What is Action Design?

Action Design Network is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization founded in 2012 to promote the use of behavioral economics and psychology in policy and product design. The group has quickly grown to over 10,000 members with monthly events in cities across the US and Canada. Each month, speakers share research findings and practical lessons about how to help people voluntarily change daily routines and behavior to improve their lives. 

Action Design Network logo

Action Design Network logo


Action Design also hosts the Design for Action Conference, started in 2014 to bring together the best designers and researchers from around the country to share their techniques.

Action Design is an all-volunteer organization. Our President is Zarak Khan and our officers are Justin Howell, Daniel Kahn, Sam Evans, and Robin Krieglstein. Our board is chaired by behavioral scientist Dr. Stephen Wendel.

Action Design Cities

Every month, Action Design Network organizes free events bringing together researchers, designers, product managers, and entrepreneurs to learn about cutting edge behavioral research, and how to practically apply it to public policy and consumer products.

What are we about?

We sit at the intersection of behavioral economics, design, and psychology for advocacy and positive change. We focus on exposing our members to cutting-edge tools, research, and practitioners in each of these areas so they can apply the latest learning in action design in their respective fields.

Want to learn more about these fields? Check out our resource list.

We explore anything that allows us to make large-scale, positive impact on people's behavior. We discuss the emerging efforts of many industries to improve the behaviors of people through products, services, programs, and policy.

Whether the goal is to help people save more money, get in shape, cut down on electricity usage, or learn a new language, the idea is the same: How can we use research in behavioral economics, psychology, and design to explicitly improve human behaviors, as well as improving overall engagement in any product, service, or program, or policy?

We touch many different subjects: persuasive technology, choice architecture, emotional design, cognitive design, positive psychology, marketing, gameful design, game thinking, copywriting, funnel-optimization, social work, persuasive psychology, behaviorism, cognitive behavioral therapy, and many other related topics.

Our methods include presentations, discussions, screenings, guest speakers, hack-a-thons, and more.

Interested in learning more?

I organize the Boston chapter of Action Design. Contact me to learn more about what we do and how you get involved, or join us for one of our events.

Nick Di Stefano