The journey to achieving goals is better done with friends
Motivated to understand motivation
This project began from looking at two of my own struggles: finding motivation and sticking to the goals I set for myself. Digging deeper into this topic, I recognized I was not the only person struggling with these issues.
I started my research through looking into psychology texts on motivation, and through casual chats with friends who go through similar experiences.
Mapping out the goal-setting journey
A common emotional path a person goes through when attempting to achieve their goals includes the following: Defining their goal > Starting > Continuing > Losing motivation> Quitting.
Common reasons why people eventually quit their goals include a lack of motivation due to too much focus on the larger end product. A common example of this can be illustrated as: people who are motivated to work out in the new year, but quickly lose that motivation after noticing a plateau in their progress.
Their focus on the larger end product – their ideal body – in conjunction with a lack of immediate results make people feel as if their goal is too far-fetched.
Re-adjusting the cycle
In order to disrupt this cycle of quitting, I looked into what positive reinforcements can be added. The ones that stood out to me included:
• Extrinsic motivation
• Emphasizing the small steps in journey
The missing pieces
Goal setting often come from intrinsic motivation, but extrinsic motivation, which is the use of external rewards or incentives, can also be helpful for continuing to strive towards those goals.
Extrinsic motivation can provide a sense of accomplishment, increase engagement and effort, and help establish new habits. Social relationships can also play a significant role in extrinsic motivation, as other people can provide support, recognition, and opportunities for activities that offer external rewards. In media, you can find extrinsic motivation being used in games, with rewards such as EXP, currency, or items.
Emphasizing the small steps in journey
Positivity throughout the goal-achieving journey includes making sure to celebrate every bit of progress along the way. It is important to understand that the journey towards reaching a goal includes a mix of both everyday habits and other smaller tasks, such as trying a new recipe or hitting a personal record.
By focusing and celebrating even the 1% of progress we make everyday, we can build a journey towards our goals that is both equally exciting to engage with and rewarding.
How might we motivate and build positive mindsets into the lives of people who struggle with achieving their goals?
How can we do this?
Creating an exciting experience that celebrates and encourages even the 1% of progress
Other apps that are commonly used for goal building include: Notion, Done, and (Not Boring) Habits.
Done is a beautifully designed app that encourages users to build up their habits through everyday reminders and streaks.
Along with other habit-tracking apps, it relies on intrinsic motivation and self-discipline for users to keep revisiting the app. It also does not look at the larger goal that these habits are working towards.
How can we introduce other types of motivation such as extrinsic motivation to get users to engage with their goals?
(Not Boring) Habits
The Habits app focuses on the small-incremental steps that help you fall in love with the journey rather than the goal. The engaging design and interactions of the app makes the little wins feel like a celebration.
Similar to the Done app, Habits is focused on the streaks of many different small habits, but does not organize these habits into a larger goal to work towards.
How can we utilize visual design and interactions to emulate the feeling of celebration?
Notion has gotten a cult following for goal building due to its endless customizable features. The personalization allows for users to create their own digital safe space.
However, the open-ended tool also can be overwhelming for users who do not know where to begin.
How can we incorporate personalized features while not overwhelming the users?
The journey to goal achievement made fun with mini celebrations, gamification, and friends
Levelling up in your goals
BET?! aims to help you achieve your overall goals by breaking them down into smaller quests. Complete quests and gain EXP to level up in your goal.
By splitting the larger goals into bite-sized tasks, it puts more focus on the journey rather than the end goal. This allows users to stay motivated, and find joy in the little achievements.
Easily define and personalize your goals
Define your goal and outline your motivation quickly and simply. Next, have fun adding your personal touches to make your goals page an enjoyable experience to return to.
Creating a quest
Quests can be created through goal pages, the create button, or even for other friends. Since there were multiple access points to quest creation, a quick drawer was designed so it can be repeated throughout the app.
The design is clean and simple, so users can easily create their quests without being overwhelmed by too many options.
Keeping track of your progress along the way
Progress is tracked through social posts shared with friends as well as gamification aspects such as EXP and level bars. The profile highlights overall progress and achievements, while giving quick access to your specific goal pages.
Support from your friends every step of the way
Integrated social features allow other users to support you in every step of your journey to reaching your goals.
Pointing you in the right direction
Sometimes it's hard to get started on a goal. Or maybe your friends know more about what you want to improve in and want to help you out.
BET?! allows friends to see your goals and suggest quests for you to take on.
The discover feed highlights your friends progress, quests, goals and achievements. The high visibility of your other friends achievements was made to motivate users to make progress in their own goals.
The reward of believing
in your friends
Your friends are also able to sent "bets" or little bits of EXP to support your current quests. When you complete that quest, both you and your friend gain EXP. If not completed, you both will lose that amount.
This "bet" feature allows users to be motivated by both their peers, external rewards, and a small sense of responsibility.
Celebrating your progress
As we have seen in various other social media platforms, people love sharing their achievements and progress.
When completing a quest, users can share an image and post of their progress with their friends. Friends can react directly with the post to show their support.
Through research we learned that emotions can play a large role into how users continue on their goal paths. To keep users in a positive mindset, we prioritized playful and exciting design, while still keeping it clean and focused on the tasks at hand.
Users can customize and choose their own character to use throughout the app. Illustrative characters allow for fun and expressive emotions that users can interact and relate with.
Joy in every interaction
Micro-animations were used tastefully throughout the app to further emphasize the feelings of celebration and playfulness.
Learnings & challenges
Similar to the app itself, I learned to enjoy and take time with the process when building this project. All of my user flows, research, and original design language took many iterations before reaching the final product.
If given more time, I would have loved to taken time to properly user all the flows, as well as do a deeper dive in both primary and secondary research.