Emotions & small actions which help you to form positive habits quickly. The model in the Lympo app.
By CPO Marius Silenskis
In this article, I want to share some interesting health facts and ideas on how to identify problems and how we are trying to solve them. I hope anyone who cares and believes in the healthier & better tomorrow will take a few notes from it; be it a company executive or a product manager.
OK, let’s start with some health-related did-you-knows:
- Did you know, that only one in three children are physically active every day?
- Did you know, that less than 5% of adults participate in 30 minutes of physical activity each day?
- Did you know, that the annual cost of being overweight is $524 for women and $432 for men; annual costs for being obese are even higher: $4,879 for women and $2,646 for men?
- Did you know, that the obesity epidemic in the U.S. has cost the U.S. economy $1.72 trillion, which includes hundreds of billions of dollars in health care costs and more than a trillion dollars in lost productivity (from 2018 report by the Milken Institute)
These are some frightening numbers and I could go on and on with more facts which have one common ground — people are lacking the motivation to live healthier.
Can we do something about it? Definitely.
We live in is super habit-forming and it can be exploited by some to generate profits. Nothing personal. It’s just business. It is OK to use our psychology and knowledge to good and great things, however, it’s not always the case. A corporation might use this to increase consumption of (let’s say) not so healthy products.
We strongly believe that habit-forming techniques should ONLY be used for improving our lives and serving the community.
Lympo is not only about being more active, but it’s also about:
- forming the right habits in the community we live;
- spreading the message of how an active lifestyle can increase the quality of your life;
- forming the understanding that an active lifestyle is easily accessible and high rewarding at the same time;
- wealth distribution and sharing economy — people benefiting financially from the products they use.
While developing our application, we use the knowledge of how habits are formed. We have employed a couple of different habit-formation techniques, gamification, research about people’s activity & habits, and years of knowledge in the health & wellness market to help people improve their lives and have a lot of fun!
Having “SMART” goals (Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic, Time-bound) allows us to focus and be more productive. And that’s not even the best part. After EACH completed goal your brains experience a dopamine rush, which connects motivation, satisfaction, and learning to one amazing feeling.
Personally, I enjoy starting a day with a long list of tasks and completing them one by one. This way I always get the satisfaction of completion and that dopamine rush which motivates me to take up another one, and another one, and another one…
“SMART” goals are a HUGE part of Agile team management methodology, as well, and it is widely used to improve and measure productivity, involvement, and happiness in modern organizations.
By creating daily challenges for our users. We have made some adjustments and now each challenge bears several key SMART components: specific types (morning, weekend, long-distance, etc.), measurable and achievable distance (varying from few hundred meters to several kilometers), and bound to the duration for how long the challenge is available.
It seems that our users really enjoy this setup, and our KPI saw a nice increase after the changes have been implemented.
Industry leaders understand how applying “SMART” to form our healthy habits is an actually smart way to do it. Quote from the industry-leading agile teams’ management tool “Trello” blog:
“Think about your smartphone. If you have a pedometer app, you might earn a golden ribbon for completing your step goal that day. In the same line of thought, Trello gives you a green, completed icon whenever a checklist on a card is finished.”
Want to see it in action? Sing up here: https://lymporun.page.link/fVNq
I’ve discovered the “Hook” model after reading “HOOKED” — a book was written by Nir Eyal (it’s a “must-read” for every product manager). The model is quite simple and consists of 4 key elements: Trigger, Action, Reward, Investment (Fig. 1).
This technique is widely used in product development to design habit-forming loops and maintain laser-focus flow on user behavior. A combination of four simple steps allows the product manager to create a great user experience and wrap it around key app functionalities.
Social networks are the perfect example of how HOOK works:
TRIGGER: You receive a notification about being tagged in the photo;
ACTION: Allow that photo to be published on your profile;
REWARD: Receive a shower of likes & comments (social reward);
INVESTMENT: More likes/comments/photos/friends you have — the more valuable your profile is to you.
After reading the book, we tried to implement this model in Lympo as well; and so far, impact and feedback were quite positive. One of our HOOK loops looks like this:
TRIGGER: A user receives Morning activity reminder notification;
ACTION: A user joins the challenge and goes for a walk;
REWARD: Upon completion of the challenge a user receives a reward;
INVESTMENT: Rewards are safely stored in the wallet, waiting to be spent in the in-app marketplace.
Simple, classic and effective loop. The best thing about it is that one product can combine various loops connected with key app features and social mechanisms to keep users invested in your (and for that matter — our) app.
You already know how they get you hooked — just make sure the products you use are doing a positive impact on your life!
Emotions matter! Your emotions not only have an extreme impact on cognitive memory, but they are the key drivers of our lives and decisions. Yu-kai Chou has created a gamification framework that enabled PMs to design human-focused product experiences in a structured way (Fig. 2).
By extracting all the fun and engaging elements found in games and applying them to real-world activities we can create products and experiences our user’s love.
Accomplishment after each completed challenge, super time-sensitive “Lightning” challenges, etc. Every detail of the UX, every written trigger, happy moment, the popup is reviewed and connected into one flow full of different emotions. That’s the way to make it fun.
For us, Octalysis means a never-ending polishing of each app component (down to the wording of the app menu titles) and testing each and every change to avoid building an “emotionless” product. Hate it or love it — everything has to carry an emotional burden. Even a negative one is welcome feedback and a step towards improvement.
Habits are super important. There is no such thing as a ‘self.’ We are just a collection of our past experiences and habits. Self-awareness & knowledge is the best way to keep our focus in the right direction.