Designing Goal-Oriented Systems: How Competition and Automation Foster Motivation and Results
Type of Degreethesis
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People often turn to goal-oriented systems to improve their lives and modify their behavior. With the rise of the Quantified Self movement, there are now a plethora of these systems and their related products available. For instance, the Nike+ FuelBand helps users be more active, and Mint.com helps individuals manage their personal finances. However, these services and products offer user experiences that rely too heavily on data management and neglect to correctly harness the power of competition among users. This often leads to high attrition rates, as many users become discouraged and overburdened within days after starting. In order to reduce user attrition and increase results, this thesis establishes a system of guidelines that can be used to develop goal-oriented systems using automation (between systems and their physical artifacts) and competition (among groups of similar individuals). Any system created by these guidelines will be able to develop artifacts that are capable of modifying an end-user’s behavior on a subconscious and emotional level with the overall purpose of enhancing and improving human lives by helping users reach their goals. For demonstration purposes, this study will demonstrate the development of a weight loss and fitness system and the methods with which it can motivate users.