Presentation

Ph.D. student in Computer Science (with an orientation towards Interaction Design, Well-being, and Personal informatics).

Research description

Wearable fitness trackers and health apps, such as Fitbit, LifeSum, and Apple Watch, are increasingly used for self-tracking, body-monitoring, and self-care. Building on complex data collection processes, these technologies are often claimed to improve users' wellbeing through data-driven insights, advice, and decision support for healthier choices in everyday life.

Research in the field of Human-Computer Interaction (HCI) often studies wearable fitness trackers and health apps. Mainly focusing on user needs and experiences, such research often explores how people engage with wearable fitness trackers and health apps and why they eventually abandon them. Although these studies claim to acknowledge the complexity of everyday life, they tend to do so primarily theoretically and through research approaches that are of a more evaluative nature. In so doing, they do not account for everyday life contingencies and how people imagine and anticipate their future life in light of previous experiences.

Thus, there is a gap in the current research that requires empirical studies of how wearable fitness trackers and health apps become part of everyday life practices. There is also a need to use the result of such studies to inform the design of interfaces that both sense and visualize human bodies and lives in ways that support wellbeing.

Research questions

By employing ethnography and design methods, this research project engages with the following research questions:

  • How can user engagement with wearable fitness trackers and health apps be theoretically conceptualized, beyond ideas of user needs and experiences?
  • What is encouraged and discouraged when people experience and engage with wearable fitness trackers and health apps in everyday life?
  • How do people imagine their future selves with wearable fitness trackers and health apps?
  • How can interfaces for wearable fitness trackers and health apps be designed that both sense and visualize human bodies and lives in ways that support wellbeing?

Background

15+ years of experience as an interaction designer and as an entrepreneur within digital production of learning, accessibility, culture, and media (Do-Fi AB, Edurama AB). M.Sc Interaction Design, K3, Malmö university 2005 B.Sc Informatics (+media and pedagogics), Halmstad university, 2003