Methods to practice your human, half II: Merchandise that make habits final

How to train your human, part II: Products that make habits last

Within the first half of this collection, we discovered about designing merchandise that use good triggers and motivators to get customers like Joe to interact in wholesome behaviors. Now, how can we be sure that these new behaviors develop into lengthy-time period habits?

On this second half, we return to Nir Eyal’s Hooked mannequin to take a look at reinforcing Joe’s conduct by means of rewards and an funding in your product.


Rewards function a option to positively reinforce customers for the actions they take.

How to train your human, part II: Products that make habits last

Lakshmi Mani

Crunch Community Contributor

Lakshmi Mani is a product designer at Tradecraft.

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Apparently, mind imaging research present that it’s not the feeling of the reward that excites us. Relatively, it’s the anticipation of receiving the reward that prompts the mind’s pleasure facilities.

When a reward is given every time after a very good conduct, anticipation fades away, making the conduct appear uninteresting and routine. Nevertheless, when the reward is given in an unpredictable method, we begin repeating behaviors for the joys of the chase. It’s the rationale individuals play slot machines; they don’t win cash every time — the joys of hitting the jackpot is far more thrilling than the cash itself.

How to train your human, part II: Products that make habits last


So, variable rewards can be very highly effective in repeating wholesome behaviors. In Nir’s Hooked mannequin, there are three forms of variable rewards: rewards of the tribe, hunt and self.

How to train your human, part II: Products that make habits last

Rewards of the tribe

We’re social creatures. We crave belonging, connection and acceptance from different individuals. As such, rewards of the tribe are very highly effective in encouraging repeated behaviors. Let’s take a look at a few of these rewards.

Rewards of competitors

Competitors is a strong social motivator. It establishes your standing inside the group, and provides customers an excellent sense of vanity.

Well being apps use many gamification ideas comparable to leaderboards and consumer challenges to realize this. The reward of profitable is very variable, as a result of your rank just isn’t solely dependent in your efficiency, but in addition how others have carried out.

How to train your human, part II: Products that make habits last

Nike+ Leaderboard (left), Jawbone’s Duels (center) and Strava’s League Problem (proper)


For the consumer, this causes a robust craving to succeed in the highest. In truth, research about gaming discovered that worry of dropping in a contest is a particularly highly effective motivator for customers to get higher subsequent time!

Rewards of cooperation

Rewards from cooperation could be a sense of belonging, feeling part of a group, feeling needed and beloved.

Apps akin to Fitocracy and Weilos use social feeds to make it straightforward for customers to hitch teams and encourage each other. Upon finishing their objectives, customers get rewarded with props and encouragement from fellow members.

How to train your human, part II: Products that make habits last

Weilos (left) makes use of “Impressed” and Fitocracy (proper) makes use of “Props”


The reward the consumer receives every time is variable. This creates a way of craving, to maintain on sharing and understanding on the platform to obtain approval from friends.

Rewards of the tribe are extraordinarily highly effective for customers, and are additionally a good way to foster an lively and thriving group round your product.

Rewards of the hunt

We as a species are additionally excited by the joys of the hunt. What as soon as was a hunt for meals, animals and shelter has now translated right into a hunt for issues like cash, fancy objects and offers.

Gamification ideas of rewarding customers with badges and trophies is widespread in lots of well being app nowadays.


How to train your human, part II: Products that make habits last

From left to proper: Strava, Nike+, Fitocracy, Fitbit


These rewards are given for finishing totally different actions. They’re doled out in a variable frequency, making it thrilling for customers to realize them.

Rewards of the self

These are rewards that fulfill our intrinsic want for private excellence and a way of competence.

Loads of well being apps accomplish this by means of gamification methods, akin to levelling up and progress bars.

How to train your human, part II: Products that make habits last

Credit score: Superbetter


Considered one of my favourite examples is Joyable, an app used to assist individuals scale back social nervousness. Customers try a collection of duties progressively from low to excessive nervousness, giving them a progressive sense of management of their nervousness.

A notice about gamification

With the growing reputation of gamification, it may be tempting for us as product makers to need to use all of them in our merchandise.

However slapping gamification ideas onto a product, with out consideration about who the customers are, will solely result in poor product design.

We have to ask ourselves, will this reward truly encourage my consumer?

For instance, analysis in gamification exhibits that solely the prime 5 % of performers benefit from the leaderboard expertise. Poorer performers are literally terrified by leaderboards!

In case you’re designing a mass market wearable, pitting the health-freak athlete with the out-of-form center-aged dad will result in an unsatisfying expertise.

How to train your human, part II: Products that make habits last


Understanding your customers’ intrinsic motivation (which we mentioned in Half 1) is important in designing a very good rewards system.



How to train your human, part II: Products that make habits last

When customers take an motion and we reward them for it, they find yourself making a small dedication of time/effort in utilizing your product.

As product makers, we will leverage this small funding to encourage higher conduct sooner or later. We’re strongly pushed to be according to our personal previous behaviors. Robert Cialdini, describing his precept of Consistency and Dedication, says that, “As soon as we’ve got made a selection or taken a stand, we’ll encounter private and interpersonal pressures to behave persistently with that dedication.”

Well being apps similar to Jawbone make a superb use of our deep must be in step with ourselves.

How to train your human, part II: Products that make habits last

Credit score: Jawbone


Jawbone asks customers to make a small dedication within the morning to get to sleep by a sure time at night time. And at night time, Jawbone makes the large ask of reminding you to fall asleep on the time you dedicated to. And by merely clicking on the “I’M IN” button, seventy two % of their customers have been extra possible to fall asleep on time!

Customers additionally irrationally worth their very own efforts, which Dan Ariely calls the IKEA Impact. Customers are likely to worth far more a product they’ve spent time and effort on than a product by which they put no labor into. For instance, the primary time you open Carrot Match, it solely has a primary weight monitoring perform. The small motion of repeatedly taking your weight earns you factors and earns you new functionalities, similar to exercises and new problem ranges. The extra effort you set into unlocking the app, the extra you find yourself valuing the app consequently.

How to train your human, part II: Products that make habits last


By repeating tiny actions, we begin valuing extremely the outcomes of these actions. And when this occurs repeatedly, customers begin to change their angle towards the brand new conduct, setting them on a path towards behavior change.

Well being apps encourage these tiny actions, by getting customers to take a position their knowledge, time, content material or fame.

Investing knowledge

Plenty of well being apps encourage customers to key of their weight or their health profile, or to import knowledge from different apps. For instance, apps reminiscent of Sleep Cycle and Pillow monitor your sleep knowledge. Every day you monitor your sleep, the brand new knowledge is used to recalculate your sleep patterns. This makes it a lot more durable for customers to go away the apps.


How to train your human, part II: Products that make habits last

Sleep Cycle (left) and Pillow (proper)


Investing content material

Well being apps additionally get customers to take a position a bit little bit of content material, making it simpler for them to repeatedly use the product. For instance, Zipongo, a wholesome recipe suggestion app, asks you to enter your meals preferences and allergic reactions in the course of the onboarding course of itself. So the primary time you see suggestions, the content material is very curated on your wants.


How to train your human, part II: Products that make habits last

Zipongo’s curated recipes


As you “favourite” extra recipes, your recipe listing will get increasingly curated based mostly on customers who like comparable recipes. By asking customers to take a position only a tiny little bit of details about themselves within the onboarding course of, Zipongo ensures that, as time goes on, every motion turns into an funding into extra curated content material. This makes it simpler for customers to repeatedly use Zipongo for his or her cooking wants.

Investing fame 

Apps that focus quite a bit on social exercises, corresponding to Strava, reward their customers with trophies and ranks as an indication of their accomplishments. When customers begin to work out, they construct up an inventory of trophies and followers. Over time, this turns into an enormous funding within the product because the consumer now has a status to take care of on the platform.

How to train your human, part II: Products that make habits last

Investing time 

By asking customers to take a position even just some minutes of their effort and time, we will get them to maintain repeating sure behaviors. is a product that helps customers who wrestle with melancholy. It makes use of brief (two-5 minutes) workouts to interact customers in aware considering and behaving.


How to train your human, part II: Products that make habits last

Credit score:


As soon as the consumer completes an train, these are taken under consideration by the app to tailor future interventions based mostly on the present train the consumer undertook.

Establishing customers for subsequent steps

In the course of the funding part, additionally it is essential to arrange future triggers to start out the subsequent behavior-forming loop. For instance, once I first join Jawbone, Step 1 of my onboarding asks me to set my motion, sleep and weight objectives. Positive, it’s a simple sufficient activity, and I do it.


How to train your human, part II: Products that make habits last

Jawbone’s onboarding course of


Jawbone then makes use of this little info I invested to commonly ship me new triggers to fall asleep on time and transfer extra. It is necessary that in the course of the funding part we’re capable of get funding that may assist set off customers to take motion the subsequent time. By doing this, we will improve the probabilities of a consumer biking by way of the behavior-forming Hooked mannequin a number of occasions.

Tying all of it collectively

Nir’s Hooked mannequin is a good way to take a look at how we design merchandise that assist our customers with lengthy-time period well being conduct and behavior modifications.

It’s essential to encourage good behaviors by giving our customers well timed triggers, which have a transparent name to motion. We additionally want to provide customers the motivation they should need to carry out that motion. By making the motion as straightforward as potential, we additionally improve the probability the consumer will do it.

A shocking and interesting reward right now helps customers type constructive associations by way of repeated use. By way of this course of, customers make investments extra in your product, making it extra possible that they may cycle by way of the behavior-forming loop. And voila! We’re on our approach to forging lengthy-time period habits.

The examples I shared are all fascinating methods during which corporations on the market are tackling a troublesome drawback of behavior change. Nevertheless, these examples aren’t meant to be a one-measurement-matches-all answer. As product makers, we have to perceive our customers’ deep ache and what really motivates them. The whole lot that we design should movement from that core.

As soon as we perceive our customers’ intrinsic wants, the Hooked mannequin can function a terrific framework to design for lengthy-time period wholesome behavior formation.