4.208: Special Topics in Computation and Architecture
User Interface Design Studio
Fall 2004 Topic:
Designing Persuasive Environments and Technologies
|Instructor:||Stephen Intille, Ph.D., (Get email), 617-452-2346|
|Units:||3-0-9 (H Grad credit), Advanced undergraduates welcome|
|Meeting Time:||Tue, Thu 5-6:30|
|Meeting Places:||MIT Room 56-167|
Introduction Goals Prerequisites Format and Requirements Project and Paper Readings Schedule Grading Assignments Late Policy Academic Integrity Office Hours
This graduate seminar course explores the design and evaluation of environments and technologies that motivate behavior change. Topics covered include the study and application of theories of persuasion and behavior change, application of those theories to user interface design for mobile computing devices and ubiquitous computing environments, and strategies for evaluating the effectiveness of spaces and technologies designed to motivate change. During the last two-thirds of the course, students will design and implement a either a computer system or a change to an environment that demonstrates how interface design can be used to motivate and sustain behavior change. This course is a multi-disciplinary seminar designed to facilitate collaboration between students with diverse backgrounds such as computer science, architecture, psychology, preventive medicine, business, and engineering.
The primary goal of this course is to provide the participant with a solid understanding of existing and emerging theories and strategies for explicitly or implicitly motivating people to behave differently and to have the participant explore how these ideas might be employed by the design of environments and technologies to purposely motivate behavior change. A secondary goal of this course is to strongly convey to participants the importance of user evaluation during the design of future computing technologies and environments.
Students should leave the course with a firm understanding of the following topics:
- Theories of persuasion and behavior change
- Existing devices and environments that motivate behavior change, particularly those that use digital technologies
- Mechanisms for identifying, exploiting, and offsetting persuasive influences
- Applications and studies of motivating behavior change from the fields of computer science, preventative medicine, energy and resource conservation, office workplace safety, and others
- Techniques for user interface rapid prototyping of future ubiquitous computing environments; the importance of iterative design
- Methods for evaluating the effectiveness of a particular design for a persuasive environment or technology
- The ethics of designing persuasive environments and technologies
This course is strongly multi-disciplinary. The primary prerequisite is an interest in designing human-computer interfaces and/or environments that motivate behavior change. This environment/technology might help keep people healthy, help people save energy, help people improve personal safety, help people offset other persuasive forces one is exposed to each day, etc.
The student should have experience in at least one of the areas below:
- Programming - significant comfort level with Java and/or C and at least one big programming project completed in the past
- Architectural, artistic, and graphical design skills with the ability to rapidly design and model or render physical devices or environments.
- Prior or current experience working on developing or evaluating systems or environments that attempt to persuade.
Programming experience is not necessarily required but increases the number of options for course projects. Introductory courses in social psychology, user interface design, AI, advertising, and/or product design are not required but would be helpful.
The course has been designed for graduate students but advanced undergraduate students are welcome.
Format and Requirements
The course will consist of a few lectures in first few weeks, but the majority of the class time will consist of student presentations and discussion of research papers. There will also be some class time spent on project design critique sessions and presentations. Weekly readings consist of selections from texts and published research papers.
Course requirements include (1) readings for class preparation and class participation, (2) several in-class presentations of research papers and leading of class discussion (3) a few of short individual brainstorming exercises in the first part of the course, and (4) the final project and paper (described below).
Project and Paper
Although there are some small assignments along the way, this is a project-based course. Each participant will be required to either:
- design and implement a working prototype technology that motivates behavior change, or
- design and execute a small experiment measuring the persuasive impact of an intervention meant to motivate behavior change, or
- design and create detailed plans and renderings for a physical environment to motivate behavior change (with examples of how the digital media in the space would function).
For any option, students are expected to produce a 6-8 page conference-quality paper submission in CHI format describing the problem addressed by the design, the theoretical motivations, what was learned during the design process, and the operation of the technology or the experimental methods used to test the intervention. Quality writing is a requirement of this course.
Students will have the option of using some MIT-based technology, including the House_n: Project's ubiquitous living room with computational sensing systems such as people tracking and an IBM Everywhere Display (see a photo of the environment). It may also be possible to use the PlaceLab, a unique residential observational facility with ubiquitous sensing that recently opened in Cambridge. Also available are portable wireless sensor devices for iPAQ PDA devices (e.g. GPS, pedometer, accelerometers, wireless connection, and/or a bar code scanner). Students are encouraged to use technology from their own research/labs as well.
More project details.
Paper grading criteria.
Project grading criteria.
This course has a moderate but steady weekly reading load. The selected readings will be the focus of class discussions. The readings will either be available for download off the web or provided in hardcopy in a packet of readings. The cost of the packet will be determined the second week of class.. Two short books will be read in their entirety and are required purchases:
Cialdini, R. (2001). Influence: Science and Practice. Allyn & Bacon, Boston, 4th edition.
[$15.75 at Amazon and ships in 24 hours]
Pryor, K. (1999). Don't Shoot the Dog. Bantam Books.
[$9.95 at Amazon and ships in 24 hours]
A recommended but not required purchase is:
Fogg, B.J. (2002) Persuasive Technology: Using Computers to Change What we Think and Do. Morgan Kaufmann. [$23.77 at Amazon and ships in 24 hours]
IMPORTANT NOTE: The reading list is still very tentative. Final readings will be added/removed shortly.
Thu Sep 9: Introduction to the course
Welcome; Overview of course and project; What is persuasion?; What you will learn in this course; Expectations and possibilities for the final project and paper. [Slides]
Introduction and interests email (due 9/14),
Rapid design 1: flossing (due 9/16)
Tue Sep 14: Future computing environments
Where are computing systems and human-computer interfaces headed? What are some examples of visions of the future of computing? How might new sensors and display technologies be exploited by user interfaces designed to motivate behavior change?
- Bellotti, V., Back, M., Edwards, W., Grinter, R., and Lopes, C. (2002). Making sense of sensing systems: five questions for designers and researchers. In Proc. of CHI, pp. 415-422. [PDF]
- Edwards, W. and Grinter, R. (2001). At home with ubiquitous computing: seven challenges. In Proceedings of the Conference on Ubiquitous Computing, pages 256-272. [PDF]
- S.S. Intille. Designing a home of the future. IEEE Pervasive Computing, April-June 2002, pp. 80-86. [PDF]
Hand-in: Introduction and interests email
Thu Sep 16: The study of persuasive technologies; examplesWhat are the basics of the science of persuasion and behavior change? What examples exist today of computational systems that explicitly attempt to persuade? What is captology? Why do computers that use emerging sensing technology have significant persuasive potential?
- Fogg, B.J. (1998) Pervasive Computers: Perspectives and Research Directions, Proceedings of the Conference on Computer-Human Interaction (CHI) 1998, pp. 18-23. [PDF]
Hand-in: Rapid design 1: flossing
Assignment: Observation exercise (due 9/23)
Tue Sep 21: Theory overview / "just-in-time" information
What is known about human behavior and persuasion? What are some of the established theories about ways to influence people that have been studied by researchers from social psychologists to advertisers?
Many successful behavior change devices operate by providing people with "just-in-time" information at points of decision, behavior, or consequences.
Chapter 2: The ABCs of Behavior and pages 70-81: Graeff, J., Elder, J., and Booth, E. (1993). Communication for Health and Behavior Change. Jossey-Bass, San Francisco, CA. [Handout]
- Chapter 2: What constitutes persuasion?: Gass, R.H. and J.S. Seiter (1999). Persuasion, Social Influence, and Compliance Gaining. Allyn and Bacon, Boston.[Handout]
- S.S. Intille, "A new research challenge: persuasive technology to motivate healthy aging," Transactions on Information Technology in Biomedicine, vol. 8, 2004. (To appear) [PDF]
Thu Sep 23: Observation strategies
What are some new UI challenges when creating persuasive technologies? How can observation strategies help design better interfaces?
- Ch 1, 3 - 7. Underhill, P. (1999). Why We Buy: The Science of Shopping. New York, NY. [Handout]
Hand-in: Observation exercise
Assignment: Rapid design 2 (due 9/30)
Tue Sep 28: Motivation, conditioning, and behavior shaping
What can be learned from animal trainers about the power of positive reinforcement and stimulus response training?
- Pryor, K. (1999). Don't Shoot the Dog. Bantam Books. [Required book]
- Pryor, K., R. Haag, et al. (1995). The creative porpoise: training for novel behavior. On Behavior : Essays & Research. North Bend, WA, Sunshine Books. [Handout]
Thu Sep 30: Sustaining behavior change: stages of change
What are the stages individuals go through when changing behavior and how can knowledge of these stages be exploited by behavior change interfaces to not only create but to sustain behavior change?
- Detailed overview of the Transtheoretical Model [Website]. Also look at the measures section.
- Friedman, R. (1998) Automated telephone conversations to assess health behavior and deliver behavioral interventions, Journal of Medical Systems, 22(2), pp. 95-102. [Handout]
- Winett, R. A., J. F. Moore, et al. (1991). "Altering shoppers' supermarket purchases to fit nutritional guidelines: an interactive information system." Journal of Applied Behavior Analysis 24(1): 95-105. [Handout]
Hand-in: Rapid design 2
Assignment: Project idea brainstorming (due 10/7)
Tue Oct 5: Compliance gaining strategies
What are known strategies (many used by sales people) that can be used to persuade someone to do something?
- Cialdini, R. (2001). Influence: Science and Practice. Allyn & Bacon, Boston, 4th edition. [Required book]
Thu Oct 7: Class "brainstorming" presentations and discussion
Short presentations of project ideas followed by questions/critique and discussion.
Hand-in: Project idea brainstorming
Assignment: Rapid design 3 (Due 10/14)
Fri Oct 8: Last date to add
Hand-in: COUHES application (if experimental project)
Tue Oct 12: Motivation via fun: strategies for learning via fun and exploration
How can a behavior change device exploit the power of fun and curiosity for educational learning?
- Malone, T. and Lepper, M. (1987). Making learning fun: A taxonomy of intrinsic motivations for learning. In Snow, R. and Farr, M., editors, Aptitude, learning, and instruction: Cognative and affective process analyses, chapter 10, pages 223-253. Erlbaum, Hillsdale, N.J. [Handout]
Thu Oct 14: Class revision presentations and discussion
Short presentations of revised project ideas followed by questions/critique and discussion.
Hand-in: Rapid design 3
Assignment: Project planning (Due 10/28)
Fri Oct 15: COUHES due (if experimental project)
Tue Oct 19: Rapid prototyping and UI design (Late class: 6PM)
What might "typical users" of the project design idea think of those designs? What issues should be considered when designing interfaces/environments for the future?
Rettig, M. (1994). Prototyping for tiny fingers. Communications of the ACM, 37(4):21 - 28. [PDF]
Alben, L. (1996). Quality of experience: Defining the criteria for effective interaction design. interactions, 1113. [PDF]
Preer, R. (2003). Signs point to big things to come. Boston Globe. Boston: B1. [Handout]
Thu Oct 21: More on theories of behavior change (Late class: 6PM)
We will discuss readings that we have not had enough time to address. Please catch up on anything you missed.
Tue Oct 26: Evaluation and analysis
What are the statistical tools commonly used to evaluate behavior change interventions?
Thu Oct 28: Project plan presentations
Mid-term project presentations and in-class critique.
Hand-in: Project planning
Assignment: Project formal description and theoretical justification (due 11/16)
Tue Nov 2: TBD based on class interest/progress (guest instructor)
Thu Nov 4: Tools for studying behavior change (guest instructor)
How can technology be used to measure behavior change? What is the PlaceLab and how can that be used?
Tue Nov 9: Establishing credibility
What does it take to assert credibility and how does it impact persuasive ability?
G. Taubes, What if Fat Doesn't Make you Fat?, New York Times Magazine, July 7, 2002, Section 8. [HTML]
Editorial (2002). Getting Exercised. Boston Globe. Boston, MA: A10. [Handout]
Fogg, B. and Tseng, H. (1999). The elements of computer credibility. In Proceeding of the CHI 99 Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems : the CHI is the Limit, pages 80-87. ACM Press. [PDF]
Thu Nov 11: Veteran's Day Holiday
Tue Nov 16: Message learning/framing
How can the behavior change process be thought of in terms of message construction and delivery?
Petty, R. and Cacioppo, J., The Message-learning Approach, Chapter 3 from Attitudes and Persuasion: Classic and contemporary approaches, Dubuque, IA: Wm. C. Brown Company. pp. 59-94 [Handout]
Hand-in: Project formal description and theoretical justification
Thu Nov 18: Project updates/critique
Presentations on project progress, in particular theoretical justification.
Assignment: Project preliminary demo (due 11/30)
Wed Nov 17: Last date to drop
Tue Nov 23: Space and behavior motivation
What makes a product or experience seductive? How does design of the physical environment influence behavior change? How does this relate to space and architecture? What can be learned from a case study of stair and escalator designs?
Khaslavsky, J. and Shedroff, N. (1999). Understanding the seductive experience. Communications of the ACM, 42(8):45-49. [PDF]
Preface, Introduction, and Chapter 1: Templer, J. (1992). The Staircase: History and Theories, MIT Press. [Handout]
- Evans, G. and McCoy, J. (1998). When buildings don't work: the role of architecture in human health. Journal of Environmental Psychology, 18:85-94. [PDF]
Thu Nov 25: Thanksgiving Holiday - No class
Tue Nov 30: Being persuasive: tips from self help; message framing
Can strategies for being persuasive be tweaked so they apply to technology designed to motivate behavior change?
Hand-in: Project preliminary demo
Assignment: Final project and paper (due 12/9)
Thu Dec 2: Ethics and Protecting Privacy
When does a persuasive technology become an unethical technology?
- Berdichevsky, D. and Neunschwander, E. (1999). Toward an ethics of persuasive technology. Communications of the ACM, 42(8):51-58. [PDF]
Tue Dec 7: Subliminal persuasion?
Does subliminal persuasion exist? How can technology be used to create near-subliminal persuasion?
- Chang, K. (2002). Muzak Influences buying, ABCNews.com. 2002. [website]
- Chapter 7: Influence, Awareness, and the Unconscious. Zimbardo, P.G. and Leippe, M.R. The Psychology of Attitude Change and Social Influence, Temple University Press. [Handout]
- DeVaul, R. W. and A. Pentland (2002). Toward the Zero Attention Interface: Wearable Subliminal Cuing for Short Term Memory Support. Proceedings of the Sixth International Symposium on Wearable Computers, IEEE Press: 141-142. [PDF]
Thu Dec 9: Final Presentations (extended 5-8pm)
Final project presentations to the class and an invited audience.
Due: Project final implementation, presentation slides, and paper.
Prior experience suggests that work in this course will generally fall into one of four categories:
- Superior, striking, or unexpected pieces of work with excellent effort demonstrating a mastery of the subject matter and a skillful use of concepts and/or materials; work robustly and fully implemented; work that shows exceptional imagination, elegance of presentation, originality, creativity, and effort.
- Good work demonstrating a capacity to use the subject matter and the ability to handle problems encountered in the course.
- Work that is adequate but that would benefit from increased effort or preparation.
- Work that is minimally acceptable demonstrating serious deficiencies.
Course work falling into these categories correspond roughly to A, B, C, and D grades. The final grade for the course will be computed by weighting the results from each assignment according to the following formula:
- Quality and completeness of final project and presentation (50%)
- Final project report (20%)
- Final project report draft (10%)
- Brainstorming assignments, weighted equally (10%)
- Class presentation and leading class discussion (10%)
- Class preparation, participation, and attendance (borderline and +/- consideration)
The course is not graded on a curve, but based on past experience with interface design courses grades in this class are likely to range from A to C.
Late assignments will be reduced by the equivalent of one letter grade each late day.
All students are expected and encouraged to discuss the topics raised by this course with each other. Ideas incorporated from an outside source or another student must be documented appropriately in write-ups or presentations.
Students are encouraged to use office hours to discuss the assignments and/or course topics. Hours: Wednesday 9-11 AM or by appointment (617-452-2346, (Get email)) at NE18-4FL.
Last modified: Tuesday, September 06, 2005