Edit is a lifestyle service that helps you edit things in and out of your life through enriched tracking and mini-experiments.
What’s the problem?
While there are seemingly endless resources, research, and tools for building healthier habits, people continue to struggle with a sustained change in behaviour over time. When it comes to health and wellbeing, people tend to struggle with four main areas: control, accountability, personalisation, and reward.
People usually begin a journey to change behaviour with a fundamental misunderstanding about what it takes to accomplish such a thing. Many of our behaviours are deep-seated and are significantly more challenging to change than perceived. This inevitably leads to what we refer to as a relapse and a feeling of helplessness. To be more specific, people feel that they lack control because they lack awareness and context for their behaviour.
Ultimately, most people accomplish things that they feel accountable for achieving. When it comes to most wellbeing goals, most people don’t have a high enough accountability level to change behaviour in a sustainable way.
While there are many approaches to creating a new habit, unfortunately, many are generic and don’t consider human beings’ nuances. Things like personality, culture, and life experience make up who we are and how we behave, which is why individuals need a personalised approach to behaviour change.
Reward, recognition, and incentives all play an essential role in long-term behaviour change, but all too often, those things come in a delayed manner. The lack of immediate reward causes many people to relapse towards old behaviours much sooner without the motivation to make a new attempt.
The four areas briefly described above came from research conducted with people trying to change addictive behaviour. Specifically, we worked with people trying to quit smoking to understand behaviour change on a more intense level. As one of our research participants said, “I am a single mother of 4, working in the male-dominated world of finance, and the hardest thing I’ve ever done in my life was quitting smoking.” While we also worked with leading researchers and experts in behaviour change, it ultimately was the work with these “extreme” users that provided the most insight into Edit’s development.
How ‘Edit’ responds
Edit responds to the above challenges by breaking the traditional behaviour change cycle and forming a new continuous cycle that focuses on action and learning, rather than relapse. We designed Edit as a modular service that provides people with options for engaging in a continuous cycle of action and learning to build healthier habits over time.
Chat, Story, People, Explore:
Edit consists of four main service components: chat, story, people, and explore. Certainly, we believe that the service is most potent when engaging with some combination of all four service components, but Edit also accommodates the person interested in some. These components are driven by enriched tracking that uses multiple sources of data to help users better understand the impact of their daily actions on their well-being.
Through the Edit Bot, users can provide context to their actions during the day, ask questions to help customise edits, and receive quick updates on progress.
Through a feed of insights and accomplishments, users can socially share progress and choose new edits to try based on newly developed insights.
By connecting with people in the Edit Community, users can learn from others who are going through similar journeys—inspiring them to try different edits.
Through a marketplace of organisations (example: NHS) and individuals, Edit users can discover new edits to try, sell (or gift) their own edits, and begin other behaviour change journeys with confidence.
To illustrate how these features can work together, it is useful to look at them in the context of one person’s journey using the service.
Although most people are continually thinking about how they can be healthier, they require a drastic event (medical reasons, family reasons, or intense life experiences) to trigger an actual change in long-term behaviour. Through this project, we’ve found that there are some less severe ways that more people can build healthier habits. By understanding the impact of daily actions and creating new and personalised rituals (edits), people are able to build enough resiliency to not only survive a relapse in behaviour, but turn it into a meaningful moment of learning. That is the key to consciously building healthy habits that will increase one’s overall wellbeing.
The Value of Behaviour Change
While we discovered the power of enriched tracking and small daily edits in changing behaviour, it is also clear that behaviour change has a variety of value. Of course, it has value to the individual and those people directly in their lives. However, and more interestingly, it has value to society as a whole. Edit ultimately attempts to solve the challenge: how might we connect a person’s actions with an immediate and individualised reward with a more significant impact on society’s overall wellbeing?
By moving habit formation away from generic models to giving people full agency over their wellbeing, as they define it, we can create a massive and highly intelligent database that understands behaviour change on an incredibly granular level at scale. What we do with that is the critical question. Suppose we can leverage this theoretical intelligent database appropriately. In that case, we could create communities centred on wellbeing, which may ultimately improve population health and reduce unnecessary stress on healthcare systems.
Our new direction of exploration
The entire premise of Edit is that people have an open and transparent relationship with the idea of behaviour change. Unfortunately, in our culture, a behaviour change is often seen as criticism, failure, or even an embarrassment. As trends around health and wellbeing continue to grow, we wonder how something like Edit could be positioned to shift the societal mindset towards behaviour change fundamentally.
Related to ‘Edit’
Devices quantify and measure all aspects of the people’s lives and body amplifying obsessive behaviours. People’s personal identity becomes more based on an idealised virtual version of oneself rather than your existing reality.
Edit is an app that helps you fill your daily routine with more positive actions than smoking. It’s not about quitting cold turkey or feeling like a patient. It’s just about trying new things and seeing if they work for you and your lifestyle.