Beyond the share button: Challenges for social features in health and wellness interventions

Friday, 22 March 2013, 10a
FIT Building, Tsinghua University

Many health and wellness applications -- both research prototypes and those available on the open market -- include features that let people share their goals, activities, and progress. 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, when used, they have negative unintended consequences.

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

Talk references · Slides (30MB 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 political news and opinion access and 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.
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 · Commitments · Steps (currently mid-overhaul!) · GoalPost (manual)

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

Seattle, WA 98195