HCI Design and Evaluation during Social Confinement: Reflections and Techniques

Pedro Filipe Campos

pp.  48 - 57download






The pandemic brought a number of challenges that provoked a major impact on almost every human activity. In this new context, designers of tech-nologies aimed at supporting mental or physical health are faced with a lack of principles and guidelines for successfully evaluating them, since health authori-ties impose social confinement as a standard safety measure. Moreover, mental health technologies become even more important and more challenging in such context of constrain and anxiety. We discuss the design and evaluation of (i) a system for helping university students avoid smartphone overuse; (ii) a mobile system to support informal caregivers of dementia patients; and (iii) a VR-based system aimed at improving mental well-being. The design and evaluation of these systems was entirely performed during social confinement. We present a list of risks, challenges and lessons learned, as well as the techniqueswe employed to effectively overcome these limitations. Incorporating motivational or persuasive factors into the solutions was the key objective and we organize our reflections around reliability, usefulness and intrusiveness.



Keywords: Interaction design, social confinement, pandemic, human-computer interaction, mental health, mobile systems, well-being 



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