Stanford Seminar - HabitLab: In-the-wild Behavior Change Experiments at Scale

June 8, 2019

Geza Kovacs Stanford University May 31, 2019 Behavior change systems help people manage their time online. However, existing productivity systems have tended to assume a one-size-fits all solution, whereas there are many factors - novelty effects, attrition, influences from other apps and devices, and differences in individual motivation - that we must take into account. In this thesis we present HabitLab, an in-the-wild experimentation platform we developed for conducting behavior change experiments, as well as a set of studies we run on the platform. HabitLab is a browser extension and android app with over 12,000 daily active, voluntary users, that users install to help them reduce time online and on their phones. It works by displaying one of 20+ interventions whenever they open an app or site they wish to spend less time on. We use HabitLab as a large-scale experiment platform to understand behavior change. In our first set of studies, we investigate novelty effects of interventions, finding that compared to always showing the same intervention, a strategy of rotating between different interventions improves intervention effectiveness, but at the cost of increased attrition. This attrition is partly due to users being unfamiliar with rotating interventions, and improving users’ mental models with a notice shown whenever a new intervention is shown is able to reduce this attrition. In our second set of studies, we investigate whether reducing time on one site or app by intensifying interventions influences time on other sites, apps, and devices. We find that on the browser, reducing time on one site reduces time spent elsewhere, but we do not observe the effect on mobile devices, and do not observe cross-device effects. In our third set of studies, we investigate users’ motivation levels over time as indicated by the difficulty of interventions they select. We find that users initially overestimate how difficult of interventions they want, and their choices of difficulty progressively decline over time. Details at https://habitlab.stanford.edu/ Learn more about Stanford's Human-Computer Interaction Group: https://hci.stanford.edu Learn about Stanford's Graduate Certificate in HCI: https://online.stanford.edu/programs/human-computer-interaction-graduate-certificate View the full playlist: https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLoROMvodv4rMyupDF2O00r19JsmolyXdD&disable_polymer=true

Previous Video
Stanford Seminar - Designing and deploying social computing systems inside and outside the lab
Stanford Seminar - Designing and deploying social computing systems inside and outside the lab

Andres Monroy-Hernandez Snap Research September 27, 2019 Social computing has permeated most aspects of ou...

Next Video
Stanford Seminar - Creating Interfaces with Rich Physical Properties Through Digital Fabricationity
Stanford Seminar - Creating Interfaces with Rich Physical Properties Through Digital Fabricationity

Juergen Steimle Saarland University May 24, 2019 Real-world materials present rich properties that are st...