Persuasive systems design for smart sports training technologies for runners

Plain language summary: This was my masters research project. It explains at a high-level how to design for sport technologies such as GPS watches (like a Garmin watch) and online fitness communities (like Strava). It considers things like:

  • What motivates runners (from within, and social)
  • The context of the human when a watch should notify (relay information) or stay silent (when in flow)
  • Trust of data and how to earn it
  • Comfort, habits, and more!

Topics include research, psychology, user experience, persuasive design, health sciences, and technologies.

  • Program: Master of Digital Transformation and Innovation with Concentration in UX Design – University of Ottawa
  • Course: Digital Transformation and Innovation Research Project
  • Date: 2022

Consult the paper on the University of Ottawa’s digital repository


The goal of this paper is to understand the persuasive technologies used for smart sport training by runners. The Persuasive Systems Design (PSD) by Oinas-Kukkonen & Harjumaa (2009) was used as the framework, and its components were identified. This takes in consideration the analysis of the persuasion context (intent, event, strategy), design of system qualities, and intended behaviour changes.

This work explores and consolidates findings from 35 works. It provides different perspectives from this multidisciplinary field such as psychology, technology, social sciences, sport sciences, etc. The hope is that this framework will help advance the understanding of persuasive technologies design for smart sport training for runners.

Maxime Gauthier-Kwan

The Fogg Behavior Model with added trigger overlays (BJ Fogg, n.d.) (overlay modification by Maxime Gauthier-Kwan)


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