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Potential and effects of personalizing gameful fitness applications using behavior change intentions and Hexad user types

Maximilian Altmeyer; Pascal Lessel; Subhashini Jantwal; Linda Muller; Florian Daiber; Antonio Krüger
In: User Modeling and User-Adapted Interaction: The Journal of Personalization Research (UMUAI), Vol. 31, Pages 0-38, Springer, 1/2021.


Personalizing gameful applications is essential to account for interpersonal differences in the perception of gameful design elements. Considering that an increasing number of people lead sedentary lifestyles, using personalized gameful applications to encourage physical activity is a particularly relevant domain. In this article, we investigate behavior change intentions and Hexad user types as factors to personalize gameful fitness applications. We first explored the potential of these two factors by analyzing differences in the perceived persuasiveness of gameful design elements using a storyboards-based online study (N=178). Our results show several significant effects regarding both factors and thus support the usefulness of them in explaining perceptual differences. Based on these findings, we implemented “Endless Universe,” a personalized gameful application encouraging physical activity on a treadmill. We used the system in a laboratory study (N=20) to study actual effects of personalization on the users’ performance, enjoyment and affective experiences. While we did not find effects on the immediate performance of users, positive effects on user experience-related measures were found. The results of this study support the relevance of behavior change intentions and Hexad user types for personalizing gameful fitness systems further.

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