Increasing engagement of spaced repetition feature in Readwise.io (Case study)

image david

I love reading and writing, and readwise.io is the go-to tool I use daily for it, but this time

I decided to improve its feature using design and psychology for better user engagement.

Setting Context

I was in bed and watching a video of David perell in which he was suggesting to consume quality content over quantity.

In the middle of the video, he mentioned that spaced repetition is a quiet, boring thing which I agree with entirely.

By the way, you can check the video here: https://youtu.be/G-lR2vpyPz8?t=394

Before moving further, let’s make few keywords clear:

1) Spaced repetition (I will write Spaced to save time): It’s a scientific method of revising the information so that it gets stuck in our memory using various methods. read more

2) Readwise.io: It’s a SAAS tool that collects highlights from your kindle, apple books and other various resources. It also has a feature of Spaced repetition.

How readwise is solving the boringness of spaced repetiton

Readwise solves the boringness of spaced repetition by showing the best highlights at the right time with a mix of little gamification.

readwise image
Screenshot of USP
leadboard image

Leaderboard(gamification)

It’s not enough

Showing the best highlight and leaderboard is not enough because look at my statistics, and I never did space repetition more than a week.

statistics image

Maybe I could be lazy but, I am not alone. 

I analyzed the leaderboard of 4646 users, and I found that almost 1445( almost 31% ) people have streak less than six days.

The number can increase if we measure people who have an inconsistent streak rate.

Anyway, now that we know the problem.

(Problem) How can we increase the engagement of readwise spaced repetition?

Idea 1: Make it easy

Making things easy is one of the easiest yet powerful ways of changing human behaviour.

I had already written an article on easy/friction. You can read more about this topic.

To access spaced repetition, you have to open the app/website –> click on daily review –> start to revise highlights.

dailyreview image

Final version after removing the extra step

final screen

I want to end the power of Make it easy with one final research in which the rise of filling tax form get increased from 19.2 to 22 percent of people.

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Screenshot from the book “Inside the nudge unit”

Idea 2: Foot-in-the-Door

This technique is related to Robert Cialdini persuasion principle, “Consistency.”

In this technique, We ask for a small favour, and it increases the chance of getting more things later from people.

I am using this technique because readwise sends notifications at a fixed time and only once.

If a user is busy, which is quite possible, they may clear the notification and later, they forget to review the highlights.

To overcome this problem, we can show the highlight directly in the notification bar, and once the user clicks on it, they will start to see more highlights.

Below is an example:

status-bar image
Personalized notification in status bar with Foot-In-door technique.

Idea 3: Make it attractive

Like “making things easy”, “making things attractive” is also a powerful technique to change human behaviour.

I have written an article on this topic also. Check here

For a couple of days, I have been reading and doing intensive research on these topics and finding different ways to use them in design. Still, I have a few ideas for now.

The primary role of making things attractive is increasing people’s motivation and engagement.

This first idea is to make the note showing section more attractive through colours and a little animation.

make it attractive image
readwise.io
https://codemyui.com/square-emoji-shadow-and-line-particles-popper-effect-on-button-click/
Adding little animation on clicking is also a good idea.

I will keep updating this list as soon as I will get more ideas

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Rohit Singh

Rohit Singh

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