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How to Achieve Your Dream Body: 3 Insights and Implications from Behavior Design
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How to Achieve Your Dream Body: 3 Insights and Implications from Behavior Design


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  • 1. How to AchieveYour Dream Body3 Insights and Implicationsfrom Behavior DesignAndrew Martin November 27, Twitter: @amartinsu13
  • 2. WHO AM I?Stanford SeniorStudent of BehaviorDesignResearch Assistant in the StanfordPersuasive Technology Lab
  • 3. WHAT AM I TRYING TO DO?Design the easiest way to get: Male undergraduate engineering students at Stanford who want to improve their physique, but have never been consistent in the gym to do 10 pushups, 3x/week for one week
  • 4. WHY?Because I’d eventually like to helpALL people achieve the body oftheir dreams..but starting with a goal that is toolarge is far too I’m starting narrow. VERYnarrow.
  • 5. WHY?Because if you can’t even get peopleto even do 10 pushups, 3x/weekHow are you going to get them togo to the gym consistently forseveral yearslift heavy weights, eat right, andsleep enough?
  • 6. FIRST INSIGHT What few people realize is that making a commitment to a friend is not only a strong motivator, but also increases the ability to exercise.
  • 7. HOW DO I KNOW THIS? I TESTEDWITH 4 FRIENDS. Richard Brandon David Nishant
  • 8. HOW DO I KNOW?I asked my 4 friends to set theirmorning alarm on the ground, nextto their bed, and to do pushupswhen they woke up.
  • 9. SO WHAT HAPPENED?2 of 4 people only did the pushupsbecause they made a promise to afriend1 of 4 did it because it was alreadya habit (Brandon has been doingpushups 3x/week for a month now)1 of 4 didn’t do it because hedidn’t have time
  • 10. SECOND INSIGHT If you don’t make it crystal clear what you want your users to do, they will come up with some pretty crazy rationalizations of what is needed.
  • 11. HOW DO I KNOW?I asked my 4 friends to set theirmorning alarm on the ground, nextto their bed, and to do pushupswhen they woke up.
  • 12. PROBLEM WAS...I forgot to tell them to only do TEN!The idea was to do a simple, yet significant,amount of pushups.But I only told them to “do pushups”
  • 13. SO WHAT HAPPENED?1 person did 2 pushups, then when rightback to bed.1 person actually did 10 pushups, because“anything else would’ve been insignificant.”1 person did an entire program of 100+pushups that he had been doing for amonth.1 person didn’t do it because he didn’t havetime
  • 14. THIRD INSIGHT If you set the expectations of our product very high (“this will change your life!”), but the user doesn’t perceive that you actually did so, you will lose all credibility and authority.
  • 15. HOW DO I KNOW THIS? In a second trial, I sent an email to my dorm list, asking people that: “If you want to make pushups a habit in your life, try my simple experiment!”
  • 16. BUT... I also asked them to fill out a whole survey with their name, gender, and email and THEN download a file I created with a sign they can tape to their floor next to their bed
  • 17. HIS RESPONSE? “It was anti-climactic because it was an offensively simple suggestion.” “One almost feels like they may have been cheated into putting down their name and email to get such a meager reward.”
  • 18. THESE 3 INSIGHTS LEAD TO 3IMPORTANT DESIGN PRINCIPLESFOR FUTURE SOLUTIONS (What’s the goal again?) Get male engineering undergrads, who wish to improve their physique but have never been able to, start doing 10 pushups, 3x/ week.
  • 19. FIRST DESIGN PRINCIPLE Successful solutions will include involving one of the user’s close friends to help motivate them.
  • 20. SECOND DESIGN PRINCIPLE Successful solutions set clear, actionable requirements for their users.
  • 21. THIRD DESIGN PRINCIPLE Successful solutions are cognizant of their user’s expectations, and design both the product and marketing to meet those expectations.
  • 22. LEAVE FEEDBACK IN THECOMMENTS BELOW! Want to be in my next trial? Email me: and I’ll let you know when I launch my next pushup test (really soon!)