions that I like solving. So that would be my big advice, is to go to a company that has the ability to try things out and try them out and find the right spot for you.
Heather Browning: And then, yeah, the big thing I wish product leaders understood about behavior change is that for longterm behavior change, you really need intrinsically rewarding for people and you need to bring people from something not being engaging and not being intrinsically rewarding to being intrinsically rewarding. And you can’t force that. You really have to put a lot of thought and effort into your engagement and how you’re going to make this interesting and engaging for people rather than points and badges. These extrinsically motivating are likely to only provide very short term benefits to behavior change.
Holly Hester-Reilly: Awesome. That whole conversation was filled with lots of evidence. I love it. Lots of academia thinking. Thank you so much, Heather, for your time and for sharing all of your learnings and your perspective on this, and best of luck. I hope that you get to work on some products that really make it to product market fit and make an impact because that kind of work is so valuable.
Heather Browning: Yeah, I really look that forward to seeing how this industry evolves and what ends up being successful.
Holly Hester-Reilly: Yeah, cool. All right, well, thank you so much for your time today. How do people find you if they want to follow you?
Heather Browning: Yeah. My website is Behavioral Product Design and my Twitter is @design4behavior with the number four.
Holly Hester-Reilly: Awesome. That should be pretty easy for them to find. Great. Well, thank you so much for being on the podcast, Heather.
Heather Browning: Thank you.
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