It got me to thinking about *how* interaction design *is being used*
to change behavior. The first example that came to mind was the Wii
I recently got a Wii Fit. It's a clever, mildly cajoling device that
shows you how to do yoga, strength, and aerobic exercises, as well as
play balance games. A virtual trainer shows you how to do the
exercise and then you can follow their movements while you do the
exercise. You stand on the Wii Balance Board to do most of the
exercisewhich provides direct feedback on how well you are doing
them. It encourages you to do a Body Test every day, which measures
your weight, BMI, and Wii Fit Age. You can then track your progress
in these areas over time and even set a weight goal for yourself.
Nintendo is combining audio, video, physical motion, game play,
rewards, feedback, tracking, and encouragement to make exercise
*enticing*. All of this is made possible by the interaction design of
the Wii remote, the "game" software, and the hardware device. I
would even argue that the interaction design itself is crucial to
making it feel *enticing*.
*But what about behavior?*
I don't need to lose weight, but my "good" cholesterol is a little
low and my doctor keeps telling me to exercise regularlyin fact
she's been telling me this for 4 or 5 years. I just haven't been
able to find the time or even an activity that would compel me to
exercise regularly. I usually worry about it for about 2 weeks and
then don't think about it until I see the doctor again. But since I
have started using the Wii Fit, I find myself actually thinking about
exercising and trying to make time to do it. I can't say how long it
will have this affect, but so far it is *definitely* changing my
How do you see interaction design affecting behavior *now*?
In what ways do you think we should be using interaction design to
change behavior in the *future*?
Can we use it to help people adopt "green" behavior and practices?
What about making people behave in ways that are more considerate,
courteous, and polite? Or even to behave in a way that is more
community focused and less individualistic?