I think Apple Watch is a perfect example of behavioral change through the help of technology. What’s interesting about this new product of Apple is that it uses a popular and widely-adopted technique in gaming - giving badges to users to recognize their achievements (completing Move, Stand and Exercise goals daily, monthly and more). At first, I think of it as kind of childish, and refuse to believe that people will stop being lazy simply because it will earn them a few badges on a screen. But I was proved wrong by myself later, as I find myself trying like crazy to close the circles and earning those shining badges. Initially, the daily Move goal for me was 420 cals, and I had serious trouble accomplishing it. Now, 3 months later after using Apple Watch, I have turned the Move goal up to 630 cals per day, and is still able to complete it usually. I have no reason to deny that having this watch did change my daily behavior and led me to a healthier life.
I think the design rationale behind this piece of wearable technology is that people love being recognized and rewarded for their achievements, not just in the virtual world. This strategy has been proven repeatedly in games, and now once more in real life.
Do you track where your money had gone every month? Do you know how much money you spend monthly? And how many percentage are you spending on food, clothes and commute each? I know I don’t. In order to know that, I will have to keep a record on every transaction of mine, some of which as little as buying a soda on vending machine. I tried to do that once on paper in college, and gave up in a week. I tried once more after graduating from college, and this time on a mobile app, and gave up after two month. It’s just too much work.
After coming to the States, I found that most transactions of mine is mostly, if not entirely, through credit card, therefore are reflected online in my monthly statement digitally. Furthermore, I recently learned that there’s an app called Mint that can import all your transactions from your online bank account and you don’t need to lift a finger to record any of your transactions and your monthly report is there waiting for you to examine. I believe that a better knowledge on who I am spending my money, and that what I’m spending it on, could potentially change my shopping behavior in the future.
There are many other technologies that simplifying what was once a complicated task. It’s not that we don’t know they are important or potentially useful, but to get those, the cost (money, time, effort, etc.) is too high that we decided not to pursue them. Making them simple and easily accessible can mean attitude or behavior changes in the future.