Problem: How do we get college students to be aware of the resources around them?
Think back to your freshman year of college. How did you know about all the resources available on campus? Did you attend orientation and take copious notes? Or did you text upperclassmen to get their recommendations? Or maybe you decided you’d just Google the information you need, and scroll endlessly until you get there. If you are a senior, you may be wondering if you properly took advantage of the resources around you during your time in college, and that you “checked” your bucket list off.
At a place like Harard, there is an overwhelming amount of resources – food, physical activities, school events, or wellness-related resources. In short, students are sometimes not aware of the resources available around them; from wellness benefits to cool events. For this exercise, we decided to specifically focus on one feature of the app, namely health and well-being. As such, we hope that our App can encourage students to leverage some of the incredible wellness resources available around them.
Our solution: Meet Jungle
Jungle is a personalized app that students can log into to discover the tremendous resources around them. Students create a unique profile and start with an “empty forest”. Once they begin to engage with the app, through well-ness related articles, booking, or sharing, they start to receive “characters” to construct their jungle. Characters include baby animals, trees, and small plants depending on what the user chooses. Users can also choose to share with their friends their virtual awards, and their forest progress.
From theory to practice: how Cialdini and Fogg’s concepts influenced our design?
Our design leverages Cialdini’s principles of influence, specifically social proof and reciprocity.
- Social Proof: Social proof is defined as users doing what they think others are doing. Since the default is for jungles to be public, and people have the option to share the awards they receive. This concept plays a larger role when the group of people we observe are similar to us, which is the case among college undergraduates who somewhat share a similar age and life experience. At the heart of this design is a “network effect,” where the more people use the app, the more their friends will start using it.
- Reciprocity: Users can gift others things they earned. For example, a user may gift a tree or a baby animal. If people start using the gifting feature, the receivers may start to feel obliged to gift back, and thus the idea of reciprocity can greatly increase usage of the app
Applying Fogg’s theories to Jungle
Fogg posits that three specific elements are needed for a new behavior to occur: motivation, ability and trigger.
- Motivation: Jungle’s interactive nature serves as a motivator for users to continue to revisit the app – as they learn more about resources around them and actually unitize these resources. Receiving a gift when one continues to explore the app is can be a source of pleasure, and the there is also a sense of hope that the user could discover new things that they were not aware of
- Ability: Rather than reading pages of instructions about health benefits, students can now access these resources in a much easier way. Our design, compared to the alternatives that exist, vastly reduces the brain cycles needed. Scrolling through pages online can be a hectic brain activity, but navigating an a simple personalized app requires less brain power.
- Trigger: our assumption was that most people want to leverage the resources around them (high motivation), but sometimes there can be cognitive hurdles along the way (low ability). In the case of high motivation and low ability, our app serves as a facilitator, simplifying the task of finding information regarding toe wellness resources, and even making bookings.
Undergraduate college students at Harvard tend to be busy. In theory, many students care about their well-being and healthcare, but in practice many students may not know about some of the resources around them, including free full exam check-ups, acupuncture, or 12 free therapy sessions, Our users can be best described as overworked and busy, and would only be looking for a resources that engages them and does not require additional mental load.
Annabelle Paterson, Nourhan Shaaban, Zach Snyder