UX Design Case Study: Public Promise App

Project Summary

Better Alarm is a response to the design prompt from the Interaction Desing Specialization at from the Design Lab at UC San Diego;

It responds to two open prompts: 1) to create an app in which we reimagine the way we experience or interact with time and 2) to design an interface that facilitates personal or behavior change.

In a nutshell

“My performance increases exponentially whenever other people are around. It’s for purely narcissistic reasons too. If I know someone’s watching or listening to me take a call, run a meeting, etc. Suddenly it’s just like, “Oh, you want a show?” I’ll give you one you won’t forget”

Felix Feng

Indeed, the research showed that in order to facilitate behavior change, there is nothing stronger than peer pressure and shame. It seems that the other incentives (carrots and sticks) such as gamification and personal accountability are simply not powerful enough. It is as if we borrowed our willpower from the watchful gaze of other people.

After following a Double Diamond design process and several other tools recommended by my professors at UC San Diego, I came up with a behavior change solution that can miraculously and in retrospective be summarized in one quote (unless you believe in ‘inception’ type inspiration, hey, who knows…)

How it works

  1. Make a public promise (eg: ” will fast between 8 am and 8 pm” or ” “I will only drink beverages withou sugar“)

2 – Make your promise public by sharing it on social networks or with a selected group of friends

3- Your friends can follow your progress and vouch for you (if they observe in real life that you are keeping your promises) or dispute your promise (if they see you breaking it). They can also join you in your promise!

3- You will reach your goals and acquire bette habut thanks to the power of better accountability!