The Role of User Experience in Forming Habits
Many of us have probably heard stories about how Instagram designers spent weeks making a tiny scroll animation as smooth as possible, with the goal of stimulating the human mind. However, the true goal of UX design is to continually iterate our designs to achieve ideal outcomes for people. Unfortunately, some people now believe that application experiences are deliberately manipulating them to carry them through an experience and creating ideal outcomes only for businesses. While that is unfortunately sometimes true, I would happily disagree that anyone should set such goals. My primary goal is to achieve ideal outcomes for the people who use our products. In doing this, we can also achieve good outcomes for our companies.
For this reason, I recently dove deeply into discovering exactly how UX design can positively motivate users. In this column, I’ll discuss the specific techniques my company used when building a meditation app.
Strategies for Motivating Users Throughout Long User Journeys
Let’s consider some of the individual UX design techniques that we used to motivate users to complete extended user journeys.
Create a Gamified Experience
Creating a user experience that features elements of gamification can push users in a positive direction in all their actions. First, they create intrinsic motivation, which plants a seed of consistency within the user—one of the major difficulties in building a product. Furthermore, it enables all kinds of users to become immersed in the experience, obsessively spending hours using gamification features, with fringe users simply using them as trackers or metrics. The way in which we implemented gamification in the meditation app was by introducing a garden feature that sprouted new trees after each meditation session. This not only gamified the external user experience but also gave users a reminder of how far they had come in their journey!