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Games 4 Health

What motivates people in their 20s to improve their amount of physical activity in a Dutch urban environment?


Rick Borgeld

Interaction Designer / Researcher

Paula Barreto

Marketeer/ researcher

Karen de Graaf


Suzanne Tromp




Problem definition and the beginning of the research

Brainstorm session by Charlie Mulholland

Wednesday we had a problem and requirements workshop with Charlie Mulholland, a professor at the University of Applied Sciences Amsterdam. During the workshop the goal was to clearly understand the problem that was given to us, not only through the eyes of the user but also through the eyes of the other stakeholders.

For starters we had to identify the partner, their customer, our user and what the partner asked us to do and write an initial problem statement about it. During the assignment, Charlie would help us writing the problem statement and help us identify our stakeholders. We came up with: “How can we motivate people who are not healthy enough to do more physical activity in a playful and fun way?”. The second assignment was to define the problem more clearly using the 5W’s and 1H: “Who, What, Where, When, Why and How”. The last assignment was to brainstorm about stakeholders, categorize them, select the three most important and write a problem statement for each of them.

This workshop helped us a lot with our problem and on what we have to focus on. After the workshop we brainstormed some more about our research question, stakeholders and requirements. Because of this, the research question has already changed a few times and will probably change some more the following weeks.

A day at NEMO

Also, in the end of the week we went to NEMO Science Center to do some research. We started asking the kids why they like NEMO and what they learn from the games and experiments over there. It was great for us to see that the kids prefer the games that gave them feedback, because then they could see what happened when they changed something. We also talked with the parents over there and they gave us some really good information too. For example, one mom said that her son only plays with something if he has company, without a friend to share the experience or to compete with, the little guy gave up.

What we learned from our little research at NEMO was that the motivation for people to play with things is that there should be a little bit of competition or something that you should do together to reach your goal. Also, feedback from the experiments was really important, if the child couldn’t see what happened when he played with the experiment, he would lose his interest. This information can be useful in our research about what motivates people to get active.


During the weeks that are coming up we will keep redefining our problem and research all the stakeholders intensively. When we have defined our problem, we will present it to our partner.

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