Designing Persuasive Environments and Technologies
This page provides more information about the final project expectations.
Individuals vs. teams
I expect most students to work individually. In special cases, teams may form, but each team member must have a clearly delineated sub-project that can stand on its own.
You will be working on your project for the remainder of the semester and it will require a substantial amount of dedication to complete the project and accompanying conference-quality paper. Therefore, you should pick issues that you care passionately about. It is best to pick a platform that relies upon programming/design skills you already have rather than one that will require substantial tool learning in addition to the required academic work.
Your project must fulfill the following criteria:
- It should focus on at least one particular behavior change domain (e.g. better nutrition decision-making, encouraging exercise, improving personal finance planning, increasing resource conservation or recycling, enhancing personal safety, etc.) It is better to create a solution that uses many behavior change strategies to address a single problem than using a single behavior change strategy to address multiple problems.
- Even though the application will be primarily focused on one domain, it should be easy to see how to apply the general behavior change concept you are advocating to other application domains.
- It should combine as many persuasive/behavior change strategies discussed in the course and readings as possible (when they make sense and lead to a powerful UI).
- It should be designed so that it would motivate behavior change for long time periods time -- at least a year and preferably much longer. The system must adapt to users as they change over time.
- It should demonstrate a modular, theory-based process of motivating behavior change. It should be clear to those who see your design how it can be extended to other problems/contexts.
Scope and implementation
Each project will fit into one of the following types:
- Design and implement a working prototype technology that motivates behavior change, or
- Design and execute a small experiment measuring the persuasive impact of an intervention meant to motivate behavior change, or
- Design and create detailed plans and renderings for a physical environment to motivate behavior change (with examples of how the digital media in the space would function).
Expectations for each project type are different.
For the first option, the expectation is that a functional prototype system will be created that works within the limits of the available technologies. A significant challenge will be to design interfaces that work despite imperfect sensors and in situations where the ideal sensor is not available. New sensors can be used if fully implemented. You may assume that your system has access to whatever databases of information required, even if such databases are not currently available. Otherwise, however, the device must be fully functional and, essentially, ready to be evaluated.
For the second option, a study with human subjects must be conducted and concluded by the end of the term where a behavior change intervention is proposed (most likely using some type of technology, albeit easy to implement) and tested in a real environment. This option will require that students create an intervention, design the study, obtain human subjects approval, collect data, and perform statistical analysis on the results.
For the third option, the expectation is that a complete model for a ubiquitous computing space will be proposed and thoroughly described using renderings and models. A significant portion of the digital component of the interface must be adequately presented (e.g. using Flash mockups) so that a viewer can tell exactly how both the physical and digital components of the proposed space will look at various times.
Once students settle on specific topic areas, guidelines for the expected scope of each project will be determined one a case by case basis.
Each student will be required to make a final presentation on the the project on the last day of class. This presentation must:
- show compelling and realistic scenarios of use,
- explain and demonstrate how the technology is used and how the interface models work,
- describe how the technology is or would be built,
- support the motivational components of the project with theories of behavior change from the course readings
Each student will turn in a 6-8 page conference-quality paper in CHI format. This paper must contain the following:
A concise abstract indicating the contribution of the work
An introduction describing the problem(s) being solved, the main contributions of your work, and your methodology.
A description of your theoretical motivations and comparisons of your idea(s) to existing products/services/ideas already known and published (this should take into account all the course readings and other academic literature relevant to your particular project).
What was learned during the design process and how the design process worked; Lessons from user testing.
The design and operation of the system/environment you are introducing.
A proposed scientific methodology for evaluating the persuasive impact of your design.
A short conclusion emphasizing the major contribution(s).
Expectations are that this paper will flow nicely and be written in a clear and precise scientific conference paper style. The paper should be free of typos and poor grammar (to achieve this you will need several of your friends/colleagues to proof the paper for you). The quality of both your ideas and your writing should be high.
Last modified: Thursday, September 30, 2004