Simplicity Based on Trust

A guiding principle for streamlining product design

2 min readOct 11, 2021

Airbnb and Uber are two great examples of companies that rely on us trusting strangers. And, it worked, right? It’s not perfect but, fundamentally, it works. It is a 26 billion dollar thick silver lining that showcases trust in a sometimes weary world.

Our product is built on gamifying based on fitness data that’s available in the HealthKit. Although smartwatches have come a long way in their accuracy of steps and calories, they are still in evolution. It is relatively easy to game a pedometer to count more steps than you actually took.

Know the rules well, so you can break them effectively — Dalai Lama, XIV

In his excellent course on gamification, Prof. Kevin Werbach mentions that you can design a game with the best of intentions, the players will always find a way to play it differently.

So, how can we guarantee fair play is maintained during challenges? What if someone figures out a way to fake their calories or steps that are integral to the game. There is a lot of work by other companies that chose to develop sophisticated algorithms to detect steps accurately.

Screenshot of Fit$ app from the author

Although we are in no place to invest in sophisticated algorithms to detect true movement (we leave that to the big wigs), it is sort of pointless for our mission. We want to help people improve their fitness in a simple, fun way. We do not claim to be fitness experts providing tips, techniques for fitness and health. We want to provide a place for a communal way of improving your fitness. Our view is — If someone does find a way to cheat at the game, they are cheating themselves on their health. Why bother?

So, we decided to keep things simple — We are not the gatekeepers of fair play. We leave that to you. You can trust your co-players to play fair. You have nothing to lose only your health to gain. This trust simplified our design and efforts by a fair amount — a key enabler.

Let the games begin.




Solopreneur developing a gamified app to help improve your fitness levels. Author of Teeth, Germs, and Fairies