The Positive Impact of Push vs Pull Progress Feedback: A 6-week Activity Tracking Study in the Wild

Jessica R Cauchard, Jeremy Frey, Octavia Zahrt, Krister Johnson, Alia Crum, James A Landay

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Lack of physical activity has been shown to increase disease and reduce life expectancy. In response, mobile devices are increasingly being used to support people’s health and fitness by tracking physical activity. Prior work shows that the type of feedback, either ambient or via notification, affects users’ behavior towards their physical activity. Yet, these phone- and watch-based interactions and notifications have primarily been visual in nature. Inspired by prior research, we explored the impact of feedback modality (visual, tactile, and hybrid: visual/tactile) on 44 participants’ behavior and exercise mindset in a 6-week field study. We present the differences between modalities and the notion of push vs. pull for interface feedback and notifications. Across 1,662 days of study data, we found statistically significant impacts of feedback modality and, in particular,
the positive effects of push feedback on participants’ mindset about the process of exercise. Our results also highlight design
guidelines for wearables and multimodal notification systems
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-23
Number of pages23
JournalProceedings of the ACM on Interactive, Mobile, Wearable and Ubiquitous Technologies
Volume3
Issue number3
StatePublished - 2019

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