We all have bad habits. Habits that we’ve had for years that we’re trying to kick. Mine is waking up in the morning and immediately checking my phone.
I decided I explore the problem of habit building / rebuilding.
I became interested in the topic a few months back, and started reading a little bit about how habits work. And here’s what I learned:
A habit basically happens when a conscious decision to do something becomes an automatic behavior. 40% of actions people perform each day aren’t actual decisions, but habits.
Here is how a Habit Loop works:
First there is a cue, a trigger that tells your brain to go into auto pilot, or habit mode.
Then there is the routine, which is the act itself.
Finally, there is a reward, which helps your brain figure out if this particular loops is worth remembering for the future.
Overtime, this loop becomes more and more automatic. And eventually, a habit is formed.
There are a few known strategies for building habits:
Start small: Repeat a tiny habit daily
Focus on one habit at a time
Remove barriers: have everything you need at hand
Stack habits: build new routines onto old ones (floss)
My initial plan was to directly turn the habit loop and strategies into features for the app.
But first, I researched my potential competitors.
First iteration was just about packing all these features into the app.
I then rapid-prototyped some possible user flows based on the features I came up with.
I then did some interviews. A common thread in the interviews was this idea of accountability — it is super helpful in keeping people on track
So I went back to the app and brainstormed some social features — to make the app into something that’s a little more about challenges between friends. And bring some of that competitiveness and social pressure into habit building.
I then updated the user flow to what became the MDP (Minimum Desirable Product).
MDP preview: Loading screen (left), "Add a challenge" screen (middle), and Home screen (right).
The MDP demo video above previews the onboading flow:
Add a challenge
Swipe to complete
Drag for options
Track a challenge
Next steps are to further test this prototype with potential users. Please stay tuned!