Introducing Nuance

Published on September 20, 2023

It's time to add more Nuance to the world.

Welcome to Nuance. We’re a collective of leading behavioral scientists, neuroscientists, and behavioral designers specialized in co-creating digital products and services that change behavior. We have a track record of designing digital interventions that improve user engagement, achieve key business metrics, and most importantly, achieve real-world behavior change.

Designing for behavior change has been challenging

The path to influencing behavior isn’t linear. The nature of the human mind means that what works in the lab may not translate seamlessly into a product feature in the real world, and interventions for one user group or context can prove ineffective in the next. When building a digital product, accounting for the intricacies of human behavior is a challenging task. Following industry best practices or reading academic papers and books will only get you so far – and may even backfire, resulting in a waste of your precious time and resources. Combined, these issues underscore the need for a deeper, more nuanced understanding of how to design for the human mind – one that allows for creating digital products with significant impact, over and over again.

At Nuance, we believe that we have the right ingredients to achieve this understanding.

Why we're not content with the status quo

The current landscape of behavioral science is filled with buzzwords, hypes, and misconceptions. Between eye-catching pop-psychology books, TED talks, and oversimplified lists of behavioral concepts, the good work of dedicated applied behavioral scientists and the true essence of behavioral science often get lost or diluted. As a result, professionals looking to integrate behavioral science into their products effectively often struggle to sift through an overload of misleading or inaccurate information. It’s no wonder this approach so often leads to flawed implementation or reliance on time-consuming trial-and-error experiments.

The good news? There’s a better way to leverage behavioral science

We aim to be part of the solution in breaking this cycle of hype and oversimplification. By recognizing the inherent complexity of human behavior throughout every part of our process, we deliver actionable, context-dependent, and scientifically supported insights. While the appeal of behavioral science is clear, our mission is to ensure it remains not just captivating, but also useful, impactful, and scalable.

Behavioral science is at a pivotal moment in its history. The case needs to be made that it is more than haphazard lists of biases or nudges that sometimes replicate. By striking the balance between complexity and practicality, we aspire to make behavioral science accessible to product teams. When applied in a systematic and process-oriented way, it’s a genuinely unparalleled approach to solving behavior change problems.

Our work

We specialize in integrating behavioral science throughout the entire product development process, from business strategy and management to working with product teams on designing and implementing features that reduce churn and drive engagement. Our goal is to effectively craft products that change behavior for good.

Interested in working with us? Here’s some of what we offer:

  1. Behavior Matrix

    We break the product experience down into two things, the inputs, which are user behaviors, and the outputs, which are your KPI’s. Sounds simple enough, right? But, as any product team knows, the ultimate challenge is understanding exactly what behaviors feed into which metrics and how. Do some behaviors build on each other? Which metrics do we optimize first? The Behavior Matrix makes answering these and related questions easy. By corresponding the correct behaviors with key metrics, you are no longer shooting in the dark, you have a game plan. If you’re looking for a systematic, data-driven approach to better understand the specific behaviors that drive the success of your products or services – this is it.

  2. Behavior Change Score

    How do you know if your product is changing behavior effectively? Recognizing the inaccurate or limited guidance on best practices for designing behavior change products, we’ve developed the Behavior Change Score, a novel scoring method for behavior change apps, evaluating their ability to promote lasting behavior change. With the Behavior Change Scoring system, we assess your product’s potential to drive real-world behavior change and help you pinpoint weaknesses and opportunities for improvements along your user’s journey.

  3. Behavior Journey Mapping

    Think of behavioral maps as your blueprint for making informed decisions. We map out your product’s dynamics, from both a micro and macro point of view. By recognizing specific behavioral or psychological barriers and contextual influences in the user experience, we offer insights into the nuances that could hinder the desired outcomes. At the same time, we identify opportunities where existing behavior can be leveraged for further engagement. Say goodbye to excessive churn – we offer a multi-faceted lens to help you sustain active engagement and optimize for habit formation.

  4. Advisory

    Through our advisory services, our behavioral experts become your partners, whether in short-term or long-term collaborations. Think of this as your chance to have a fractional Chief Behavioral Officer (CBO) there to provide you with behavioral strategy and state-of-the-art leading expertise.

  5. Bespoke

    It goes without saying that we go beyond one-size-fits-all solutions to deliver customized, science-based strategies for each client. While our standardized nuanced processes lay the foundation of our work, we understand that each business comes with unique challenges and needs. To that end, we provide a range of on-demand custom offerings, including (but not limited to) BeSci 101 workshops, behavioral personas, in-depth literature reviews, and both qualitative and quantitative user research.

Who’s behind Nuance?

We’re a collective of independent behavioral science practitioners, blended from both academic and applied experience. Our multidisciplinary background pulls from cognitive neuroscience, social psychology, and decision science. We have extensive experience in working with digital product teams, as well as utilizing both qualitative and quantitative research methodologies.

We share a passion for building and designing great products. Though we're grounded in scientific research, we're practitioners at heart. We bring extensive experience and a deep understanding of the ins and outs of startups, corporate entities, and public sectors. These collaborations have spanned a range of topics, including enhancing user engagement and retention, changing exercise habits, boosting medical adherence, improving financial well-being, promoting mental health, optimizing productivity, and many more.

Most importantly, we thrive in the iterative process of tech product design; going from idea to effective solution – to behavior change.

Why “Nuance”?

Shifts in perspective often lead to the biggest insights. Understanding a problem from multiple angles gives you a nuance that is impossible to achieve from just one vantage point. These shifts can sometimes be subtle, yet at times be paradigm-changing – but the process is key to progress. In the same vein, science as a discipline moves forward by adding nuances to existing knowledge. Looking at the same sky as everyone else, it was Nicholas Copernicus' shift in perspective that eventually led to a revolution in our understanding of how our solar system works. In retrospect, these shifts can seem obvious – we can now confidently say, “Of course, the Earth is not the center of the solar system”. But to approach a problem in this way from the outset is not easy, it requires seeing both the forest and the trees at the same time.

Similarly, a nuanced approach to human behavior is to step back and look at the larger socio-cultural forces at play, yet at the same time be sensitive to individual-level differences. The massive gap between these levels is what makes understanding and changing human behavior such a challenge.

For us, Nuance is more than just our name; it’s our guiding principle and defining trait. We won’t provide you with just another ‘out-of-the-box’ solution, a hodgepodge list of biases to keep track of, or untested science. Our approach is designed to be custom to your context, grounded by principles, and supported by science that has been tested in the real world.

Behavioral science isn't an add-on in our approach; it's the foundation, ensuring that our designs are not just creative but also effective and relevant in a rapidly evolving landscape.

Ultimately, Nuance is our humble pledge to translate behavioral science in a way that’s accessible yet never superficial or misleading. We make it useful and effective. By designing products based on a deep understanding of the human experience, we can help foster sustainable and meaningful change. To this end, we are committed to making a positive contribution to our global society – changing behavior for good.