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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




Follow the yellow brick road

Last monday we had a meeting with Wouter Meys, an expert in using sensors to gather data on different things in the city of Amsterdam. He told us about all the ways we could implement a sensor in a chair. None of us is very technically minded so we were a bit startled by this, but we got the message that it will be possible without too much of a hassle!

However, for testing how people will react to the light, he advised us to use the Wizard of Oz method. This means that instead of using a sensor to change a lamp we, ourselves, will secretly control the lamp without the participant knowing it. This way we don’t need to bother about all the technical aspects and can start testing.

This was exactly what we did. During the whole week we tried different tests. We invited some people from our target group to be part of the experiment. In the first test, they needed to do an assignment on a computer, in a quiet room, with our lamp on the table and without knowing anything about our project. After finishing the assignment we gave them a questionnaire asking if they noticed the light and if they noticed that it had changed (in the first test we just turned on the light, with a normal color, after some time seated). The second test was with colors. The core was the same, but the light was on since the beginning and we changes to yellow, orange and red gradually. We gave them a different questionnaire after it. The last test was with people in their own offices, working normally and during a longer period.

With the results of all the tests we discovered that if they are too concentrated on the assignment (computer) and if we didn’t said anything about the lamp, they didn’t even noticed it. But the last question was, if we add the lamp into their normal office showing that the light is important if they would notice all the changes and would like it. All the respondents said that if they knew that the light was about sedentary behavior, they would be more inclined to move.

Right now we are looking for how to make our concept more playful and how we can test it again; making the situation closer to the real environment.


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