Smartwatch-based persuasive design with tailored competition and cooperation strategies for promoting physical activity
Authors: Guo Xinrui, Jie Yao, Shumeng Hou
Abstract: Originating from the concept of “captology”, interactive information technology designed for changing users’ attitudes or behaviors is known as persuasive technology (Fogg, 2002). Based on Fogg's behavioral model, Oinas-Kukkonen & Harjumaa (2008) proposed a framework for designing and evaluating Persuasive System Development (PSD), with specific persuasion principles. Persuasive technology has gained popularity in mobile sports applications as a design approach aiming to change healthy-related attitudes and behaviors among users. Nevertheless, most applications of persuasive design have taken a "one-size-fits-all" approach to design, regarding the users as a whole rather than tailoring personalized content to individual user characteristics (Orji et al., 2014), the former being a less effective design approach than the latter (Yee et al., 2012). Meanwhile, some studies indicated that using strategies proposed in PSD might have positive impacts on behavior change related to physical activity, such as the social support strategies implemented on smartwatches (Wan & Zhang, 2020). Smartwatch, as a wearable device with health monitoring functions, offers a unique opportunity for persuasive design. It will be particularly useful to provide tailored design solutions (Klock et al., 2020) for people with different personal characteristics to enhance exercising motivation and develop sustainable habits.The current study incorporated individual differences into persuasive design related to physical activity, and examined the effects of persuasive strategies with social features (i.e., competition and cooperation) implemented on smartwatches. In particular, we investigated whether intergroup competition, which combines competition and cooperation, could also be an effective persuasive strategy. An online experiment was conducted with 168 participants in China, which collected data on perceived persuasiveness and task enjoyment about four smartwatch-based strategies (i.e., individual, competitive, cooperative, and intergroup competition), as well as participants’ individual characteristics (including competitive and cooperative personality tendencies, exercising habits, demographics and so on). Our results showed that the perceived persuasiveness of intergroup competition was significantly higher than that of the individual strategy. Meanwhile, the competitive personality tendency also significantly affected participants' perceived persuasiveness of different strategies. As consistent with our hypothesis, the more competitive as people, the more likely they were to be persuaded by the competition strategy. Therefore, intergroup competition as a new persuasive strategy can be incorporated into future design approaches for promoting physical activity and health. Considering the significance of individual differences, we also suggest tailored strategies for suiting needs of different users when developing persuasive technology in the physical activity domain.Funding: This study was funded by the Guangdong Social Science Fund (Grant No. GD22CJY05), Shenzhen Social Science Fund (Grant No. SZ2022B008), and the Guangdong Education Science Fund (Grant No. 2022GXJK425).
Keywords: Smartwatches, Persuasive Design, Physical Activity, Tailored Design
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