These insights are based on the research of Ph.D. researcher Gabriela Villalobos-Zúñiga and Prof. Mauro Cherubini from the University of Lausanne. They published the paper "Apps That Motivate: a Taxonomy of App Features Based on Self-Determination Theory" (Full text). Here are their key insights. 👇
For those who like a short text version of the authors' findings, here it is:
Did you know that many apps potentially lack key design features to improve motivation and long-term behavior change?
This has been studied by researchers from the University of Lausanne, who analyzed 208 apps and identified 12 key design features in accordance with self-determination theory. The results are 3 categories of features and their 12 corresponding design features according to the current degree of implementation in apps.
They also found that these 3 categories lead to intrinsic motivation and long-term behavior change. Furthermore, features around relatedness are largely missing and could improve apps drastically. And finally, the design research & tests of interventions relating to self-determination theory are still underexposed in research.
Researchers and mobile application developers should consider these 12 features to maximize long-term behavior change and motivation levels. This will create better long-term results for the end-users.