Activity tracking: Barriers, workarounds and customisation

Danny Harrison, Paul Marshall, N Bianchi-Berthouze, Jon Bird
in 2015 ACM International Joint Conference on Pervasive and Ubiquitous Computing and Proceedings of the 2015 ACM International Symposium on Wearable Computers (UbiComp/ISWC'15), Conference paper (text), New York, NY, USA


Activity trackers are increasingly popular, but they have high levels of abandonment and little evidence exists to suggest why this is. This paper explores barriers to engagement with activity trackers. We extend previous research by not only characterising the barriers users experienced, such as tracking accuracy and device aesthetics, but also by reporting the workarounds they created. We discuss implications for the design of activity tracking systems by reflecting on these workarounds, the potential for activity tracker design to help overcome existing barriers, and how customisation could play a role.