What motivators to leverage in a goal-tracking application?

12 days ago from

Hi all, I'm currently brainstorming a goal-tracking application for a project in my UX design class and I was wondering if anyone had insights/resources into the right motivators to keep users engaged to come back to the application on a daily basis.

The goal-tracking application is going to be designed to track goals, tasks/to-dos, emotions associated with completion/failure, and habits of users when pursuing certain goals. My goal is that my target audience (college students and young professionals) pursue ambitious goals, but might fail due to certain negative feedback cycles (emotional distress from failure or bad habits). A majority of this tracking requires daily input from the user to keep tabs on progress, emotions, obstacles.

Given that the application leverages a lot of user data to produce output, this introduces something called tracking fatigue, which are barriers that prevent users from getting the optimal output due to poor inputs. Some of which include: - Too much data is required from the user (not enough time or motivation to input) resulting in inaccurate output - Hard for user to interpret how data input correlates to application's output resulting in inaccurate conclusions - Misinterpreted results based on the aforementioned inaccurate conclusions

I've created a diagram of the relationship between tracking fatigue and inaccurate outcomes here: https://plectica.com/maps/LZ9HNIP53 (image: https://imgur.com/a/y5JgVwS) and I believe that the insufficient data, insufficient context, and insufficient understanding can be tackled through how the UI looks/feels, how the application leverages notifications, and how the application presents tracking results, respectively.

However, I'm curious as to how I can tackle the insufficient engagement issue in tracking fatigue. I started exploring some possible motivations like social influences (having leaderboards), streaks or a coach (think Duolingo), and rewards (praises, etc), but I see a few downsides to each of these. For example, in the example of Duolingo, users have negative emotional responses to having disappointed Duo, or in the example of streaks, users often given up once a large streak is broken under the assumption it's not worth attempting again. I'd be interested if anyone has any resources or insights in how to find the right motivators that would keep a user engaged.

Some resources I've found on tracking behavior: