How we used behavioural design mechanics to shape our customer’s decision-making process

Pulling into the petrol station and filling up is the quintessential reactive decision made as drivers pass Z while on the last quarter tank of fuel.

Imagine sitting in traffic on a Friday afternoon (for some of us still working from home, it really will have to be an exercise in imagination). As you eye the dashboard’s fuel gauge, you wonder if it’s worth making a stop at the petrol station. “How much driving am I doing this weekend? Can it wait?” You lead a busy life, and stopping to fill the car with petrol is never a welcome chore. And it’s one of the more expensive transactions you have, which brings unneeded anxiety…

Introducing our newest initiative at Z Energy, Carbon Count

Just like many of you, I am working on how and where I reduce my carbon footprint. My partner and I, along with our three young children, have a 3-bedroom house we rent almost an hour away from work, own many devices, consume thousands of kWh of energy per year, and run two thirsty petrol vehicles. We drive more than 500km a week for life’s activities, fly often for our holidays, and travel to every surfable beach on the North Island. We’ve made steps like going meat-free and cutting down on dairy, but I really have no idea if that…

How design and innovation can influence products, platforms, and the wider ecosystem.

Here at Z Energy, we’ve evaluated our efforts as innovation catalysts over the past year. We measure not only our activity but also our impact. This begs the question, how might we design in line with our stated purpose: “Solving for what matters for a moving world”?

August de los Reyes discusses product and ecosystems (first 10 minutes).

It’s not completely clear to me how we achieve this aspiration as a company, especially as a designer. …

Long flights are really draining. I’m currently sitting at my gate on my layover in Bangkok, heading to Berlin for Tech Open Air. I have two stories to share regarding boarding pass customer experience that I’d like to share.

I didn’t have to ask.

I knew before I arrived for my flight I had a middle seat on my first flight and according to Austrian Airlines website, I couldn't change it. The airline system automatically put me in the middle aisle (for whatever reason).

When I checked in with the nice woman at the counter, instead of leaving my seats the way they were assigned…

How we’re attempting to alter our customer’s routines through the design of Fastlane.

“The Golden Rule of Habit Change: You can’t extinguish a bad habit, you can only change it.” — Charles Duhigg, The Power of Habit

Last month, the innovation team that I work with at Z Energy released Fastlane at 9 trial sites around New Zealand — a new way of fuelling up and paying at a petrol station (read more about it here). While other teams would expect a certain number of registrations and transactions to deem it successful, our success is the gathering of data, the on-site observations, and the insights from all customer types and all areas of…

Over the course of human existence, our relationship with technology has always evolved. Headphones are no different. I believe that we are entering an era where headphones are an instrument for information. Thanks to the newest innovations by Google, Pixel Buds are going to change our relationship with headphones.

Customer intimacy isn’t a new idea. In fact, startups can’t stay in business without it. But when a company starts maturing and scaling, sometimes it loses sight of the customer in favour of feature delivery or shareholder growth. In these times, methodologies like design thinking will help drive customer intimacy and ultimately, create better products and experiences.

We need to listen to our customers, know their problems, and understand their needs. Illustration by Misha Petrick.


The relationship between a business and its customers should be symbiotic, much like we see in nature. Flowers need bees to pollinate, bees need flowers for food. From a business perspective, if we’re looking out for our customers’ interests, then the customer will…

We are all busy people—we’re busy with work, our kids (hey, I had a new baby this week!), and the perils of life. In this issue of Mahalo Design Digest, I’ll link to a handful of articles published in the past weeks around designing more efficiently, cutting corners, and making our lives easier. After all, that’s why I created Mahalo Design Digest—to help those with busy lives quickly browse some of the recent articles that will impact your thought process about design. Have a read below! —Cody

It’s all about the systems

Does your company have a nifty, component design system yet? It’s all the…

In Mahalo Design Digest #07, we’ll look at recent musings on the role of the designer in organisations and businesses. First, we have an awesome response to “Who is the designer?”, then a post on how to design for success, and finally, learn about unexpected mediums we need to start designing with.

Just in: You’re a designer.

11 min read →

Focusing on the core business is what differentiates real product design from interface design or even user experience design. …

We’ll look at four broad areas of product design: Process, psychology, motion, and typography. Granted, there are over 14,000 words waiting to be read, mulled over, and debated in the posts below. If you add in all the extra links and distractions, it’s nearly a novel’s worth of study. I urge you to take your time to read these, though. Authors spend hours, days, even weeks considering how to construct a story and share their wealth of information with the world. Don’t forget to say mahalo to these writers!

Process: All the secrets of product design

14 min read →

My good friend and previous colleague Brad…

Cody Iddings

Ko te Moana nui a kiwa te moana. Ko Hanalei te awa. I specialize in CX, Innovation, Product, and Design.

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