University of Twente Student Theses


Investigating the effect of customization on engagement with wearable activity trackers.

Vnoutchkov, M.S. (2021) Investigating the effect of customization on engagement with wearable activity trackers.

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Abstract:Background: Over recent years, mobile digital devices have become increasingly commer- cially available and adopted by people. Though wearable devices can help record users' physical activities, people often stop using their wearable tracking devices within the early weeks of purchase. Customization of the smartwatch usually attracts individuals to project their personality, values, and preferences onto a product. With this research, I explored the challenges and choices the users faced when they use a Fitbit and if the customizable wear- able interface affected the impact on the user's health data. Methodology: This research consists of a two-part study. The first study's goal was to understand the different preferences that current Fitbit users have for their watch faces. For this part of the study, a questionnaire was created using the online tool Qualtrics. Participants were recruited via various social media platforms. The second study's goal was to understand the impact of a customizable wearable interface and if this increases people's engagement with their health data. Five participants used the Fitbit Versa 2 for six weeks. During the six weeks, they received every week a TWEETS questionnaire, which they needed to fill in. After six weeks, the participants were interviewed, as this allows presenting diverse expectations and perceptions of participants. Results: In the first part of the study, 93 participants participated in the online survey. More than two-thirds of our participants had been using the same watch face for at least three months. Participants found it essential that their watch face displayed a range of different metrics related to their physical activity and that their watch offered them the possibility of choosing and transitioning between different watch face metrics. The second part study results showed that the participants score on average higher on all the TWEETS questions when they have personalized their watch face than the first two weeks, where they used the default watch face. The physical activity of the participants did not seem to increase their physical activity levels. Conclusion: I found out that if the users find the right personalized watch face, they will use the watch for an extended period. However, in our study, I found out that while engagement with the watch face increased, physical activity did not. Therefore, future studies with a bigger sample size and long-term engagement with the watch face are needed to investigate if people are more engaged with their watch face and less with their health data.
Item Type:Essay (Master)
Faculty:TNW: Science and Technology
Subject:01 general works
Programme:Health Sciences MSc (66851)
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