Stompers is a social step-counting app I've been enjoying for about a month now. The concept is simple, quirky, and ultimately has been effective at getting me to do something valuable we all need to do more of - move.

The app has a distinctive, decidedly lo-fi cartoony comic book visual style. Like many step counters before it, Stompers does a good job of reflecting the amount you move every day. However, this is not intended to be a single-player game. Stompers is fun because you do it with your friends, and this is where its unique approach excels at driving behavior.

Every day, you and your Stompers friends start a new race, moving forward as you take steps in the real world. This daily competitive mechanic is pretty fun on its own, but where Stompers really shines is in how it brings virtual power-ups - like banana peels, baseball bats, and Wile E. Coyote-style rockets - into the daily race. This creates Mario Kart-like moments of surprise and frustration as you get sent back a bunch of steps because your friend hit you with a banana peel, or you triumphantly launch yourself forward into first place with a rocket you picked up less than an hour before the day's race came to a close.

While this means your step count at the end of the day often isn't an exact reflection of how much you moved, it's close enough, and I suspect the lighthearted combative mechanics will be a net positive over time in getting people to move more, which is the ultimate goal.

The app does a nice job of balancing short and long-term motivation mechanics - every day is a fresh start, so if you have a real stinker of a day, it has no impact on how successful you can be tomorrow. The app also shows you where you've finished over the past week, so there is some sense of history and how you're trending.

I've also found the app to be conducive to driving real-world social interactions (which is great!) - texting someone during a multi-day rivalry as we go back and forth attacking each other in our quest for first, or messaging someone after seeing them crush multiple days way out in front of the pack and finding out they're traveling in another country with their family.

Getting people to build - and stick with - habits is really, really hard, so it'll be interesting to see how long Stompers can hold people's attention but it's refreshing to see someone take a new and very opinionated approach to the whole experience. I also love seeing people have fun and get a little weird with their product.

Give it a shot and invite a few of your friends to compete and see what you think:

‎Stompers - Steps with Friends
‎YOU’VE BEEN INVITED TO THE APP OF THE SUMMER Welcome to Stompers, the social step-tracking app that turns every walk into a race with friends. Forget boring step counters; Stompers makes walking with friends fun. Race Your Friends: Invite your friends and family to see their step count in real-ti…

The app was built by Soren Iverson, a fun social follow (Threads | Twitter | LinkedIn) who publishes daily mockups of totally bananas product design concepts, like this prompt to connect with a licensed therapist to go with Netflix's "are you still watching?" prompt:

Iverson has deftly illustrated so many great, cringe-inducing designs that he's published a snazzy little book collection of them all called Can You Imagine? that would make a great stocking stuffer for all your product and design pals.