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.



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