Design Principles of Personal Metrics

Design Principle #1: Data storytelling
Today, the marriage of lifestyle and technology enables us to measure our lives like never before. But it’s not enough to simply measure – we must derive meaning. We must analyze and interpret the data to reveal the stories of our lives.

Design Principle #2: Visual communication
Pictures don’t lie. In a world that’s overwhelmed with information, we need to find ways to communicate that help people consume and derive meaning. Visual communication is critical to presenting the stories of data in a way that’s retained easier and more quickly understood.


Design Principle # 3:  Informed action
Action needs to be paired with intent and meaning. If people understand the tangible impact that changes to the actions will have, they are more likely to stay engaged and make conscious effort to change. Informed action is critical to driving behavior modification.


Design Principle # 4:  Competitive environments
A key reason people fall away from their goals is that they lack motivation. By adding opportunity for competition, whether against others or one’s self, you create an environment for peer or self-motivation that challenges people to stay aligned with positive actions.

Design Principle # 5:
Continual feedback
In a society that’s conditioned for immediate results, providing continual feedback is key to engagement. Find ways to provide thoughtful feedback that reinforces the results of action.


Design Principle # 6: Reward of progress
Ultimate satisfaction lies in seeing the results of change over time. Help people see the impact of their actions. Let them derive reward from their own hard work and will power. If appropriate for the audience, consider thoughtful inclusion of game-based reward systems.