Lens: Type: Behavior

People’s behavioral tendencies.

Photo: Breakingpic
woman driving while talking on phone

Habits are repeated behaviors. Some habits are benign. For example, a baseball player has the habit of touching their foot with their bat every time they step into the batter’s box, or a teenager has a habit of checking their phone every time it makes a new message sound. Some habits can be harmful. Addictions and compulsions can keep people from accomplishing their goals.

Researching Habits

Learning people’s habits reveals behaviors that take up time in their day—things they can and sometimes can not control.

Questions to Ask About Habits

  • How much control does this person have over this habit?
  • What caused this habit?
  • Does this person regret they have this habit?
  • What does a person continue this habit?
  • What does this habit reveal about the ways this person prefers to behave?

Look for These When Researching Habits

  • Repetitive behavior
  • Complaints that a person wishes they could stop a habit
  • Habits that suggest traditions


References and sources that support the inclusion of this Aspects of Experiences for Design component.

Social Sciences

Aarts, H., & Dijksterhuis, A. (2000). Habits as knowledge structures: Automaticity in goal-directed behavior. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 78(1), 53-63. doi:10.1037/0022-3514.78.1.53

Holland, R. W., Aarts, H., & Langendam, D. (2006). Breaking and creating habits on the working floor: A field-experiment on the power of implementation intentions. Journal of Experimental Social Psychology, 42(6), 776-783. doi:10.1016/j.jesp.2005.11.006