An investigation of the usability and desirability of health and fitness-tracking devices

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Issue Date
2015
Authors
Pfannenstiel, Ashton
Chaparro, Barbara S.
Advisor
Citation

Pfannenstiel, Ashton; Chaparro, Barbara S. 2015. An investigation of the usability and desirability of health and fitness-tracking devices. Communications in Computer and Information Science, vol. 529:pp 473-477, Date: 21 July 2015

Abstract

This study investigated the usability and functionality of 6 different fitness tracking wristbands that have been suggested to improve and encourage healthy behaviors. While many previous studies assess the accuracy and behavioral effects of fitness tracking devices, limited research has been done to analyze the usability and desirability of these products. Participants were asked to rate their impressions of six fitness tracking devices - the Garmin Vivofit, Jawbone Up24, Fitbit One, Basis B1 Band, Misfit Shine, and the Tom Tom Multisport -before and after usage. Participants were also asked to describe the main factors contributing to their overall preference and likelihood to purchase and/or use each device. Results indicate that participants are initially more likely to favor, small, lightweight devices that have a display. After wearing the devices, the most valued features were attractiveness, long battery life, waterproof, and a heart rate monitor. The study suggest that a "one size fits all approach" to the design of fitness tracking devices may not be the most effective method to promote the actual use of the technology.

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