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Mar 04, 2019 19:06:18

Streaks and Recoveries

by @haideralmosawi PATRON | 333 words | 157🔥 | 343💌

Haider Al-Mosawi

Current day streak: 157🔥
Total posts: 343💌
Total words: 107516 (430 pages 📄)

A discussion ensued on an article written by @nicksimard with feature suggestions for 200wad. I thought I'd share my thoughts on writing streaks and ways to recover when you've broken a streak.

Writing involves a variety of habits, and habits are started, maintained, and automated. Writing apps need to consider what habits users are looking to develop, and to encourage that development in each phase.

How do you encourage people to start writing? How do you encourage them to maintain that habit? How do you keep users excited to use your app once they've ingrained the habit in their psyche (and can keep at it anywhere)?

For me, I use 200wad not just to write daily, but to overcome my perfectionism and publish daily. That's why my posts are public, not private (I still use 750words to sort out my mental junk).

Maintaining a streak is great, but helping users bounce back from a broken streak is also very important. Resilience is an essential quality to cultivate. And developing a habit isn't about doing it perfectly, but maintaining it despite the challenges. A single-minded fixation on a perfect streak can overlook how demoralizing it is to come back to writing once the streak is broken.

A writing streak should be celebrated, but bouncing back should also be encouraged.

One way to do this is to allow users to recover points for missed days, as long as they get back to writing quickly.

- 10 points for days during a writing streak

- If a day is missed, that's 0 points for the day

- If the user writes the following day (i.e. only one day is missed and not more), they can earn 5 points for the day missed

This way there's an incentive not to break a streak for too long and recoveries are also rewarded. Otherwise there's no real incentive to get back on track.

The point system may need refining, but the key idea is to reward bouncing back as quickly as possible.

CC: @basilesamel @lucjah 

  • 1

    @haideralmosawi quite agree with helping people recover from broken streaks. Seen many high streakers who don't come back after breaking a long streak. Not sure about points, but it might just be me because points doesn't quite motivate me to write. If we go with the assumption that majority of motivations are Obligers - see Upholders, Obligers, Rebels, Questions model of motivation, I think someone else pinging the broken streak writer when they were curious why he stopped might be a nice way. It's always nice to know someone else appreciate your writing. Or another way might be for the system to email them after one day missed, like "We missed you" or something like that...i guess peer pressure (in a good way) works for many.

    Jason Leow avatar Jason Leow | Mar 05, 2019 21:12:51
    • 1

      @jasonleow Thanks for sharing, Jason! (I'm a fan of the Four Tendencies, btw). Receiving a nudge from another user, or Basile, as the platform founder, might be a great way to do it. Points can be motivating to some, but tying it to another benefit might work better. For example, those who have a 15-day streak or more get access to special features/discounts on writing tools, and skipping one day allows you to maintain those perks.

      Haider Al-Mosawi avatar Haider Al-Mosawi | Mar 05, 2019 21:32:29
  • 1

    @haideralmosawi I like this fading points idea! Thanks for sharing, it's so true.

    Basile Samel avatar Basile Samel | Mar 04, 2019 17:52:19
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