Degree Type

Thesis

Date of Award

2014

Degree Name

Master of Science

Department

Theses & dissertations (Interdisciplinary)

Major

Human Computer Interaction

First Advisor

Ana-Paula Correia

Abstract

Modern society is becoming increasingly connected and more and more technology-enabled. Communication technology is as portable as ever, thus rapidly proliferating, and not surprisingly, many carry at least one or more communication technologies, such as smartphones and tablets, with them on a daily basis, giving the means of constant connection. As a result, this constant connectivity has been discreetly disrupting not only how communication occurs between people but also lives. People come together but barely speak to each other. Rather, they rely on technology, for instance, smartphones, for companionship, and this may have negative consequences on one's social life and interpersonal relationships.

This research study presents a persuasive technology application for social behavior change called nobile, no+mobile, that encourages people to have face-to-face interactions and reduce their excessive use of smartphones by challenging users to not use them. The application prototype was iteratively designed, developed for Android, and evaluated. In order to evaluate whether people were persuaded to put smartphones down and converse face-to-face with each other, and to assess the usability of the application, 15 participants between the age of 18 and 29 were recruited, then asked to do a series of tasks including a simulated no+mobile challenge, and their interaction with the application interface was recorded, and spontaneous behaviors were observed. Furthermore, participants completed questionnaires before and right after the study, and they were briefly interviewed regarding their experience with the application. Initial study results have shown that nobile is effective at incentivizing non-usage of smartphones, as well as encouraging face-to-face interactions, and it can be used as a platform for conducting research studies regarding social interactions, thus marketable. Future directions are also presented.

Copyright Owner

Batzaya Batsaikhan

Language

en

File Format

application/pdf

File Size

143 pages

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