Pebble Watch App encouraging positive health
related behaviors through smartwatch interactions
USER RESEARCH | UX/UI DESIGNER | FRONT END DEV | BACK END DEV
BACKGROUND - Master’s Thesis - Smart Watch Application - visualized team scores, team leaderboard, personal fitness & team interactions
HARDWARE UTILIZED - Pebble Watch, Fitbit Band, Smartphone
SOFTWARE COMPONENTS - Pebble Watch App, Node.js, Fitbit Web API, MongoLab
68% of US adults are considered overweight.
Wearables User Retention suffers after 6 months
Reliance of Smartphones for Wearables Data Visualization.
Competitive Togetherness, Pebble Watch App A real-time feedback framework based on Competition, Cooperation and Personal Fitness. Competitive Togetherness is a Pebble Watch App that allows people to compete in teams and focus on healthy living through activity and sleep. Personal fitness data from Fitbit Bands is utilized and converted into points. This thesis was a design implementation to a futuristic smartwatch and what that might entail
Concept & Research
Wearable fitness technologies have been incorporated into many peoples everyday lives to track health data. Most fitness software have a detailed daily report of sleep and activity (some heart rate tracking has begun to be incorporated). Over 100 research papers were read and 10 in-person interviews were conducted to find focus on health related interactions on the wrist.
In this thesis project, a smartwatch app is created to gamify team fitness and social interactions that encourage maintenance of personal health goals. A Pebble watch is used as the main visualization and team interaction app and users health and fitness data are taken from Fitbit bands.
The Pebble Classic is limited to a black and white interface, that displays a flat design similar to reading a notice and information on paper or the flat UI of the new iOS. Minimization influenced the design to highlight the important aspects of the application. Each component was designed to allow for quick understanding of data and simple visualizations. The application was designed for ease of user interactions so there would be a low learning curve.
Based on my research, functionality focus was determined early on in the process and extrapolated here. There are three components to Competitive Togetherness focusing on gamification of team data and allowing for personal goals and fitness:
1) Leadership Board to show team positions in competition
2) Team Board displaying teammates daily accomplishments
3) Personal Board visualizing users own data.
These were first sketched out and tested on users for feedback on which design was desired more. The paper prototypes defined which route the visuals would transpire into.
Design Functionality - Core Features
Based on the research conducted I determined the key features that would make up Competitive Togetherness.
Leaderboard to display the competition between the teams. Leaderboards have been utilized to motivate users to be more active through social influence of competition. Several designs were explored but the utilization of bars allowed for a quick visual comparison to understand difference rather than just showing numbers.
Team Board to allow for teammate comparison and cooperation. In several products listed above users have solely viewed others data to create competition in groups, but also foster collaboration through social comparison.
Teammate Card this page allows for players to gain an in-depth understanding of their teammates and scores. Players also have the ability to cheer or nudge their teammate to encourage their fitness.
Nudging/Cheering feature where users could Nudge or Cheer their teammate in order to motivate or praise their efforts. Users need a way to bond with their teammates to encourage achieving healthy behavior goals.
Personal Board to focus on users own self data and improvements. The team components are additive features to motivate users more, but the main result is for each player to achieve personal goals daily.
Notifications to allow players to sustain involvement. Different users find certain information points more important than others, which is why I integrated notifications about team position, nudging/cheering, daily summaries, remaining activity encouragement and goal achievements.
The purpose of the study is to explore motivation of personal fitness in regards to team competition. This was an exploratory study prototyping a smartwatch interface, designed to motivate later research questions relating to importance of teams in regards to continued fitness achievement. I am seeking to understand effective methods to enhance users usage of fitness wearables through social internet community and competition.
This is a high level diagram of the system interactions. Competitive Togetherness consists of 3 interaction components:
Fitbit is used to collect user data
Pebble Watch is used to visualize the personal fitness and team gamification data
Smartphone is used to connect the devices by Bluetooth to retrieve updates through the Fitbit App and Pebble App
BACKEND DEVELOPMENT DIAGRAM
Node.js as a server
Fitbit Web API to authorize access to user sensor data
MongoLab to store the created collections of team and user information
Pebble Storage to retain and display user information.
I performed 8-day long pilot study w/ 4 participants paired into groups of two. Three days were spent training participants how to use the Fitbit and Pebble Watch, while the last 5 incorporated the Competitive Togetherness app into participants daily routine. Individuals were given a Fitbit band to count their personal health behaviors and a Pebble Watch to visualize Competitive Togetherness. The study required that each participant owned a smartphone as well.
All participants appreciated the different components of the application and the ability to utilize it as they pleased. According the participants they would look at the watch application several times a day, typically first thing when they woke up, after they worked out and whenever they received a notification. Creating goals helped structure participants to understand their current baselines and improve their health-related behaviors.
In the experiment three of the four participants (P1, P2, P4) improved upon their sleeping scores from the initial 3 setup days. Three of the four participants (P1, P2, P3) improved their activity levels after the initial setup days. P1 and P2 focused on achieving both health scores, while P3 and P4 focused on activity and sleep respectively for health-related behavior improvements. P3 and P4 focus occurred due to the facilities open to them and their typical routine was disturbed.
Overall participants felt positive about the application and felt it added to the current features existing in the market. Participants appreciated being apart of a team and felt that with some edits to the application details it would increase levels of motivation. Overall the Application rated a 6.375 out of 7 among participants for pleasant usage.
A 73 page document describing: prior research inspirations, current market wearables, theoretical models to inform the prototype, followed by research discussing importance of social dynamics and team identity in technology. I ended the discussion with guidelines for future development and testing of the system.