Motivating social interaction through mobile ICT: Design of a motivating application
Limited social interaction can lead to a repetitive and inactive lifestyle. For the elderly, this can further lead to reduced cognitive ability, in addition to physical decay. Our preliminary study showed that metaphors and game elements have been used successfully to promote physical activity. The aim of this study is to apply these elements to a mobile application in order to promote social interaction.
This thesis presents a developed mobile application which allows the user to sign up for social events in the Trondheim area. The application featured an apple tree metaphor, where the amount of apples represented the users level of social activity. Additionally, a game element in the form of a quiz was developed. This provided a safer environment for social interaction before and during the events. A Participatory Design process, including three elderly users, helped determining design elements that contributes to increased motivation to attend social events. The process provided user feedback and ideas in regards to the use of metaphors, game elements, and the general graphical user interface. A three week field experiment was conducted, where ten elderly participants used the application. When evaluating the application, all the participants received a SUS-questionnaire. Five users took part in semi-structured interviews.
Our research goal was:
To design and develop a mobile application that motivates elderly to socially interact
Our supporting research questions were:
RQ1: Which factors motivates the focus group to attend social activities?
RQ2: Which design elements and concepts contributes to motivating mobile applications?
The most important motivating factors attending social activities were found to be friendship, social interaction, and the interest level of the hosted events. To a smaller degree, competitiveness could influence if the user would attend activities. Further, the study shows that the use of graphical metaphors contributed to increased motivation, but did not apply equally to all test users. Game elements like the implemented quiz had a positive effect, and served as a good mediator for social interaction.
Keywords: Participatory Design, ICT, elderly, mobile application, social interaction, motivation
Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Institutt for datateknikk og informasjonsvitenskap , 2013. , 91 p.
IdentifiersURN: urn:nbn:no:ntnu:diva-22985Local ID: ntnudaim:9379OAI: oai:DiVA.org:ntnu-22985DiVA: diva2:655619
Kofod-Petersen, Anders, Førsteamanuensis IIDahl, Yngve