Sharing for caring: Using social media to improve health and wellness

Wednesday, 12 February 2014, 4:00-5:00p
Behavioral Outcomes Research Group Seminar
Arnold Building, Room M3-A805, Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, Seattle

Many health and wellness applications — both research prototypes and those available in market — include features that let people share their goals, activities, and progress with peers and friends and family. How to best design such features, however, is not well understood. Despite the widespread adoption of these features, my research finds that many people feel barriers toward using these features and that their use can have negative unintended consequences.

In this talk, I will review results from three studies: a study of the ways that people meet health goals using existing social sites and two field studies of applications that included social sharing features, one designed to promote happiness and one to promote physical activity. These studies highlight both the potential for social features in health and wellness applications and challenges associated with their effective use. I will conclude by reviewing current work and highlighting some questions for future research.

Talk references · Slides (31MB PDF)

Bio Sean is an Assistant Professor at the UW's Department of Human Centered Design and Engineering and a member of the dub group. He studies the use of software to support behavior changes. His work primarily focuses on the domains of (1) political news and opinion access and (2) health and wellness. Sean completed a BS in Engineering with a concentration in Systems Design at Olin College in 2006 and his PhD at the University of Michigan's School of Information in 2012. He has been a political blogger and, while working at Boeing, designed concepts for future passenger airplane interiors.
GoalPost
The Swellness Project

I am building and deploying a series of applications designed to support various aspects of wellness. This work will identify ways to build applications that effectively support health behavior change and will also contribute to our understanding of theories about influence and persuasion and their interactions with indvidual differences and preferences. Published work includes a study of how people use Facebook and Online Health Communities to support health goals (CSCW 2011) and a study of a social version of a positive psycholog exercise (Persuasive 2010). This project has been funded by Intel and the University of Michigan Rackham Graduate School.

Research platforms: 3GT · GoalPost (manual)

Contact
smunson at uw dot edu
423B Sieg Hall
Campus Box 352315

Seattle, WA 98195