An Octalysis Analysis of Momentum – The Journey
Note-taking can be boring. Many times one starts a personal journal and then stops because it is not fun and thus not sustainable. Momentum takes a boring note-taking task and turns it into something meaningful, beautiful and fun!
Octalysis Score: 3
As part of the Onboarding phase, a screen launch image introduces the vision. The vision is “Your positive life experiences, moving you forward!”
A player’s quest is to “Ride the wave of your positive life experiences” by collecting them. The hot-air balloon soaring through the sky is fueled by his positive moments. Since the vision of the app is to help the player see himself in “… a more positive light…”, the player is on board with the vision of long-term happiness and is motivated to enter in a few notes.
The developer, Mindbloom, wants the player to have a long-term relationship with this intrinsic value app. To kick off the relationship, they want the player to enter in an uplifting note that is happy, reflective or something similar. In Hook Model terms, the developer wants the player to take action by entering in a note which also serves as an investment in the product. This will load the next external trigger which is a notification. The notification will fire when the balloon runs out of fuel and lands on the ground.
What follows the launch image are three introductory screens which says how to use the app and succeed. See “How To Use Momentum” figures below:
How To Use Momentum Step 1
How To Use Momentum Step 2
How To Use Momentum Step 3
Octalysis Score: 7
With the introductory screens out of the way, we enter the Scaffolding phase. Now the player can enter in a note! Why would s/he do that? To add fuel for the balloon and make it go up.It Begins
To the player, having the hot-air balloon go from sitting on the ground and then into the air along with fireworks going off feels significant. It’s a reward for adding a positive note about his life. Since adding a note is a simple accomplishment, a player wants to enter in that note to get started on his journey right away. Next the player sees a “Hooray! You added Fuel!” message followed by showing some tickets.
Some of the activity challenges suggested by the app also invite a sense of accomplishment.Activity Challenge
Octalysis Score: 4
With the balloons and decorations to choose from, Core Drive #3 is at work, as players like to express themselves. In theory, one could also write creative notes of inspiration.
The player also has a choice as to whether or not to accept challenges that come delivered in what I call the Flying Mystery Box. This choice is an example of the Voluntary Autonomy game technique.
Octalysis Score: 6
The player wants to keep entering in notes to get more tickets. Why? So he can get virtual goods using the tickets, specifically different balloons and decorations. These fuel Core Drive #4.
The player feels that it’s his balloon. It becomes a part of him and a reflection of his tastes. He likes exploring the options (Core Drive #7) of what he can own. He wants to see what these options do when they get into the sky such as the flag decoration flying (Core Drive #7).
When he feels sad, he wants to go into his collection of past personal notes / pictures and be happy again. There’s a variety of different kinds of notes and even some with pictures.
The App Developer
Mindbloom wants the player to feel a sense of ownership by feeling attached to his creations, the configured balloons.
They want their product to be the go-to app for feeling better when sad. In Hook model style, the developer wants the internal emotional trigger of feeling unhappy and discouraged to have the player launch the app in order to lift his spirits.
What Could Be Better?
There’s no in-app way to show off what he owns such as balloons and notes. The player wishes other people could see his balloon with its decorations. Therefore:
Octalysis Score 0
What Could Be Better?
The player wishes other people could share in his happy moments. He wants to share happy moments with friends and family. His friends and family are likely a part of these moments and would be interested in what he shares. Sharing makes him feel good. The developer could incorporate Core Drive #5 by adding sharing functions.
Also, if there was a social aspect where a friend can gift tickets to add fuel to your balloon, that would be a combination of Core Drive #5 with some urgency provided by Core Drive #8. This would be just like gifting in the Life Game by Mindbloom, where a friend can gift water and sunlight to your Life Game tree.
Octalysis Score 3
The small number of decoration options with the first balloon makes the player feel limited in what he can do with this initial balloon. He can add a ribbon or change the balloon color. This limitation definitely leaves the player wanting the next balloon which has many more options.
Since it costs 150 tickets to get the second balloon (a Dangling technique) and then 500 more tickets to get the top balloon, the player won’t run out of balloon goals until they have made it a habit of storing the notes. As a Black Hat Game Technique, the Dangling technique adds a sense of urgency.
Through the urgency of wanting more options immediately, the developer wants players to come back to the app as often as possible to enter in notes. They want the player to continuously engage with their product instead of thinking, “I will get around to entering in notes someday.”
Octalysis Score 6
For the Discovery phase of the app, the developer relies on the player’s curiosity to find the app. Specifically, I found Momentum in the news section and was curious how it would make me feel happier.
During the Scaffolding phase, there is a Flying Mystery Box that shows up which makes the player want to interact with it. If the app is left running on the desk, the noise of the flying box draws ones attention to it. So, the player wants to tap the box to see what happens. There’s also a moment of Core Drive #8, “I should tap the box before it goes away again!?”
What Could Be Better?
I was lucky to find this app as nobody mentioned this app to me. In general, Mindbloom products are ripe for social communities (Core Drive #5) being used for sharing.
Octalysis Score 7
Once the balloon hits the ground, the player feels a sense of loss. The balloon is stuck. The player receives a notification that the balloon has “gently landed.” This motivates the player to add more fuel via notes. The balloon doesn’t move while on the ground so the scene in the background doesn’t change anymore.
Also, if the player deletes the app, he loses easy access to the happiness moments until the app is reinstalled and signed back in.
What Could Be Better?
One could have some of the decorations break and fall off due to a lack of attention to the balloon’s needs. A certain measure of caution is advised when using such a Black Hat technique.
For a video walk-through on the Octalysis Framework, check out: Episode 4, Gamification Framework Octalysis (The Octalysis Framework)
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