Spotlight on Jess Mahendra, Behavioural Designer
How did you get your first job in BeSci?
I was a freelance calligrapher/designer at the time I was studying BeSci, so I was always intrigued by the role design could play in Behavioural Science, in order to deliver effective interventions. Coming at it from this perspective, I joined Cowry Summer School in 2019 and realised how much Cowry was already doing in the field of Behavioural Design. (Not mentioned here is the fact that prior to the Summer School I had slowly become a fan of Cowry, after attending Jez's fascinating talk at City University.) It was such an invaluable experience. I learned a lot and got to experience first hand what it was like to work in the private sector. At the end of the Summer School, I was lucky enough that I got a job offer from Cowry!
What does your role in BeSci involve?
My role involves bringing Behavioural Science to life using design. This means thinking beyond academic papers and thinking outside the box. We know how influential our visual processing system is in our decision-making process, so my job is to think about using different design elements to help deliver effective nudges and help people make better decisions
What are the most important lessons you've learnt in your BeSci career so far?
I've learned the importance of being creative but also practical. Knowing the theory is one thing, but using that theory in practice to get results is a completely different thing. The fact that the way you present information to people has a significant impact on the way we make decisions is proof that creativity and design thinking are a useful tool to have. Working in the private sector has also taught me how important it is to be practical when delivering our nudges due to the pace we're working at and the need for fast turnarounds
How will your BeSci career grow in the future?
I'm optimistic that Behavioural Science and Behavioural Design will only continue to grow, seeing as more and more people are starting to see the benefits of using them. As we start to apply BeSci across different industries and projects, I see my BeSci career stretching out into different areas. It's always hard to predict what you're going to do in the future, but I'm very excited to continue to focus on Behavioural Design. This field is only getting started, and at the pace we're going at, I'm confident there will be even more opportunity in the future to apply Behavioural Science