“Time to make data meaningful”
Niklas Laninge is both a lecturer at Psykologifabriken and Chief Operating Officer at Hoa’s Tool Shop where they make apps for behavioural change. They’ve just recently launched a sleep app that they believe will be the start of logging data for a lot of people.
As a frequent user of the Nike Fuel band Niklas is a bit crazy about collecting data connected to health. Together with his team from Hoa’s Tool Shop he just recently arranged the first Health Hack Day ever, a 24 hour hackaton in Stockholm where all the participating teams built solutions for health improvement.
We decided to ask Niklas some quick questions about their new app and the future of life logging…
1. You’ve created a sleep logging app called Sömn Formeln (available on App Store in Swedish). What makes your app special?
This app is more about experimenting than simply gathering data. Our goal is to get more people to experiment with their life in order to find out what works for them. So Sömn Formeln is different because it’s based around experiments and that all the tips are written by licensed psychologists.
It is one of the few apps out there that actually encourage people to change how they behave. While most apps only gather data we want to put some meaning to this data. Sure it’s sort of a novelty app but honestly we’re quite tired of all the data apps who simply believe that data is all we need. It’s a fad, it’s time to make data meaningful.
2. In what way could logging something improve peoples everyday lives?
There are numerous studies that have shown the power of feedback. Gathering data is the easiest way to get instant feedback on your behaviours. Logging data is a great start to see how your behaviours and activities effect different parts of your life, like sleeping for instance.
A little, at least if you look at studies done on logging data. The problem is that if people don’t see the meaning with logging data they will grow bored and eventually drop out. Simply collecting data is fun and rewarding for a few people, for the rest of us we need something or someone who tells us what to do with the data.
3. What life logging tools would you like to see in the future?
I think Nike is on to something with their Fuel Band. Simple, easy to understand and works without me noticing a thing. Another thing I think will become huge is data gathering and story telling in combination. We have seen what a huge success Zombies, Run! was and now Swedish publishing house Bonnier is trying something similar with Teemo. So in short I would like to see tools that seamlessly gathers all types of data, help me set up concrete goals and that adds a storytelling filter on top of this.