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Helping Users Create Good Habits @ MCE 2017

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Building habits with users is essential for creating an app that people will keep coming back to. Without habits, no matter how great your intent is, you won’t generate positive behavioural change. It’s important to understand what forms a habit, how you’re influencing behaviours, and how to test and debug habits over time.

In this talk, you’ll learn about:
-The basics of forming good habits
-Finding pain-points in habits
-Using the habit time machine to test habits
-Finding the root of manipulation
-Implementing habits in your app

Presented at MCE 2017 in Warsaw, Poland.

Published in: Software
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Helping Users Create Good Habits @ MCE 2017

  1. 1. HELPING USERS CREATE GOOD HABITS @MOSTGOODSALLY SHEPARD
  2. 2. @mostgood MCE 2017 WHY AM I TALKING ABOUT HABITS?
  3. 3. @mostgood MCE 2017 I play Candy Crush for research purposes
  4. 4. @mostgood MCE 2017 IS THIS TALK ABOUT ENGINEERING OR DESIGN?
  5. 5. @mostgood MCE 2017 THIS TALK IS BOTH ENGINEERING & DESIGN
  6. 6. @mostgood MCE 2017 1) BASICS OF HABITS 2) IMPLEMENTING HABITS 3) TESTING HABITS
  7. 7. @mostgood MCE 2017 BASICS OF HABITS!
  8. 8. @mostgood MCE 2017 WHY BUILD HABITS?
  9. 9. @mostgood MCE 2017 Downloads do not equal users.
  10. 10. @mostgood MCE 2017 Downloads Opens app 1 day later 1 month later 1 week later 2 weeks later
  11. 11. @mostgood MCE 2017
  12. 12. @mostgood MCE 2017 (top grossing apps)
  13. 13. @mostgood MCE 2017 What makes these apps so successful?
  14. 14. @mostgood MCE 2017
  15. 15. @mostgood MCE 2017
  16. 16. @mostgood MCE 2017 They develop habits with users.
  17. 17. @mostgood MCE 2017 WHAT IS A HABIT?
  18. 18. @mostgood MCE 2017 A habit is created when a behaviour is repeated. Behaviour = Habit
  19. 19. @mostgood MCE 2017 Motivation Trigger Action
  20. 20. @mostgood MCE 2017 Motivation Trigger Action
  21. 21. @mostgood MCE 2017 Behaviour Motivation Trigger Action
  22. 22. @mostgood MCE 2017 = HabitBehaviour
  23. 23. @mostgood MCE 2017 Habit Hook 1) Trigger 2) Action 3) Reward 4) Investment
  24. 24. @mostgood MCE 2017 ACTION TRIGGER REWARD INVESTMENT
  25. 25. @mostgood MCE 2017 !
  26. 26. @mostgood MCE 2017 What brings users to your app? External trigger: 1 MAIL I’m a new message! Read me! Read me! Read me! 32m ago
  27. 27. @mostgood MCE 2017 What brings users to your app? Internal trigger: I should check my email
  28. 28. @mostgood MCE 2017 Internal triggers External triggers
  29. 29. @mostgood MCE 2017 ACTION TRIGGER REWARD INVESTMENT
  30. 30. @mostgood MCE 2017 Action: The thing a user needs to do.
  31. 31. @mostgood MCE 2017 1) Understand reason for using app/feature. 2) List all steps. 3) Simplify by removing steps. Action ⬌ Ability
  32. 32. @mostgood MCE 2017 “the greatest return on investment will generally come from increasing a product’s ease-of-use.” -‘Hooked’ by Nir Eyal
  33. 33. @mostgood MCE 2017 List every step then remove as many as possible
  34. 34. @mostgood MCE 2017 ACTION TRIGGER REWARD INVESTMENT
  35. 35. @mostgood MCE 2017 Possible rewards: Unlocking in-app content Awards Sense of completion Status
  36. 36. @mostgood MCE 2017
  37. 37. @mostgood MCE 2017
  38. 38. @mostgood MCE 2017 ❤ Variability
  39. 39. @mostgood MCE 2017
  40. 40. @mostgood MCE 2017 ACTION TRIGGER REWARD INVESTMENT
  41. 41. @mostgood MCE 2017 # $ % & Investments
  42. 42. @mostgood MCE 2017 Investment should work towards improving the users experience.
  43. 43. @mostgood MCE 2017 IMPLEMENTING HABITS!
  44. 44. @mostgood MCE 2017 Build habits around goals.
  45. 45. @mostgood MCE 2017 Start with the goal the user wants to achieve.
  46. 46. @mostgood MCE 2017 I want to run 5k I want to be healthier I want to sleep better I want to be less stressed I want to improve my singing I want to lose weight
  47. 47. @mostgood MCE 2017 List possible reasons why they want to achieve their goals.
  48. 48. @mostgood MCE 2017 “I want to improve my singing” Karaoke Night Sing in choir Band wants to record Professional singer To serenade someone Reunion performance Improve confidence Performing in musical Why might you want to improve your singing? Love singing
  49. 49. @mostgood MCE 2017 Thinking about the ‘why’ behind a goal, how can you motivate users?
  50. 50. @mostgood MCE 2017 Triggers need to include a motivation.
  51. 51. @mostgood MCE 2017 Actions should be simple to understand and easy to complete.
  52. 52. @mostgood MCE 2017 Rewards should align with motivations from the trigger, and contribute to the users goal.
  53. 53. @mostgood MCE 2017 The size of investment you can ask for, is proportional to how long they’ve used the app.
  54. 54. @mostgood MCE 2017 Ask for investments right after rewards.
  55. 55. @mostgood MCE 2017 STREAKS & HABITS
  56. 56. @mostgood MCE 2017 ⌚ What’s your longest move streak? (Check in the activity app on your phone, in the Achievements tab)
  57. 57. @mostgood MCE 2017 Hard streaks: Requires completing an action in every 24h period. (
  58. 58. @mostgood MCE 2017 Soft streaks: Doesn’t require completing an action in every 24h period. )
  59. 59. @mostgood MCE 2017 Dangers of Hard Streaks: Missing a day means starting over. You might never get that user back. The very happy user can become very angry. Not everyone responds to streaks.
  60. 60. @mostgood MCE 2017 You can soften a hard streak by better defining what a day is.
  61. 61. @mostgood MCE 2017
  62. 62. @mostgood MCE 2017
  63. 63. @mostgood MCE 2017
  64. 64. @mostgood MCE 2017
  65. 65. @mostgood MCE 2017
  66. 66. @mostgood MCE 2017 Who goes to sleep after midnight? ✋
  67. 67. @mostgood MCE 2017 +- People do not magically reset at midnight! ,
  68. 68. @mostgood MCE 2017 +- People do not magically reset at midnight! .,/
  69. 69. @mostgood MCE 2017 Don’t be lazy about date calculation in streaks. Time zones exist and you need to account for them.
  70. 70. @mostgood MCE 2017 We place significance on doing something a certain number of times.
  71. 71. @mostgood MCE 2017
  72. 72. @mostgood MCE 2017 If you place significance on doing something a certain number of times, make sure it’s consistent.
  73. 73. @mostgood MCE 2017 HABIT EXAMPLE
  74. 74. @mostgood MCE 2017 Goal: “I want to improve my singing”
  75. 75. @mostgood MCE 2017 External trigger: Push notification
  76. 76. @mostgood MCE 2017 Action: Complete daily vocal exercises.
  77. 77. @mostgood MCE 2017
  78. 78. @mostgood MCE 2017 Reward: -Completion of action -Grading -Points to level up -Data about my performance -Streak
  79. 79. @mostgood MCE 2017
  80. 80. @mostgood MCE 2017
  81. 81. @mostgood MCE 2017 Investment: Review the app…
  82. 82. @mostgood MCE 2017 TESTING HABITS!
  83. 83. @mostgood MCE 2017 ARE MY HABITS WORKING?
  84. 84. @mostgood MCE 2017 Analytics are your friend.
  85. 85. @mostgood MCE 2017 Analytics are like crash reports for user habits. They help you analyse and debug what going on.
  86. 86. @mostgood MCE 2017 Analytics are only helpful if they give you a complete picture. Track events that verify the success as well as the failure of each part of a habit.
  87. 87. @mostgood MCE 2017 Define what an ideal user is, then look for patterns. Use these patterns to create more ideal users.
  88. 88. @mostgood MCE 2017 Twitter: follow 30 people and you’re likely to stick around.
  89. 89. @mostgood MCE 2017 WHY ARE MY HABITS FAILING?
  90. 90. @mostgood MCE 2017 Where in the habit hook are users leaving? Find the leaks and fix them.
  91. 91. @mostgood MCE 2017 Analytics are not always the answer. Sometimes you might need to dig deeper.
  92. 92. @mostgood MCE 2017 -Battery drain -Crashes -Uses too much data -Doesn’t work offline
  93. 93. @mostgood MCE 2017 Are triggers being triggered?
  94. 94. @mostgood MCE 2017 1st hurdle: enabling the trigger
  95. 95. @mostgood MCE 2017
  96. 96. @mostgood MCE 2017 Make triggers easy to turn on and off.
  97. 97. @mostgood MCE 2017 Are actions able to be completed?
  98. 98. @mostgood MCE 2017 0 1 2 3 4 5 Root of action failure Time Money Physical Effort Brain Cycles Social Deviance Non- routine
  99. 99. @mostgood MCE 2017 Is the reward strong enough? Is there variability in the reward?
  100. 100. @mostgood MCE 2017
  101. 101. @mostgood MCE 2017 Is the investment too expensive? Are you asking just after the user received a great reward?
  102. 102. @mostgood MCE 2017 Thanks for completing your first day! Please fill out this 75-page long survey! 6
  103. 103. @mostgood MCE 2017 HABIT TIME MACHINE!
  104. 104. @mostgood MCE 2017 How does the habit time machine work? - Timescale - Questions - Empathy
  105. 105. @mostgood MCE 2017 DAILY 1 Day 7 Days 14 Days 21 Days 1 Month 2 Months 4 Months 6 Months 1 Year WEEKLY 1 Week 2 Weeks 3 Weeks 1 Month 2 Months 4 Months 6 Months 1 Year 100 weeks Timescale: -Regular intervals -Any milestones
  106. 106. @mostgood MCE 2017 Questions: 1) Are my triggers motivational? 2) Is the action too difficult? 3) Is the reward strong enough? 4) Has the investment improved their experience?
  107. 107. @mostgood MCE 2017 Empathy: What state will the app be in? What will happen if I miss a day? What kind of pressure do I feel? Am I closer to achieving my goal?
  108. 108. @mostgood MCE 2017 Trigger: Where’s our motivation? Is this the same message I get everyday?
  109. 109. @mostgood MCE 2017 Trigger: 1 day in - this is fine 7 days in - I’m not motivated by this 2 months in - I’m turning off notifications
  110. 110. @mostgood MCE 2017 Trigger: You could include streak information - ‘Complete today’s training to increase your streak to 8 days! You could include information about the exercises - ‘Todays training includes Foundation, Agility and Head Voice’
  111. 111. @mostgood MCE 2017 Action: Is the action too difficult?
  112. 112. @mostgood MCE 2017 Time Money Physical Effort Brain Cycles Social Deviance Non- routine 0 1 2 3 4 5 Root of action failure
  113. 113. @mostgood MCE 2017 Action: 1 day in - I’m still getting the hang of this 7 days in - this is helping me 2 months in - this is taking too long! 4 months in - this is taking too long and the exercises are repetitive
  114. 114. @mostgood MCE 2017 Action: The more I practice, the more I increase my singing range. This means it takes longer to complete my exercises. This can result in me not wanting to expand my singing range 7
  115. 115. @mostgood MCE 2017 Action: Time Money Physical Effort Brain Cycles Social Deviance Non- routine 0 1 2 3 4 5
  116. 116. @mostgood MCE 2017 Reward: Is the reward strong enough?
  117. 117. @mostgood MCE 2017 Reward: 1 day in - Woo! I’m awesome :) 7 days in - Yay, I levelled up! 2 months in - I don’t remember the last time I levelled up 4 months in - I wish it did more analysis for me
  118. 118. @mostgood MCE 2017 Reward: Levels are meaningless and it takes a super long time to level up. I want more than just basic stats. I don’t have any way to measure my overall success.
  119. 119. @mostgood MCE 2017 Investment: Has the investment improved their experience?
  120. 120. @mostgood MCE 2017 Investment: 1 day in - Hmm 7 days in - Rate the app - OK 2 months in - Nothing… 4 months in - Nothing…
  121. 121. @mostgood MCE 2017 Investment: I’ve reviewed the app. I sent some feedback. It should prompt me to recheck my singing range at certain times. I don’t get any emails, I wonder what’s going on with the development?
  122. 122. @mostgood MCE 2017 HABITS VS ADDICTION
  123. 123. @mostgood MCE 2017 Habit Addiction
  124. 124. @mostgood MCE 2017 Manipulate for good.
  125. 125. @mostgood MCE 2017 EVIL DON’T BE 8
  126. 126. @mostgood MCE 2017 THANKS FOR LISTENING! @MOSTGOOD

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