When I turn off my shower, the shower-mode toggle (a little metal plunger thing) either stays lifted up
(in shower mode), or drops down
(reverting to faucet mode). I wanted to make sure that every time I turned off my shower, I left the toggle down
. Since sometimes the toggle was already down, I didn't have to do anything, so I didn't do anything -- meaning the habit never took root. I tried making a habit of looking at
the toggle each time I turned off the shower, but it wasn't enough.
I have no problem with turning off
the shower; I do that by habit. So why not this?
My solution was to build a stronger habit: Lifting the toggle up, and then down.
This has so far been successful. So what are the requirements for a habit which can be built? It's subjective, of course, but...
- A habit takes the form IF X, THEN Y.
- Both the trigger "X" and the action "Y" must be discrete (i.e. non-ambiguous) and tangible (i.e. have strong sensory evidence).
Anyway, this is definitely a game design pattern. I think any kind of pattern regarding human activity is a game design pattern.