Fitter, Happier, More Productive: How Tech Can Help Us Be & Do Better

Fitter, Happier, More Productive: How Tech Can Help Us Be & Do Better

Last night, I had the pleasure of speaking to the Vancouver User Experience group (AKA VanUE). The theme was “Inspiration,” so I decided to focus on something that’s preoccupied me for my entire career in tech, which is how we can bring our best selves to technology, and use technology in ways that help us grow and evolve in meaningful ways.

I titled my talk “Fitter, Happier, More Productive: How Tech Can Help Us Be & Do Better.” I talk about:

  • Why motivation matters less than you think.
  • The 3 factors you must have in place in order to shift your behaviour, according to Stanford professor BJ Fogg’s amazing research on behaviour design.
  • My rebuttal to venture capitalist Tim Chang’s “7 Deadly Sins” framework for assessing how successful an app is going to be.
  • Three apps that have made me a better, happier, more thoughtful person.

I’ve uploaded my slides to Slideshare with an audio track. (Warning: the slides make very little sense without the audio, because I’m a firm believer in using slides for illustration and counterpoint only.)

How do you think technology can help people be and do better? I welcome your thoughts in the comments.


  1. Kara

    Yay Lauren!

    Loved this! I was just celebrating the positive influence of an app in my own life, today. I was just reflecting on how the app I’ve been using for the last two weeks (My Fitness Pal), has been helping me track my exercise, water intake, and track calories, and daily keep me on a path I really want to be on.

    Using this app really has made me fitter and happier already. I’m trying to get fitter and lose some weight. The biggest difficulty in the past for me, has been tracking my food intake. With this app, I eat anything I like, instead of feeling limited on a specific type of diet, but it helps remind me to consciously control my portions. The amazing thing is that it is also teaching more about the food I eat, what is in it, and how I can eat more healthily. It has motivated me to exercise too. It has definitely changed my life for the better, and I hope it continues to do so.

    I know I sound like an evangelist, but I’m pretty happy that it seems to be effective in helping me do some things I’ve had limited success with for a long time.

    Love your articles.



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