Hacking Fitbit: Psychology, Game Mechanics, and Mascots
“Makes getting in shape as addictive as checking Facebook and Twitter.” - Time Magazine, printed in Fitbit Ultra’s product package.
Why is there a number to count your friends in Facebook? They used to count the number of comments people posted in your wall before it became a place for self-promotion; then they figured out the formula. It is human ego they are after.
For Facebook this number provides a way to quantify your social status (number of friends). For Fitbit; however, its design is so simple that this number can actually drive your exercise habits. If you want to modify behavior, track it, and provide a measurable goal for people to follow it. This is what the number of step counts means in Fitbit.
Fitbit provides you with the metrics to measure your everyday step count and sets a goal for it. Have you achieved your goal of 10,000 steps today? If not, move more. Instead of choosing the elevator, take the stairs. Instead of driving, walk. All just to fulfill your daily number of steps.
It is Personal. Is it?
Facebook started out with the personal profile, but it went beyond. Where all other social networks have failed, Facebook flourished by satisfying its users emotionally; by targeting their ego. Since the personal profile was just a static display of achievements for you, Facebook knew that this pride needed to be fed constantly. Thus, it became dynamic: people started to post on their own profile to look for approval from their friends; that is, to fill their own ego appetite and insecurities.
So if your personal goal of achieving 10,000 steps a day is achieved, building your personal health profile and making you proud, what is next? Show off to your friends and compete. This is where the social aspect comes in and is bound to make your health metrics influence those around you. A simple tracking number can change your behavior. This concept can be applied to many businesses if they want to increase consumer engagement.Continued on the next page