'I'm doing exercise I wouldn't have done otherwise'
27 February 2018
22 December 2017-
When I joined BetterPoints 18 months ago, I had no idea I was trying to catch a speeding train - no sooner learning the name of the next station than we’d whizzed through it and were bearing down hard on the following one. Our behaviour change management system develops quickly, through learning from our beta testers and active programmes and co-designing each solution for the needs of the client. I really thought our product development team might burst into flames: features were being added and improved almost as soon as their need became apparent.
The last twelve months have been particularly dynamic, since we appointed Anne Lancaster as Product Manager. Our platform has come a long way in that time.
For a start, our tracking capabilities are even better than they were, and we have made considerable improvements to the way the system differentiates between types of journey, such as walking, running, cycling and taking the bus.
We have enhanced the tools for engaging the end-user, such as enhanced messaging plans and a number of new features (I’ll come to them in a bit). Bonuses can be awarded in more ways and messages can be triggered by a wider range of activities. New dashboards provide richer reports of programme activity and clients have greater control of branding their programmes.
Importantly, we constantly evaluate the rules for deciding how to award points. Our behaviour change model works by encouraging people to change their behaviour for good, not merely while we’re giving them incentives to do so. Therefore, we are always gathering information about what works and continuously developing our platform in that direction.
At the end of the day, though, our system is worthless if it doesn’t engage the end-user. We’ve always had pretty good feedback about our user-facing app, but this year we took it to the next level. We’ve worked tirelessly to improve the user interface and will continue to do so. The sign-up processes are much clearer and more compelling and we have improved notifications to make them a lot more useful. Users can access newly-earned points much more quickly and redeem them more easily. And they can – and do – share items from their timelines on social media.
So we’ve improved what we had. But what have we added? Well...
You can now offer your users medals to collect as they progress through their behaviour change journey. Then there are leaderboards for the competitive amongst us (at the time of writing, I and second on our company’s leaderboard and I’m determined to change that!). We’ve also introduced treasure hunts, so you can build engaging games that get people out and about or exploring a new location. Prize draws, too, are new: clients can offer entries into a virtual tombola as an alternative incentive to earning points.
We’ve also made the system much more stable and reliable, and have split the system across multiple servers and balanced the load so it can cope with many, many more users. And we have made major server-side enhancements that enable activities and reports to be processed a lot faster.
And that’s just the technology! I haven’t even started on the year’s other successes - but I’ll leave that for another post.
Have a great Christmas and New Year - we hope to see you in a vibrant, dynamic 2018.