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Toward Research-Informed Design Implications for Interventions Limiting Smartphone Use: Functionalities Review of Digital Well-being Apps

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Toward Research-Informed Design Implications for Interventions Limiting Smartphone Use : Functionalities Review of Digital Well-being Apps. / Almoallim, Sultan; Sas, Corina.

In: JMIR Formative Research, Vol. 6, No. 4, e31730, 30.04.2022.

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@article{36b90099f51448a3af9085e6d8b9e4d9,
title = "Toward Research-Informed Design Implications for Interventions Limiting Smartphone Use: Functionalities Review of Digital Well-being Apps",
abstract = "Background:Much HCI research has focused on wellbeing and how it can be better supported through a range of technologies from affective interfaces to mindfulness systems. At the same time, we have seen a growing number of digital wellbeing apps. However, there has been limited scholarly work reviewing these apps.Objective:This paper reports on an auto-ethnographic study and functionality review of the most popular 39 digital wellbeing apps on Google Play Store.Methods:A review of apps functionality based on descriptions from Google Play, and auto-ethnographic approach where the first author downloaded and used each app for at least 30 minutes on a Samsung Galaxy Note9 phone with Android mobile operating system.Results:Findings indicate that these apps focus mostly on limiting screen time and we advanced a richer conversation about such apps articulating the distinction between monitoring use, tracking use against set limits, and four specific strategies supporting limited use.Conclusions:We conclude with three implications for designing digital wellbeing apps including the call to move beyond screen time and support the broader focus of digital wellbeing, supporting meaningful use rather than limiting meaningless use, and leveraging (digital) navigation in design for friction.",
keywords = "interventions for limiting use, monitoring against set use limits, tracking use, smartphone apps, digital well-being, barriers, design for friction, screen time, attention, self-regulation, mobile phone",
author = "Sultan Almoallim and Corina Sas",
year = "2022",
month = apr,
day = "30",
doi = "10.2196/31730",
language = "English",
volume = "6",
journal = "JMIR Formative Research",
issn = "2561-326X",
publisher = "JMIR PUBLICATIONS, INC",
number = "4",

}

RIS

TY - JOUR

T1 - Toward Research-Informed Design Implications for Interventions Limiting Smartphone Use

T2 - Functionalities Review of Digital Well-being Apps

AU - Almoallim, Sultan

AU - Sas, Corina

PY - 2022/4/30

Y1 - 2022/4/30

N2 - Background:Much HCI research has focused on wellbeing and how it can be better supported through a range of technologies from affective interfaces to mindfulness systems. At the same time, we have seen a growing number of digital wellbeing apps. However, there has been limited scholarly work reviewing these apps.Objective:This paper reports on an auto-ethnographic study and functionality review of the most popular 39 digital wellbeing apps on Google Play Store.Methods:A review of apps functionality based on descriptions from Google Play, and auto-ethnographic approach where the first author downloaded and used each app for at least 30 minutes on a Samsung Galaxy Note9 phone with Android mobile operating system.Results:Findings indicate that these apps focus mostly on limiting screen time and we advanced a richer conversation about such apps articulating the distinction between monitoring use, tracking use against set limits, and four specific strategies supporting limited use.Conclusions:We conclude with three implications for designing digital wellbeing apps including the call to move beyond screen time and support the broader focus of digital wellbeing, supporting meaningful use rather than limiting meaningless use, and leveraging (digital) navigation in design for friction.

AB - Background:Much HCI research has focused on wellbeing and how it can be better supported through a range of technologies from affective interfaces to mindfulness systems. At the same time, we have seen a growing number of digital wellbeing apps. However, there has been limited scholarly work reviewing these apps.Objective:This paper reports on an auto-ethnographic study and functionality review of the most popular 39 digital wellbeing apps on Google Play Store.Methods:A review of apps functionality based on descriptions from Google Play, and auto-ethnographic approach where the first author downloaded and used each app for at least 30 minutes on a Samsung Galaxy Note9 phone with Android mobile operating system.Results:Findings indicate that these apps focus mostly on limiting screen time and we advanced a richer conversation about such apps articulating the distinction between monitoring use, tracking use against set limits, and four specific strategies supporting limited use.Conclusions:We conclude with three implications for designing digital wellbeing apps including the call to move beyond screen time and support the broader focus of digital wellbeing, supporting meaningful use rather than limiting meaningless use, and leveraging (digital) navigation in design for friction.

KW - interventions for limiting use

KW - monitoring against set use limits

KW - tracking use

KW - smartphone apps

KW - digital well-being

KW - barriers

KW - design for friction

KW - screen time

KW - attention

KW - self-regulation

KW - mobile phone

U2 - 10.2196/31730

DO - 10.2196/31730

M3 - Journal article

VL - 6

JO - JMIR Formative Research

JF - JMIR Formative Research

SN - 2561-326X

IS - 4

M1 - e31730

ER -