There's no such thing as gaining a pound: reconsidering the bathroom scale user interface

Kay, Matthew, Morris, Dan, schraefel, m.c. and Kientz, Julie (2013) There's no such thing as gaining a pound: reconsidering the bathroom scale user interface. In, UbiComp '13 Proceedings the 2013 ACM International Joint Conference on Pervasive and Ubiquitous Computing, Zurich, CH, 08 - 12 Sep 2013. New York, US, ACM, 401-410. (doi:10.1145/2493432.2493456).


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The weight scale is perhaps the most ubiquitous health sensor of all and is important to many health and lifestyle decisions, but its fundamental interface--a single numerical estimate of a person's current weight--has remained largely unchanged for 100 years. An opportunity exists to impact public health by re-considering this pervasive interface. Toward that end, we investigated the correspondence between consumers' perceptions of weight data and the realities of weight fluctuation. Through an analysis of online product reviews, a journaling study on weight fluctuations, expert interviews, and a large-scale survey of scale users, we found that consumers' perception of weight scale behavior is often disconnected from scales' capabilities and from clinical relevance, and that accurate understanding of weight fluctuation is associated with greater trust in the scale itself. We propose significant changes to how weight data should be presented and discuss broader implications for the design of other ubiquitous health sensing devices.
[Awarded Best Paper, UBICOMP 2013]

Item Type: Conference or Workshop Item (Paper)
Digital Object Identifier (DOI): doi:10.1145/2493432.2493456
ISBNs: 9781450317702 (electronic)
Alternative titles: There's no such thing as gaining a pound
Divisions : Faculty of Physical Sciences and Engineering > Electronics and Computer Science
ePrint ID: 360409
Accepted Date and Publication Date:
Date Deposited: 06 Dec 2013 08:52
Last Modified: 31 Mar 2016 15:03
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