Designing for Health Behavior Change: HCI Research Alone Is Not Enough

in CHI 2015 Workshop: Crossing HCI and Health: Advancing Health and Wellness Technology Research in Home and Community Settings, Conference abstract/presentation slides, Seoul, South Korea


Recent advances in technology and the proliferation of smartphones have made managing one's health behaviour easier. As a field, HCI is in a position to drive the development of these new health and wellbeing technologies, and to ensure the solutions available to users are usable, meet their needs and help them change their behaviour for the better. However, HCI research tends to focus on usability and user engagement, and often does not consider the efficacy or long-term effects. Despite recent research arguing that evaluation of efficacy is beyond the scope of HCI, in this paper we debate this point and argue the importance of designing for efficacy of health and wellness technologies. We contend that moving beyond HCI literature and drawing from other fields can help us keep efficacy in mind and design personal health and wellbeing technologies that meet users' needs and help them effectively change their behaviour.