Interview One FitBit user

Download Word Document here: MadisonsInterview

Crystal Tong

Thesis I


Scott Pobiner

Louisa Campbell

Interview I

This interview was conducted to explore current health tracking device users and their needs, wants, and behavior.

Biography of subject

Madison is a 28 year old female who lives and works in Los Angeles. Her career is in the apothecary and commercial business. Her day job often entails her managing the editorial, logistical process, and clients in an apothecary company. At night she is usually casted as an extra in commercials at least once a week. Her body image and health is extremely important to her, so she is pretty avid at exercising and eating a balance diet. She just recently purchased a Fitbit three months ago.

Scripted questions and Transcript

When do you put on your Fitbit?

I wear it every minute of the day

Do you use the silent alarm feature? Do you look at your Fitbit in the morning? If so when? What data are you looking at?

I use it to track my sleep if I remember. It’s interesting to see how often you are restless and whether you woke up. I like using it in the shower.

Do you share your data or achievements with your social circles?

Sharing weirds me out

Do you use the water and calorie intake?


What do you do for physical activity? How has it changed your physical activity been?

Going to the gym is about the same. I sometimes work out longer because of the fitbit. I also opt for stairs and walking more everywhere I go because of it

2:20 secs: I take more steps, I sometimes walk in circles and take the stairs while watching my steps change.


When I have to charge, it doesn’t calculate your pulse. Which it would give more accurate view of your heart rate and calories you’re really burning. It’s basically now using an educated estimate.

Style is also a problem. If they came out with more options that are not as expensive. I don’t like to take it off if I am going to a meeting.

Do you set goals for yourself? If so what are they?

I have goals for steps, distance, minutes of being active throughout the day. Calorie intake and balance. How many you burn how many you consumed. Water, making sure I’m drinking the water throughout the day. It’s very satisfying to fulfill it by seeing the colors change from orange to green. It also sends you messages through phone alerts or emails. It’s one of those things if you are goal-oriented person, it’s really satisfying.

Which goals are you more obsessed about?

I am bummed about certain goals , others are whatever.

How often do you go to the gym?

I started running more. I use to not run at all.

How often do you check your Fitbit?

4-5 times an hour if I am active. If I am sedentary, I wouldn’t check it as frequently.

If you were to prioritize reasons why you track your health could you tell me what they are?

  1. reach fitness goals short term- gain weight
  2. long term health to quantified self. quantified selfers.
  3. deeper level to control.


Madison was the perfect candidate to talk to as an avid health tracker user. She is addicted to using this device because she is goal-oriented. She is so much so goal-oriented that she described one of her frequent behaviors which was to check whether her goals have all turned green (signified reaching goal). The Fitbit also supports this behavior and gives her contingent feedback when she would accomplish a goal, and it also delivers micro feedback when she would take each step.

Her short term goals behind using the Fitbit really says that she is concerned about the immediacy of improvements of herself, and that she is self-conscious about her body image. She is also fascinated by the data the device collects and the feedback she receives that she wouldn’t otherwise receive if she didn’t wear the Fitbit, which leads me to believe that if there was another feature added to the device she would use it. For example heart rate, perspiration, and stress.

The secondary reason why she uses the Fitbit is to benefit her long term health. I think that she would be interested in monitoring her mental health because the mental and physical performance of one’s health attributes to each other.

I think users like Madison who enjoys quantifying herself would consider quantifying her own emotions if she had the opportunity to. Thus, the next step in research would be to have her log her emotions and location throughout the day and compare and contrast her Fitbit data to see if there are any relationships between her environment and her emotions and her physical activiy.


Week 1&2 Notes: Domains, Venn diagram, stakeholders

Closer to design. More problem to address. Investigate the history of those who try to solve the problems. In design of question of aesthetics. Doesn’t solve elegantly. Are you tryin to address an issue or a problem?

Some articles i’m interested in:

Slow design. Emotional design mike kineoski

  • Hernandez J., Li Y., Rehg J., and Picard R. W., “BioGlass: Physiological Parameter Estimation Using a Head-mounted Wearable Device,” To appear in International Conference on Wireless Mobile Communication and Healthcare, Athens, November 2014.
  • Hernandez J., Picard R. W., “SenseGlass: Using Google Glass to Sense Daily Emotions,” To appear in ACM User Interface Software and Technology Symposium, Honolulu, October 2014.
  • McDuff, D., Gontarek, S., Picard, R. W., “Remote Measurement of Cognitive Stress Via Heart Rate Variability,” In the 36th Annual International Conference of the IEEE Engineering in Medicine and Biology Society (EMBC), Chicago, August, 2014. PDF

scream bodies, presentation of emotion through our interation, theres therepeutic tools.

who do people really care about what you’re creating within these domains?

find the relevance of what you want to create

irvin goffman- presentation of self, hey way you feel inside is portayred differently from what you want portrayed outside. may not be what you want to do but see how one exercises the use of emotions and helping those express it. what can i do with emotions? help express? how does the output of emotions help others.

without the service part of your design, you’re not designing.

 perhaps there is a social aspect of outputting your emotions on display

find online that you are interested in with a group that deals with the issue relevant to you

this would be a venn diagram of your domains, within this would be a subgroup that you can reach out to.

venn diagram, once you have the groups and the expertise, and they aren’t quite connected, you can identify what’s missing. locating an expert in each of these domains in the core of your project. hunt for an expert that knows their domain, and knows other domains, and you can talk about them next weekend. and this is part of your community.

how are collecting data of emotions helpful? how does it address in all your communities?

More notes during class:

Domain Methodology and What is thesis?

A thesis is you compiling a domain. You are specifically interested in improv, or virtual reality, or something you define it. but it’s up to you to decide how all those dominions fit together.

What is your question? Is it figment fear, a narrative fear,

Helping others understand the fear as oppose to interested in studying the subject itself. DT facilitating those who study fear. Like Kelly Nichols. Moved from prosthetics to memory and dysfunction. As expert as he could become about cognitive dysfunction. he is not an expert. but speaking to an expert, he has not idea to design interfaces. so when he went to the conference. why is a designer here? his prototypes were used at the university of toronto. when we start to identify a domain, we don’t recognize it to be there but we authorize your work by the people in your domain.

Data visuals with a biologic approach. you have to separate the methodologies between the two and see how you can engage it. and that’s domain methodology.

example: user experience- and user interface design. could be through retail space or through a city. to help them accomplish that goal. all the needs to understand what fails.

interface design, what each step and each process they need to accomplish. such as color, what they see.

Educational games

methodologies of education-

how deep should she go on narrowing down the domain. is education the domain?

how deep do you go? what are your aims?

Uzman haque- open burble

usually a few people really find her niche

your production should keep producing because you’re trying to figure out your domain.

citing experts doesn’t mean they can be your giants. how sound develops in your mind, a text book is a great place to look at that. when you look at personality and biology, look at the text book. it works. or use amazon.

killer app- changes the way people get things accomplished

school of innovation in the spring

democratization and adoption-

we all should eventually want to use and want to use. so we all want to adopt. what is an overt behavioral change? a behavioral change is changes the way you use things. overt is fundamental how we interact in the world

study the history of what you are interested post it on the blog, and post your presentation on your blog and buy 5 notebooks!

A Chris Henrick (Peer) Interview

The specific domains Chris is interested in:

  • digital cartography
  • ethnographic information science
  • data visualize
  • critical theory
  • social justice

Christopher Henrick is interested in tying in critical theory around academic cartography with technology, and social justice. Specifically, he is interested in ways people are using non normative maps to convey information. For example, in Ho Chi Minh City, the way in which you navigate through the city is by temporal maps on sidewalks. Such examples incorporate cultural values to mapping cities, and answer questions that traditional academic mapping wouldn’t be able to answer with empirical data.

The motivation behind his concept and domain is due to the legacy academics and professionals have paved out for cartography . At the time, it was held as the absolute, the objective way of learning about the world. When actuality, maps always served a specific purposes, such as political motivation.  And since it is a generalized depiction of the real world, some things are being left out and purposefully included. For example, when you’re looking at a map of the gulf coast, where there is an open body of water on it, and the map leaves out the mass oil infrastructures used for the extraction. Henrick is interested in teaching academics and professionals to learn about the implications of their work and unintentional consequences when they leave out such information and to learn to take precautionary measures when designing maps. 

Lastly, to further establish his concept, he would like to answer the following questions:

How can the field to be made more humanistic? Do we need to move beyond cartography, and do we need to move more democratic? Do we need something different from map. Is participatory mapping a viable solution for democratizing viable fields.


Been There, Done That.

Joseph Saavedra’s project Citizen Sensor, is a wearable piece that records data about a user’s environment, i.e. pollution via the phone, and displays it on the web so that the user can visualize, share, analyze and discuss their data with their community or even from around the world. I’m fascinated by the idea of big data treated almost as an open source product in which you can choose to share or privatize. Similarly to my Palestine’s State major studio project, where I parsed tweets of violent key words from their data base, and displayed it on a map of the West Bank and specifically around the Palestinian villages to showcase how eventually, these territories will deteriorate from this aggression. 

Connor’s project Rob3115 is an interactive graphic novel that is influenced by the reader’s brainwaves. Emotichat by Decho Pitukcharoen uses computer vision, facial recognition and biological data technologies to “enrich” the chatroom experience by changing the typography and animations of the words. Mixed Reality Living Spaces by Bernardo Schorr reimagines the way humans would live in a 100 square feet space by immersing users in different augmented environments. I found all these projects really appealing because I see the potential of tracking emotions and moods, and having your environment change based on your mood. The goal of this potential thesis idea is to improve behavior and mood based on an augmented environment. Hilal Koyuncu’s project is similar in a sense where sensors are attached to the user, and physical objects are affected by the user’s haptic feedback. 


1. Citizen Sensor // Joseph Saavedra

2. Rob3115 //  Connor Russomanno

3. Liminoids // Hilal Koyuncu

4. Emotichat // Decho Pitukcharoen

5. Mixed Reality Living Spaces// Bernardo Schorr