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How to Use the EAST Framework To Shape Behavioral Change

EAST Framework, young people laughing with e-scooters
How to Use the EAST Framework To Shape Behavioral Change
, , | Sep 2, 2021

For influencers and leaders looking for an easy framework to help you teach people how to safely ride an e-scooter, the EAST Framework could not be simpler or more effective. Formed by the Behavioural Insights Team (BIT), the EAST Framework – standing for Easy, Timely, Social and Attractive – gives simple parameters for prompting behavioral change and policy adherence.

According to the BIT, four principles can easily streamline the complex process of prompting behavior change based upon a wide body of academic literature and psychological understanding. While the process of teaching a large population how to safely ride an e-scooter could be overwhelming, the EAST Framework helps break down ways to simplify the details and make the overall message memorable for the population’s city administrators, school administrators, and scooter operators they most want to reach.

Make the Change Easy

When it comes to the most basic elements of e-scooter safety, such as wearing protective gear like helmets, it’s crucial to make the change easy for the riders you wish to prompt toward change. Removing the hassle from the process of wearing a helmet, coupled with direct messaging about the risk-benefit analysis behind the desired action, has the best chance of being effective in persuading riders.

Removing the hassle may mean having free helmet rentals available for riders, for example. Another option is to make helmet wearing mandatory in order to use an e-scooter from your program (especially relevant for scooter operators). By making this behavior a default, the vast majority of riders will fall in line with the recommendation and move on with their day – practicing safer riding all the while. 

Other default-level behavioral changes may include pre-flight checks that are requisite and standardized; they are brief, but effective. Through a short pre-ride educational video, for example, the ease of getting acquainted – or reacquainted – with e-scooter controls and features can help riders catch up to safer practices while not encroaching on their day’s plans. 

Make the Rewards Attractive

Attracting attention to desired behaviors and providing immediate payoff in the form of rewards (or conversely, sanctions) is a simple way to prompt widespread acceptance of desired behaviors amongst e-scooter riders. The use of imagery, color, personalization and other factors can draw in the audience and capture their attention. 

In the case of teaching audiences how to safely ride an e-scooter, this means that administrators and operators should make creative use of photography, videos and short clips to demonstrate the message behind desired behaviors and practices. Graphics and charts can communicate the potential consequences and frequency of negative outcomes associated with improper operation of the e-scooter, while potential downstream rewards – up to and including financial incentives like giveaways and raffles – can help bolster compliance with desired operational patterns.

Make the Movement Social

It’s important for e-scooter operators and city or school administrators using the EAST Framework to make their messaging central around social behavior. When it comes to teaching rider populations how to use an e-scooter properly and safely, leveraging the power of networks and demonstrating the existing prevalence of the desired behavior are powerful tools for prompting adherence. 

In an era so driven by social networks and media, it’s the ideal time to highlight data showing that most people are performing the desired behavior. This might mean showing riders data that proves that most riders are staying at a safe speed. Or it may mean using existing stats to prove that responsible riders always follow their ride with proper parking and security practices.

Whatever the desired behavior or practice, the EAST Framework provides operators and administrators multiple routes to ensure that riders are truly locked into the desired behaviors not just for themselves, but as a part of a larger, responsible population of e-scooter riders.

Make the Message Timely

Finally, operators and administrators should consider the EAST Framework’s recommendation that engaging riders when they are truly most receptive to the message could make a huge difference in outcomes. By prompting riders to consider the costs and benefits of adhering to standardized practices for safe operation of e-scooters and providing timely instruction on how to easily implement these practices, operators and administrators have the best possible chance of seeing high adoption of these practices. 

With the EAST Framework’s easy, but effective psychological breakdown of prompting adherence, the timely message of proper operation and safety practices during e-scooter use can create less of a gap between peoples’ good intentions and their actual behaviors.

Providing riders with data, easy implementation, attractive rewards and benefits, social demonstration of adoption, and timely messaging that is relevant to them are all key parts of teaching riders how to correctly operate an e-scooter. With the EAST Framework, operators and administrators can start to build healthier, safer and more vital communities that enjoy micromobility’s many benefits and features.

To learn more about the EAST Framework and chief tenets of correct e-scooter operation, visit the Behavioural Insights Team website!


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