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Helping Users Create Good Habits @ AltConf 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 AltConf 2017 in San Jose, CA, USA.

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

  1. 1. HELPING USERS CREATE GOOD HABITS @MOSTGOODSALLY SHEPARD
  2. 2. @mostgood I play Candy Crush for research purposes
  3. 3. @mostgood IS THIS TALK ABOUT ENGINEERING OR DESIGN?
  4. 4. @mostgood 1) BASICS OF HABITS 2) IMPLEMENTING HABITS 3) TESTING HABITS
  5. 5. @mostgood BASICS OF HABITS!
  6. 6. @mostgood WHY BUILD HABITS?
  7. 7. @mostgood Downloads do not equal users.
  8. 8. @mostgood Downloads Opens app 1 day later 1 month later 1 week later 2 weeks later
  9. 9. @mostgood
  10. 10. @mostgood
  11. 11. @mostgood What makes these apps so successful?
  12. 12. @mostgood
  13. 13. @mostgood Successful apps develop habits with users.
  14. 14. @mostgood WHAT IS A HABIT?
  15. 15. @mostgood A habit is created when a behaviour is repeated. Behaviour = Habit
  16. 16. @mostgood Motivation Trigger Action
  17. 17. @mostgood Behaviour Motivation Trigger Action
  18. 18. @mostgood = HabitBehaviour
  19. 19. @mostgood Habit Hook 1) Trigger 2) Action 3) Reward 4) Investment
  20. 20. @mostgood ACTION TRIGGER REWARD INVESTMENT
  21. 21. @mostgood 👋
  22. 22. @mostgood What brings users to your app? External trigger: 1 MAIL I’m a new message! Read me! Read me! Read me! 32m ago
  23. 23. @mostgood What brings users to your app? Internal trigger: I should check my email
  24. 24. @mostgood Internal triggers External triggers
  25. 25. @mostgood ACTION TRIGGER REWARD INVESTMENT
  26. 26. @mostgood Action: The thing a user needs to do.
  27. 27. @mostgood Action ⬌ Ability
  28. 28. @mostgood “the greatest return on investment will generally come from increasing a product’s ease-of-use.” -‘Hooked’ by Nir Eyal
  29. 29. @mostgood List every step then remove as many as possible
  30. 30. @mostgood
  31. 31. @mostgood ACTION TRIGGER REWARD INVESTMENT
  32. 32. @mostgood Possible rewards: Unlocking in-app content Awards Sense of completion Status
  33. 33. @mostgood
  34. 34. @mostgood
  35. 35. @mostgood ❤ Variability
  36. 36. @mostgood
  37. 37. @mostgood ACTION TRIGGER REWARD INVESTMENT
  38. 38. @mostgood 💰 📊 🕑 🔨 Investments
  39. 39. @mostgood Investment should work towards improving the users experience.
  40. 40. @mostgood IMPLEMENTING HABITS!
  41. 41. @mostgood Build habits around goals.
  42. 42. @mostgood Start with the goal the user wants to achieve.
  43. 43. @mostgood 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
  44. 44. @mostgood List possible reasons why they want to achieve their goals.
  45. 45. @mostgood “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
  46. 46. @mostgood Thinking about the ‘why’ behind a goal, how can you motivate users?
  47. 47. @mostgood Triggers need to include a motivation.
  48. 48. @mostgood Actions should be simple to understand and easy to complete.
  49. 49. @mostgood Rewards should align with motivations from the trigger, and contribute to the users goal.
  50. 50. @mostgood The size of investment you can ask for, is proportional to how long they’ve used the app.
  51. 51. @mostgood Ask for investments right after rewards.
  52. 52. @mostgood STREAKS & HABITS
  53. 53. @mostgood ⌚ What’s your longest move streak? (Check in the activity app on your phone, in the Achievements tab)
  54. 54. @mostgood
  55. 55. @mostgood Hard streaks: Requires completing an action in every 24h period. 🤓
  56. 56. @mostgood Soft streaks: Requires completing an action in a less strict timeframe. 😎
  57. 57. @mostgood 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.
  58. 58. @mostgood You can soften a hard streak by better defining what a day is.
  59. 59. @mostgood
  60. 60. @mostgood
  61. 61. @mostgood
  62. 62. @mostgood Who goes to sleep after midnight? ✋
  63. 63. @mostgood 🕙🕚 People do not magically reset at midnight! 🕛👸🐸
  64. 64. @mostgood Don’t be lazy about date calculation in streaks. Time zones exist and you need to account for them.
  65. 65. @mostgood We place significance on doing something a certain number of times.
  66. 66. @mostgood
  67. 67. @mostgood If you place significance on doing something a certain number of times, make sure it’s consistent.
  68. 68. @mostgood HABIT EXAMPLE
  69. 69. @mostgood Goal: “I want to improve my singing”
  70. 70. @mostgood External trigger: Push notification
  71. 71. @mostgood Action: Complete daily vocal exercises.
  72. 72. @mostgood
  73. 73. @mostgood Reward: -Completion of action -Grading -Points to level up -Data about my performance -Streak
  74. 74. @mostgood
  75. 75. @mostgood
  76. 76. @mostgood Investment: Review the app…
  77. 77. @mostgood TESTING HABITS!
  78. 78. @mostgood ARE MY HABITS WORKING?
  79. 79. @mostgood Analytics are your friend.
  80. 80. @mostgood Analytics are like crash reports for user habits. They help you analyze and debug what’s going on.
  81. 81. @mostgood 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.
  82. 82. @mostgood Define what an ideal user is, then look for patterns. Use these patterns to create more ideal users.
  83. 83. @mostgood Twitter: follow 30 people and you’re likely to stick around.
  84. 84. @mostgood WHY ARE MY HABITS FAILING?
  85. 85. @mostgood Where in the habit hook are users leaving? Find the leaks and fix them.
  86. 86. @mostgood Analytics are not always the answer. Sometimes you might need to dig deeper.
  87. 87. @mostgood -Battery drain -Crashes -Uses too much data -Doesn’t work offline
  88. 88. @mostgood Are triggers being triggered?
  89. 89. @mostgood 1st hurdle: enabling the trigger
  90. 90. @mostgood
  91. 91. @mostgood Make triggers easy to turn on and off.
  92. 92. @mostgood Are actions able to be completed?
  93. 93. @mostgood 🕓 💸 💪 🎓 👮 💾 Root of action failure Time Money Physical Effort Brain Cycles Social Deviance Non- routine
  94. 94. @mostgood Is the reward strong enough? Is there variability in the reward?
  95. 95. @mostgood
  96. 96. @mostgood Is the investment too expensive? Are you asking just after the user received a great reward?
  97. 97. @mostgood Thanks for completing your first day! Please fill out this 75-page long survey! 🙅
  98. 98. @mostgood HABIT TIME MACHINE!
  99. 99. @mostgood How does the habit time machine work? - Timescale - Questions - Empathy
  100. 100. @mostgood 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
  101. 101. @mostgood 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?
  102. 102. @mostgood 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?
  103. 103. @mostgood Trigger: Where’s our motivation? Is this the same message I get everyday?
  104. 104. @mostgood Trigger: 1 day in - this is fine 7 days in - I’m not motivated by this 2 months in - I’m turning off notifications
  105. 105. @mostgood 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’
  106. 106. @mostgood Action: Is the action too difficult?
  107. 107. @mostgood Time Money Physical Effort Brain Cycles Social Deviance Non- routine 🕓 💸 💪 🎓 👮 💾 Root of action failure
  108. 108. @mostgood 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
  109. 109. @mostgood 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 😞
  110. 110. @mostgood Action: Time Money Physical Effort Brain Cycles Social Deviance Non- routine 🕓 💸 💪 🎓 👮 💾
  111. 111. @mostgood Reward: Is the reward strong enough?
  112. 112. @mostgood 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
  113. 113. @mostgood 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.
  114. 114. @mostgood Investment: Has the investment improved their experience?
  115. 115. @mostgood Investment: 1 day in - Hmm 7 days in - Rate the app - OK 2 months in - Nothing… 4 months in - Nothing…
  116. 116. @mostgood 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?
  117. 117. @mostgood HABITS & HEALTH
  118. 118. @mostgood Habit Addiction
  119. 119. @mostgood
  120. 120. @mostgood
  121. 121. @mostgood EVIL DON’T BE 👹
  122. 122. @mostgood Manipulate for good.
  123. 123. @mostgood THANKS FOR LISTENING! @MOSTGOOD
  124. 124. @mostgood QUESTIONS? (I MIGHT HAVE SOME ANSWERS)

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