Applying Change Craft Influence Methods in Mobile Apps

MO is a revolutionary smoking cessation app designed to help users stop smoking by providing comprehensive content tailored and curated for each smoker, in a structured and timely way, a delivered through a proven behavior change framework.

How does it work?

MO takes you on a ‘Quit Journey’. The lower your capability (competence & confidence) to quit, the higher your nicotine dependence, and the lower your reported comfort levels (physical and mental pain), the more time MO will recommend that you prepare for your Quit Journey. You prep for your Quit Journey by completing activities within the app (e.g. tracking urges, tracking cigarette intake, completing short quizzes that help strengthen your capability for quitting, etc.). The journey taken through the app allows the user to respond dynamically to situations and life events that might impact their quit journey.

MO considers three phases to the Quit Journey, each containing content appropriate to that part of the quitting process:

  • Pre-Quit is the planning and preparation phase where the user builds knowledge, confidence and, motivation to start their journey. They identify and plan how they will negotiate potential barriers and the begin to think about temptations they might encounter on route. They put in place support tools that will help if they stumble.
  • During the Quit phase, they proceed through the journey mapped out for them in Phase 1.
  • Once they have stopped smoking, they move into a maintenance Stay Quit phase. This focusses more on the temptations they are likely to experience to restart smoking and provides a set of tools to choose and call upon in the event that relapse happens.

How did we become involved?

We became interested in the MO smoking cessation app following conversations with Paul Brunetta, Co-founder of the Fontana Tobacco Treatment Center at the University of California, San Francisco (UCSF) and Dawn Repola, the CEO and Founder of Aegis Creative. UCSF and Aegis were driven to create a mobile app capable of supporting individuals who were keen to stop smoking, but for whom existing technology was not fit for purpose.

A 12-person development team was established including members of the Fontana Tobacco Treatment Center, UCSF academics, a medical doctor, and Change Craft as independent consultants to provide insight into a framework for behavior change.

What was the role for Change Craft?

We were responsible for infusing the app with selected, appropriate influence methods from our proprietary behavior change framework, the Change Compass, and the development of methods and tools to support the user to quit. The Change Compass is a behavioral framework for changing habits powered by BRATLAB and is based on behavioral theories and validated research from a variety of leading thinkers, behavioral research laboratories, and extensive field testing.

How were the Four Powers Influence Methods integrated into the App?

We identified which of the 80 influence methods in the BRATLAB behavior change framework were likely to be of greatest use during the Quit Journey and manually mapped the methods into the app framework to support the Pre-Quit, Quit and Stay Quit phases as appropriate. The methods were incorporated using educational video, audio or written content as appropriate to make the methodology accessible and fun to view. Practical examples were offered in the app regarding how to apply the methods.

If you are interested in incorporating behavior change on your app, we would love to work with you.