Changing Sexual Behavior with Design & Social Media

Lawrence Swiader (The National Campaign to Prevent Teen and Unplanned Pregnancy), Jennifer Maer (IDEO)
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This session will present lessons learned from creating a website and social media campaign aimed at educating and influencing behavior around sexuality and birth control

Bedsider is the very cool online, mobile and social network platform that was designed by the very traditional “National Campaign to Prevent Teen and Unplanned Pregnancy” in association with IDEO, and with the back-end developed by Carbon Five.

The National Campaign has worked with the design firm IDEO to look at sex and pregnancy through the eyes of the young people the Campaign is working to reach. An innovative online component has been created using an agile software development process and social media components.

Research and prototyping efforts led to the development of a free support network for birth control, called Bedsider, that is a comprehensive system that focuses on five key areas: awareness, motivational drivers, digital offerings, services, and loyalty.

Guerilla marketing on bathroom mirrors and shopping carts will combine with doctor-office handouts and care packages to create awareness and encourage women to rely on the network. A website acts as a one-stop educational resource with entertaining surveys, first-person stories, and information about birth control. Women who join the network can receive text-message reminders to maintain their contraception, as well as notices about upcoming doctor appointments. Ultimately, the network acts as a vehicle for behavior change that’s flexible, with room to grow into a much larger movement.

The membership-like program will work to support women all along their contraception journey. It will keep them moving forward, from preparation through maintenance, and help buoy them above the adherence threshold in a way that individual, one-off ideas simply can’t manage. Bedsider is a whole structure that will allow us to address women (and the men who support them) who have trouble with adherence and who, through a program that increases self-efficacy, will have a better chance to use birth control properly 100% of the time.

Photo of Lawrence Swiader

Lawrence Swiader

The National Campaign to Prevent Teen and Unplanned Pregnancy

Lawrence Swiader has over 20 years of experience in the areas of media, digital media, and instructional design. In his role as the Director of Digital Media at The National Campaign to Prevent Teen and Unplanned Pregnancy, he oversees all aspects of the National Campaign’s digital presence to help reduce unplanned pregnancy among teens and young adults. Responsible values and behavior by both males and females are supported through innovative use of messages delivered through social media, games, video, mobile devices, and the Web. Critical to delivering effective content is an understanding of the target audiences and their attitudes and behaviors.

Lawrence has overseen many discussion sessions on the sensitive topic of sexual health and digital media habits with teen and young adult populations. In the past year, he has participated in needs analyses for two major digital interventions that required studying the behavior of teens and young adults regarding their use of contraception, occurrence of conversations around sexual health, and the use of digital media. As the digital interventions move forward, measurement of behavior vis-a-vis the digital interventions is essential. Lawrence oversees the methods that are employed within the digital media to understand how behavior is affected by the interventions.

Prior to joining The National Campaign, Lawrence was the Chief Information Officer at the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum, a Federal agency, where he worked for over ten years and established an award-winning Web presence for the Museum that attracted tens of millions of visitors through the creation of products ranging from online exhibitions to televised programs, podcasts, and geo-referenced information for use on mobile devices and beyond. An important part of his role as a Federal CIO was interacting with other government agencies and cooperating on initiatives as wide-ranging as standards-setting for web development, Internet security, and content creation for national observances like Black History Month.

In his second home of Athens, Greece, he has consulted on various multimedia projects
including kiosks for the Athens Metro, and Web sites on Greek history. Lawrence graduated from the S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications at Syracuse University in 1989 with a degree in Television, Radio, and Film and in 1993 earned a Masters degree in Instructional Design, Development and Evaluation from Syracuse University’s School of Education.

Jennifer Maer


Jenn offers brand strategy, storytelling, and project leadership to a diverse group of IDEO clients, including Marriott, Nike, Mattel, ConAgra, and The National Campaign to Prevent Teen and Unplanned Pregnancy.

Earlier in her career, Jenn worked as an agency account planner—conducting qualitative consumer research — as well as a copywriter. She’s helped tell the stories of clients like HP, Oregon Chai, Microsoft, Michelin, PeopleSoft, Red Envelope, Snapple, and more.

Most recently, Jenn was an Associate Creative Director at MRM Worldwide, the interactive arm of McCann Erickson. Her writing has been recognized by The One Show, Clios, John Caples International Awards, and the Bay Area Addys.

BA, Women’s Studies, Smith College. Special focus Literature and Anthropology

Comments on this page are now closed.


Jennifer Maer
03/31/2011 12:37pm PDT

Thanks so much, Michael. And thanks for joining us.

Picture of Michael Krupit
Michael Krupit
03/30/2011 3:45am PDT

Did a suprisingly good job taking a challenging topic and making it appropriate and engaging for this conference. Thanks!

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