The Prius Effect
One of the key principles of designing products or services around Personal Metrics is that the experience must create a reward for the individual. Innovative companies understand that reward systems aren’t just for kids. As adults, it can be just as, if not more, effective in motivating and challenging us to change our behavior.
There’s a thing that happens when you drive a Prius – it’s called The Prius Effect.
As drivers observe the fuel consumption screen, they begin to see the direct connection between the way they drive and the rate of fuel consumption. In turn, they become more consciously aware of their behavior and are motivated to drive in a way that keeps fuel consumption low. In fact, many couples who have a Prius report that they have a running competition against themselves to see who can keep fuel consumption at its lowest rate!
Sarah Darby, an energy feedback technology researcher says that “Once you start making fuel consumption more visible, you have something that comes to the forefront of people’s minds instead of lurking in the background. The monitors show the consequences of your actions. This gives you feedback that alters action, and encourages you to try and improve things.”