It's the start of a new year, and we are sure you're fired up! You want to grow, break the mold of days passed, and increase dedication to your craft.
If you have logged on recently, you might have noticed something new on Hack The Box Academy. We have started tracking Streaks! In November 2023, our team launched the Beta version to ease you into a new study habit and reward you for your dedication.
Although, streaks aren't entirely a new concept. Keeping track of progress is a pivotal part of a personal journey. It gives learners a fun tool to measure the results of their studies. You might have seen streaks also as a way to keep users accountable for dedicating time honing a skill–GitHub when you make a commit, with Peloton when you complete a workout, or Duolingo when you complete a language lesson (or else, that green bird will find you…).
In the book Atomic Habits, James Clear speaks about “systems over goals.” The concept is that the true value isn’t in the ability to achieve a goal but instead in instilling the process of a system that takes you there.
In this case, your goal might be to complete a pathway and get a certification. However, we want to develop a feature that runs parallel to a study system you create. Let’s check how the approach might be a little different from what you’ve already experienced.
First off, streaks are exclusive to Hack The Box Academy. It will not apply to other Hack the Box platform offerings.
Academy Streaks helps you fit upskilling into a busy schedule by measuring your weekly studying consistency.
This means you will have a goal to meet each week. If you complete this goal within the week’s time frame, your streak goes up by 1! Fail to achieve the goal in the timeframe and your streak will return to 0.
Each week, you will be challenged to complete 30 points. You receive 10 points for each question or section completed within Hack The Box Academy.
The week starts every Monday (00:00) and ends on Sunday (23:59) CET.
We don't want you to lose your streak. So, we've incorporated a reminder. We will notify you on the fourth day of the week if you are at risk of losing your streak.
Streaks are being created with the intent of having milestones you can complete. We are currently working on rewards that studious hackers will benefit from. We are still in beta, but building out the rewards structure is on the list!
Most products find the best way to incorporate streaks for their community. It is a fun way to visualize progress and track your dedication. We intend to give the user time to settle into a new habit. You're most likely familiar with the phrase, "slow and steady wins the race?" That's where our heads are at.
Most applications require daily check-in to qualify for their streak. We have seen the frustration of many users who feel burnt out by these rigid rules. While constant attendance is excellent for habit forming, in the long run, it doesn't scale. Life doesn't always allow us to demand that consistency of you; a streak shouldn't exist as a pressure in your life.
Streaks or daily logins can be a point of personal pride but can just as easily become associated with guilt over a loss of progress. The main villain in this story is interruption. The opportunity to miss a day or two of study is the reality for anyone with daily chores, work, school, or during the march of any busy week.
Interruption creates the opening for streak loss and opens you up to tangible effects on your mental well-being.
The Journal of Consumer Research did a study on the behavioral effects of logged streaks and the outcomes of breaking them. There’s a brilliant breakdown of this research in this article from Psychology Today. However, it can be summarized simply.
Those who broke their streaks were less likely to continue the habit they were forming.
In the experiments, participants used an app for activities, all performing identical tasks but with manipulated streak recordings to test the impact on behavior. This approach allowed for a controlled study of how maintaining or breaking streaks influences user engagement.
When a streak was maintained or broken, participants chose whether to continue the same activity or switch, revealing a significant drop in engagement (from 66% to 58%) when streaks were broken. This outcome highlighted a behavioral trend where breaking streaks led to reduced motivation to continue the activity.
This is why we not only give you a wider breadth of time we constructed a realistic goal we believe you’ll be able to achieve. In the end, we still want to see you thrive!
As we usher in this exciting development for Hack The Box Academy, we're not just adding a feature; we're cultivating a community of consistent learners. By setting a weekly goal, we acknowledge the diverse schedules and responsibilities of our users, offering a balanced approach to learning.
We're excited to see how Streaks will enhance your learning experience. Whether you're a seasoned professional or just starting, this feature is a step toward making your educational journey more engaging and fruitful.
So, embrace this new challenge, build your streak, and watch your skills and knowledge grow weekly. Here's to a year of remarkable achievements and unwavering dedication in the Hack The Box Academy community!