Persuasive user experiences in behaviour change support systems. Avoiding bottlenecks along the way to full potential of persuasive technology

Thesis event information

Date and time of the thesis defence

Place of the thesis defence

L2, Linnanmaa, https://oulu.zoom.us/j/63609950529

Topic of the dissertation

Persuasive user experiences in behaviour change support systems. Avoiding bottlenecks along the way to full potential of persuasive technology

Doctoral candidate

Doctor of Philosophy Piiastiina Tikka

Faculty and unit

University of Oulu Graduate School, Faculty of Information Technology and Electrical Engineering, Oulu Advanced Research on Service and Information Systems

Subject of study

Information processing science

Opponent

Associate Professor Anna Spagnolli, University of Padova

Custos

Professor Harri Oinas-Kukkonen, University of Oulu

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Changing behaviour: Avoiding bottlenecks along the way to full potential of persuasive technology

Behaviour Change Support Systems, an area of persuasive technology, aim at creating behaviour change in a broad range of domains in everyday life from better health to more eco-friendlynlifestyles without using coercion or a hidden agenda. Research and development in this field has learned to use knowledge of human behaviour, user experience and interaction design methods to better systems designed for behaviour change – yet attrition rates can be high, and the effectiveness of these systems could be better.

The present dissertation presents five studies that aim at identifying and understanding potential pitfalls and bottlenecks where persuasive systems may fall short of their full potential. The perspectives discussed consider social factors, person specific factors and system factors (interaction design), and how they contribute to user experiences that support behaviour change.

These studies employ both quantitative and qualitative methods, aiming at revealing perspectives on design necessities that would help advance the effectiveness and user experience of persuasive systems. The findings add to the general scientific knowledge base in the field of persuasive technology through new insights. Key findings involve a) the effect of context and social roles on individuals’ information processing, b) the role of self-image in how persuasive messages are received and how persuasive systems are involved in the construction and maintenance of an individual’s self-concept, c) how information processing styles manifest in persuasive message handling and how persuasive message delivery strategy can affect the fluency of message intake, and d) how system and user experience design play an important role in ensuring effective and unobstructed message delivery.

Overall, the dissertation forms an empirically studied picture of how distractions, interruptions and user experience design/implementation can create bottlenecks in the fluency of delivering persuasive messages to a system user. The studies also illustrate the potential of utilizing knowledge regarding self-image and supporting self-image construction as means of adding fluidity to persuasive message acceptance and adding to understanding the importance of personal relevance.
Last updated: 5.11.2020