theory-based design strategies for active lifestyle

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Theory-based design strategies

Theory-based design strategies

& lessons learned from previous studies

Theory-Driven Design Strategies for Technologies that Support Behavior Change in Everyday Life(Consolvo, McDonald, & Landay, 2009)Design strategies based on psychological, social and cognitive theories, previous studies and other persuasive technologiesPeople want to be fit, but still: physical inactivity and poor eating habitsPsychological theories can be used to design technologies to promote an active lifeTechnologies should be persuasive, effective, without being invasive;support behavioral change AND fundamental social needs

Goal-Setting theory (see later)how people respond to different types of goals and which is more motivating. The goal must be:important to the userdecided by the user (or with the help of an expert), not assigned without rationalechallenging but realistically achievableit should be easy to monitor the progresses toward the goal feedbacks and incentives must be provided as progress is made (and not solely at goal achievement)

Transtheoretical Model of Behavior Change5 stages in the intentional modification of behaviorprecontemplation: no intention to change. contemplation: seriously considering changing, but no action and no commitment yet. preparation: intention to take actions in the next months but no successful action in the past year. action: has performed the behavior consistently for less than six months. maintenance: has performed the behavior consistently for more than six months. Persuasive action


overcoming barriers + rewards

rewards (even when the behavior is inconsistent) + increasing awareness of behavioral patterns to encourage consistency

keeping track of progresses to maintain consistency + social influence

coping strategies for problems + awareness: I'm becoming the kind of person I want to beStage

Presentation of Self in Everyday LifeNovel application to persuasive technologyDaily social interactions, and how individuals attempt to manage the impressions they want others to have of them: Theatre metaphor

The individual performs for an audience

Backstage: no audience allowed secret consumption

Presentation of Self in Everyday LifeIn the front stage:

In the backstage:secret consumption(need to conceal these behaviors)

Presentation of Self in Everyday Life: Implications for technologySupport impression management needs:the user must be able to control the information we collect (e.g. what to share, with whom); to disguise something; to misrepresent something, for example to support secret consumption

technology aiming at representing the perfect information (i.e. weight, height, scores of the initial test as well as every activity session in detail, km run, speed, etc.) do not support individuals' needs to control the backstage

enable the user to perform differently for different audiences (or the user will perceive a privacy violation; e.g. Google+)

Cognitive Dissonance TheoryNovel application to persuasive technologywhat happens when behaviors and attitudes are inconsistentAn individual realizes that:



Cognitive dissonance(psychologically uncomfortable)

Cognitive Dissonance TheoryShe will try to reduce the dissonance. How?

Change behavior: healthy lifestyle I will train more

Change knowledge (attitude): stop believing that I should have a healthier lifestyle Im not that fat/sedentary

Reduce the importance of the dissonance: seeking information about worse things, avoiding information/situations which could reinforce the dissonance having diabetes is worse, avoid gyms, not going to the beach

Cognitive Dissonance Theory: Implications for technology

Change behavior (I will train more): Address the factors preventing the individual to changeHelp to remain focusedAwareness system should be persistently available and easy to access but also subtle to support occasional needs for information/situation avoidance.

Change knowledge (Im not that inactive):Awareness Reduce the importance of the dissonance (having diabetes is worse):Education, information, examples

Strategies used in recent persuasive technology researchBreakaway: to encourage users to take a break while working.

It provides peripheral awareness. Participants appreciate the possibility to ignore it in busy times.Abstract: the feedback is given in the form of abstract information, not raw sensor data collected from the userNon-intrusive: the data are available all the timePublic: data are presented in an appropriate way to be presented in public), Aesthetic: the device should be interesting over time

Strategies used in recent persuasive technology researchFish'nSteps: to make users taking more steps.

step count affects:growth of the fish (more steps, larger fish), facial expression (happy for sufficient, angry for near-sufficient, sad for insufficient), water (clean for sufficient, murky with no decoration for insufficient). Motivated participants increased their daily step count. But: they ignored the display when they had an insufficient step count (bad decision to use punishment).

Strategies used in recent persuasive technology researchHouston: to make users taking more steps. Users share step count and performanceAdd notes, send messages and see trending informationReceive congratulations and stars (*) when they achieve goal

Most participants increased awarenessBut: they complained that the pedometer did not register other activities (e.g. cycling, etc.): they pointed out that receiving credit for all activities is critical.

New design strategies based on theories and previous studies

Abstract & reflectiveUnobtrusivePublicAestheticPositiveControllableTrending & historicalComprehensive

1. Abstract & reflectivePeople in their social relationships need to conceal something, sometimes (Presentation of Self theory).

Abstract data are flexible. Flexibility and ambiguity allow people to create different interpretations of the data, to disguise and manage them

Both Breakaway and Fish'nSteps use abstract information.

2. Unobtrusive

Data should be available to the user, but without interrupting or calling her attention.

Apps for mobile phones are appropriate.

Technology should support the occasional need to ignore the dissonance (Cognitive Dissonance Theory - see the user's comments in the Breakaway study)

3. PublicThe data (personal) should be presented in an appropriate way to be shown in public. The user should be comfortable with the fact that others will see it never make the user feel uncomfortableIn Breakaway the sculpture was public but did not draw unwanted attention to the user (thanks to data abstraction)In Houston the technology was on mobile phones, and users were discrete in its use

4. AestheticThe technology should be inquisitive, comfortable, attractive and maintain attention. The aesthetic aspect deals with the front stage (Presentation of Self) and should reflect the user's personal style provide different displays for males/females?It should convey credibility: people judge the credibility of an object on the basis of some surface features (B. J. Fogg)In Fish'nSteps users where satisfied with the aspect of the happy fish (when they walked enough), and at the same time complained about the ugliness of the pedometer

5. PositivePositive reinforcement and rewards When the user does not perform the behavior: nor rewards or punishments, but her interest should be sustained. In the long-periods the user could get sick or injured, need a break or secret consumption: sustain the user's interest without making her feeling bad

Houston: stars (*) and congratulations as rewards; Fish'nSteps: happy fish, tank decoratins, clean water. Users appreciated the rewards (motivating). The use of punishment (Fish'nSteps angry fish, murky water, removal of decorations) resulted in system abandonment

6. Controllable Controllability over data overcomes the problem inaccurate data and respects users social needsAlways able to decide what to share and with whom, to modify the data (add, delete, edit, manipulate), both when the information is manually entered or automatically detected. Automatic detection of data: inaccuracy is particularly problematic and leads to loss of credibility (failure of technology):users will be upset when they are not given credit for something they did (e.g. Houston participants complained about missed steps important to include all possible activities) system abandonmentusers will be frustrated when they receive credit for something they did not do (e.g. based on the technology feedback they should have lost weight but they haven't

7. Trending & historicalInformation about patterns of behaviors in relation to the user's goals. The presentation of data should be accommodated as the goals change, and support portability across devices. The user usually don't focus on patterns of behaviors, but on single decisions

Awareness on patterns of behaviors Information/situation avoidance (Cognitive Dissonance Theory) is more difficult if the user reflects on her past behavior in relation to her goal

8. ComprehensiveAccount for a wide range of healthy behaviors ( as many activities as possible + letting users add their own activities, e.g. housework). In Houston and Fish'nSteps: only walking (pedometer)Participants complained and were discouraged to do other activities This resulted in users doing less healthy activities (e.g. they did not run, just walk). For contemplators, preparators and action stagers (Transtheoreti