(2018-05-02) How Apps Can Shape Your Future Self

How Apps Can Shape Your Future Self

the Self-Improvement apps space

Their mission is to persuade people to take real-life actions that lead to long-term behavior change and ultimately shape how they live their lives

1. Make the first session a success

implementing this Android material design ‘quickstart model’

2. Plan for the next session

There are dozens of studies citing that planning the how/where/when of a desired behavior, an implementation intention, makes it more likely that people will take action.

The Healthy habits app The Fabulous

People are asked to fill in a commitment contract where they indicate exactly when and where they will accomplish the desired actio

Another powerful technique is to encourage new users to set up a daily reminder so that they actually use the app a second time; at a time/day of their choosing

Neura’s AI predicts when someone is likely to wake up, and this is especially important for use cases such as fertility awareness apps. Their full potential is only tapped into when a user measures her temperature as soon as she wakes up. By integrating the Neura SDK, fertility awareness app My Days was able to tailor prompts to when a user was most likely to have just woken up.

3. Make the Benefits Tangible

There also needs to be a real sense of the benefits of engaging with the product over time. This is particularly challenging for self-improvement apps, as when it comes to investing in your future self, benefits are typically not experienced for months. To keep people on track, apps can foster commitment by ensuring users experience some form of a reward from day one.

So, as soon as you complete one of your habits in the Fabulous app, the app asks you to take some time to celebrate. This is inspired by behavioral research that says if people take time to tap themselves on the back, they will associate a good feeling with the habit and start looking forward to it.

4. Maintain the Behavior

A popular motivational design technique is awarding a run streak for consecutive days of usage

punished their largest segment of class attendees, who would attend 1–3 time a week, with a run streak of zero

In the end, they opted to show the cumulative number of classes and hours attended so that the number could never go down).

If they don’t perceive outcomes, they will break the new habit.

5. The Path Isn’t Linear

People move through a series of stages when modifying their behavior. These stages (Contemplation, Preparation, Action, Maintenance) lie at the heart of the Trans-theoretical Model of Behavior Change.

These stages correlate with how different people interact with different features in the app

People arrive at different points of their journey when they first install Lifesum, but the research also confirmed that that people moved through the stages in different ways. Importantly, lapsing to an ‘earlier’ stage wasn’t a sign of failure but an almost inevitable part of achieving long-term, behavior change.

by presenting each stage of change in the email and its related features, their onboarding email rates more than doubled.

enabled Lifesum to better match the in-app interventions accordingly with the users’ individual journey and readiness for change (LifeCycle)

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