Flames is a habit tracking app I concepted. I’ve spent a lot of time learning about how to motivate good habits via gamification, and this was my attempt at implementing those learnings.

The core mechanic in the concept is "streaks". The streaks technique is a weirdly powerful brain hack that helps motivate good habits. Each day you do the habit, your streak increases by 1. If you miss a day, your streak resets. The higher your streak, the more motivated you are to keep it going. I've found that the streaks approach is much more effective and enjoyable than simply committing to doing a habit for a certain amount of time (or worse, committing indefinitely). With the latter, you're overwhelmed by the commitment, which often leads to falling off. When you do complete the habit, it just feels like staying afloat. With streaks, each day you extend your streak feels like a win.

Mockup of a habit's details screen in the Flames app
Habit Details

To bolster the power of streaks, I added Medals and Sidekicks. Medals are awards you earn by hitting different milestones. They give you concrete goals to work towards. Sidekicks are friends that get notified if you haven't hit your goal that day or if you've hit a new milestone. They provide social accountability (which is, in my opinion, the most powerful motivator).

I also tried to make the act of habit tracking as frictionless as possible. The app would use iOS Health data to automatically track steps, workout minutes, and mindfulness minutes recorded in other apps. To make interacting with the app more delightful, I used shiny 3D objects and bright colors (with themes the user could choose between).


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