This is a work-in-progress. Aglet is a student startup by engineers and designer from both Brown University and RISD. Aglet is an application aiming to create healthy habits through social accountability. Our app allows users to participate in streaks with friends, a streak of participation is rewarded with social points.
According to the U.S. News, around 80% of New Year's resolutions fail within the second week of February. That said, research has shown the majority of people, especially the millenials, want to keep their resolutions. Unfortunately, all change requires some degree of emotional friction, which can cause people a lot of stress while maintaining their resolutions. Eventually, these people gave up the goals they set out for themselves. Our challenge: how do we turn this emotional friction into a postive thing and encourage people to form healthy habits?
During brainstorming for this project, it was clear we wanted to build something social media related that also had a net positive impact. From those motivations, we wanted to see if we could harness two of the most addictive things, mobile gaming and social media and redirect this toward something good.
Good habits are hard to make, so we wondered what what would happen if we took the two most ubiquitous habit forming products and make it easier to form healthy routines.
In addition, modern social media is incredibly superficial, short reward loops, which some argue is "destroying the social fabric of how society works". With a social network that is focused on real world action and individual relationships, and using proven short reward loops to create long term benefits, we hope to fix some of these issues. This focus on high engagement and taking real world actions also lends itself to be a possibly very powerful marketing platform to target millennials and gen-Z audiences.
Our team has past experience in different parts of core application. Lauren has done extensive market research about creating healthy habits during her time in B-Lab. Grant has worked with gamified systems and converting high engagement to monetary value.
We know there is a market from both a users' and marketers' perspective. This platforms allows users to connect much more deeply with their friends over social media, while also encouraging self improvement, which is a niche that still remains unfilled. Meanwhile from a marketer's perspective, there are entire industries around forming habits such as loyalty programs, and we are providing a new form factor to explore that industry.
Below are a few companies that are in the same space, followed by an analysis of what they do and what we do differently.
My Challenge Tracker: An exercise tracker where you can challenge friends to workout. Developed as a tool for personal trainers and physical therapists to keep tabs on their clients.
Key Differences: Our app will be targeted towards friends challenging other friends, with a much larger reliance on social features to have users continue with their goals. We will also not directly be focused on exercise related goals.
Make Me: Allows members to engage in a social version of health tracking (mindfulness, meds, and exercise) where a group of people can mark down that they have participated in a healthy activity that day. They heavily push the use of the app for health clubs to keep tabs on members, and help employers encourage employees to be healthier.
Key Differences: While one can post images to a group, the social media aspect is not as core to the application, since a low engagement check off is all that is required. In addition, there is a heavy emphasis on negative reinforcement, with users losing money with every time they miss a day. Social media is core to our application as the main way of logging information, and we place a much larger emphasis on positive reinforcement (although buyin does play a role).
Achievement: A platform that compiles health data from various different tracking applications, and rewards you with cash prizes and discounts.
Key Differences: While we have a reward based structure at the end of challenges and use this to motivate users, this will only be one method that will be used to encourage users to finish their challenges. In addition, instead of tracking activity through other apps, we will be doing so using photo/video documentation.
With all of the research and findings, I synthesize the information and made a storyboard of the user's journey.
Illustrations by Naomi Wilkinson.
You and your friend would "prove" you completed the streak by sharing a one second video of you doing the activity. For example, if the streak was to run every day, you'd share a short video of you running. You and your friend do not have to complete the activity together (though you certainly could), but you both would submit your own videos of you doing the activity. Users would be able to view the progress of the streak with the different videos playing together on the same screen, or watch the videos in chronological order. The "streak" would end when you did not complete the activity within the given amount of time. You will also be able to view streaks that your friends were in with others in a "feed" view.
By highly encourage new users to create and complete a challenge when they're onboarding, the user's first experience with the app would not be just empty screens with no content. By onboarding new users this way, the users will know the main functions of the application, as well as having at least some content on the feed after they signing into the app.
If the user choose to skip the create a challenge part of the onboarding experience, we can load the feed with existed content so they feed would still not be completely empty.
Challenge creation should be simple and straightforward. Users have the option to customize their challenge by adding friends and picking out the challenge card's color. Users also have the option to turn on private mode for more intimate challenges that they do not want to share on their social feed. The users can turn on and off private mode anytime they want after the challenge is created.
Since challenge completion is one of the most important features of the product, there are three ways users can submit videos to complete a challenge.
Option 1: Users can press the record button located directly on the challenge card and submit the video of the day from there.
Option 2: Once the users are in the challenge's profile, they can a submit the video by clicking directly on the day and tap the "Record" button. If the users tap any other dates that's not the current date, only the "Play" button will appear.
Option 3: Users can press the record button located at the middle of the bottom navigation bar. The users then can record a video and select which challenge they would want to submit the video to.
When one user creates and adds another user onto a challenge, the other user have the option to accept or decline the challenge. Meanwhile, the challenge card would be in "Pending" mode until the other user makes the decision.
Users can see their friends' videos of the day once they completed a challenge on the Feed page. The challenge videos would only appear on the Feed once all users involved in the challenge have submitted their videos. If there are more than one users involved in a challenge, there will be a little carousel bar on the bottom so the users can swipe and see all of the videos in that challenge.
The users could get ideas and inspirations for their challenges from the Discovery page. When the users tap the "Add to Challenge" button, users have to option to customize the card's color as well as adding friends onto the challenge. However, the users cannot change the name of the challenge since it is pre-made. There are also sponsored challenges from companies that can offer discount coupons once the users reach a specific amount of streak on that particular challenge. The user can also bookmark challenges and look at them later under their Profile's page.
Profile page includes the user's account information, as well as providing actions and secondary pages like: friends list, bookmarked challenges, notification settings, log out, etc.
Users can follow friends on Aglet once they're on their friend's profile. The friend's profile displays what active challenges they're currently doing.
Although Aglet is an mobile application, web presence is still important for the outreach aspect of the app. On the website, there's currently an email interest form for updates and promotional emails. Moving forward, we would want to let the users check in on their challenges through the website.
Since this is a work in process, please come back later to read about my usability testing and revising process!