Behavior change is becoming big business and thus there is an opportunity to utilize the persuasive design paradigm. The NY Times has an interesting post about a relatively new trend, where users measure their activities in regards to movement.
“You’ve heard of the Quantified Self movement? It’s the rise of watches, clips and bracelets that monitor your physical activity, sleep and other biological functions. The idea is that continual numerical awareness of your lifestyle works to motivate you: to park farther away, to get off the subway one stop sooner, to take more stairs. You study the graphs, you crunch the numbers, you live a longer, healthier life. (And you try to avoid being a crashing bore at parties.)
The most popular such gizmo — or at least the most heavily marketed — has been Jawbone’s stylish, rubberized, shower-proof Up band ($130). For about a week on a battery charge, it quietly measures your movement, whether you are awake or asleep, and displays the results on your iPhone or Android phone….”
The article goes on to focuse on behavior change via the Jawbone UP Band: https://jawbone.com/up (while heavily criticising it).
“DESIGNED FOR EVERYDAY LIFEUP
was designed to fit seamlessly in people’s lives. Real life. It’s a thoughtful combination of engineering and design, custom-made for how we live.UP is both flexible and strong. Sometimes UP needs to slide smoothly under sleeves or bend to accommodate an active lifestyle. Other times it has to be strong enough to stand up to a snowball fight without a problem (or more likely, a few thousand showers). Day and night, UP is right there with you.”
A competing device is the Nike Fuelband:
WHAT IT TRACKS
Through a sports-tested accelerometer, Nike+ FuelBand tracks your daily activity including running, walking, basketball, dancing and dozens of everyday activities. It tracks each step taken and calorie burned. It also tells the time of day.
Another similar device is the Fitbit Flex:
FLEX™ WIRELESS ACTIVITY & SLEEP WRISTBAND
This slim, stylish device is with you all the time. During the day, it tracks steps, distance, and calories burned. At night, it tracks your sleep quality and wakes you silently in the morning. Just check out the lights to see how you stack up against your personal goal. It’s the motivation you need to get out and be more active.
A comparative analysis of these three applications would be interesting. They look similar, but the persuasive design strategies are probably slightly different.