Functionalities Review of Digital Wellbeing Apps:Towards Research-informed Design Implications for Interventions Limiting Smartphone Use

Almoallim, Sultan and Sas, Corina (2022) Functionalities Review of Digital Wellbeing Apps:Towards Research-informed Design Implications for Interventions Limiting Smartphone Use. JMIR Formative Research. ISSN 2561-326X (In Press)

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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.

Item Type:
Journal Article
Journal or Publication Title:
JMIR Formative Research
Subjects:
ID Code:
167166
Deposited By:
Deposited On:
07 Mar 2022 11:15
Refereed?:
Yes
Published?:
In Press
Last Modified:
23 May 2022 00:14