Motivation Matrix

Difficulty Level:

Method Overview

The Motivation Matrix in the Design Ethically Toolkit is a critically engaging matrix, designed for industry designers and teams to more deeply understand users’ different motivating factors in order to predict how users could interact with the product in different potential contexts.

Framework of ethics used:

Method Intentions:

Getting Started

You will need 

Materials: Motivation Matrix model, Whiteboard, Sticky Notes, Pens

Participants: Individual, Group

Steps (Design Ethically Toolkit):

  1. Compose a matrix of 2-3 user contexts each with the following 6 motivating factors:
    1. Incentive
    2. Achievement
    3. Social Acceptance
    4. Fear
    5. Power 
    6. Growth
  2. For each user’s type of motivating factor, write a sticky note what context this factor takes form.
  3. For each user’s type of motivating factor, write how different behaviors could develop based on those motivations.

Further Reading

Design Ethically Toolkit – Inverted Behavior Model:


Zhou, K. (2021). Motivation Matrix. Design Ethically Toolkit.

This methods microsite is based off of analysis which is available in a preprint manuscript. Feel free to review our methodology and other details! We welcome your comments and feedback ! Please also use this form if you would like to suggest a method as an addition to the collection!