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SP&F service: picture text triggering sunscreen use


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An experimental project exploring how mobile technology coupled with behavior change principles can be used as a tool for health habit formation.

We specifically explored using MMS (picture texts) as a trigger.

Check out our results and learnings!

Published in: Health & Medicine
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SP&F service: picture text triggering sunscreen use

  1. 1. SP&F: Sun Protection & Forecast<br />Exploring how mobile technology can be used as a tool for health habit formation<br />ByLoreanneGarcia & Shuqiao Song<br />Stanford University, Spring 2010<br /><br />
  2. 2. Meet Anna!<br />She’s a student at Stanford University. She’s super busy all the time and is always going to and from classes/meetings according to the schedule on her smart phone.<br />User Profile: <br />College aged female.<br />Lives on Stanford campus. (For beta test)<br />Has a phone w/picture text capabilities.<br />Has and wants to use lotion w/SPF.<br />
  3. 3. Like most students here, she LOVES the sunny California weather, but she worries that she will get sunburned…Anna always forgets to put on sunscreen in the morning. <br />Potential user is motivated,habit behavior is relatively simple to do, but no triggers for behavior.<br />
  4. 4. One day, Anna’s friend is telling their lunch group about a new service she is creating called SP&F (Sun Protection & Forecast) that will help to remind people to put on sunscreen by sending them picture texts as morning reminders along with the forecast for the day. She wants to launch a 10 day sunscreen wearing challenge to test if this will actually help people develop the habit.<br />Anna and 7 of her friends are intrigued by the challenge and decide to sign up<br />
  5. 5. Later that night, Ana gets an email message from SP&F explaining how the service works. <br />The email suggests that she (acquire and) put her moisturizer w/SPF somewhere visible. <br />So, Anna digs it out of the bathroom drawer and sets it on her table; then she goes to bed.<br />This first email sets up a hot trigger (the moisturizer w/SPF) in the user’s environment (someplace visible). “A hot trigger is something that a user can take action on” (BJ Fogg). This initial step is the “Smallest Behavior That Matters” in breaking down the habit behavior and making it simple to do.<br />
  6. 6. Anna wakes up early to her cell phone alarm. At 8:30AM she hears a beep and checks her phone.<br />She’s excited that there’s a message from SP&F because now she knows the forecast for the day!  She follows the reminder to place her phone with the reminder next to her sunscreen bottle before going to the bathroom.<br />The MMS message from SP&F serves as a signal trigger to put on sunscreen, but also triggers the behavior of putting the phone by the sunscreen. <br />
  7. 7. Anna goes through her regular morning routine : brushing her teeth, shower, breakfast, etc.<br />
  8. 8. As she’s getting ready to go, Anna remembers that she needs her phone…<br />Seeing her phone next to the sunscreen, she remembers the SP&F reminder and puts on some of the sunscreen quickly.<br />New habits will be easier to develop if you tie the new behavior in with an existing cycle behavior. The insight for our user group: a useful existing behavior is grabbing your phone before you leave the door every morning.<br />Putting the MMS notification on your phone (signal trigger) next to the moisturizer w/SPF (hot trigger) will enable the user to perform the behavior.<br />
  9. 9. She is happy because her skin is protected and now she is ready for the sunny day! <br />She heads out the door for her morning class.<br />
  10. 10. Over next few days…<br />SP&F sends Anna and her friends MMSreminders at random<br />
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  18. 18. After the 10 days, Anna and her friends get to see the results of the sunscreen wearing challenge!<br />
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  20. 20. Wow, Anna and two of her friends managed to wear sunscreen all 10 days with the help of SP&F!<br />A few others put it on some of the days, but didn’t see the value in wearing SPF on rainy days.<br />
  21. 21. Two of her friends flaked on the challenge... and refused to wear sunscreen any of the days.<br />One of them complained that she hated her SPF product. Another said that she didn’t wear any because she has oily skin.<br />For these two users, they were motivated to help a friend. But when it came down to it they were not already sufficiently motivated to perform the behavior and/or it was still not “simple enough to do” for other reasons.<br />
  22. 22. The SP&F team was proud because the challenge had an 83% effectiveness (not including dropouts)<br />Main Conclusions:<br />The three behavior change factors must be in place in order to create a new habit (motivation, simplicity and triggers)<br />Users choice to use sunscreen was influenced by the weather (100% usage on almost all sunny days)<br />83%!<br />