Holly Logan, iN Touch Project Coordinator, San Francisco State University
We worked with TheCarrot.com team to customize a mobile application for iPod Touch and iPhone. Our participants have been using this personal health application to capture their observations of daily living (ODLs). Here is a sample walk-through of how a participant may interact with the app:
- Participants in our study first sign in to the application on their iPod Touch devices.
- After they sign in, they come to a homescreen that manages their trackers. Users could choose to manage a variety of trackers, but for the iNTouch study, participants have been asked to keep track of four trackers: exercise, food, mood and socializing.
- Let’s say this participant, Jim*, just got home for the day and wants to record his activities and observations. First he decides to record what he ate with his friends that day. To do this, he selects “Food” on the “My Trackers” page and comes to the screen below:
By adding a food and then searching for it, Jim can easily record what he ate with his friends. Let’s say he wants to add strawberries. He can type the whole word or just part of the word into the search box below:
Once he finds what he wants, he clicks the orange plus button to add the food to his folder. When he's done adding the foods he's eaten, he selects the green save button in the lower right-hand corner. When he hits the save button, he is sent back to the “My Trackers” page.
- Jim may then decide he wants to record his mood for the day. When he selects “Mood” on the “My Trackers” page, Jim comes to this page:
Let’s say Jim is stressed out and sad because he should have been doing his homework instead of hanging out with his friends, and now he has a lot to do and is running out of time. He is also feeling angry and unhappy about this situation. By touching the orange plus button next to each emotion, Jim adds these moods to his folder and comes to this screen:
The green check next to each emotion means that Jim has added that emotion to his folder. The folder is located in the top left-hand corner, where it shows that he has added four emotions. Once Jim moves the sliding buttons to note how intensely he feels each emotion, he can hit save in the lower right-hand corner, which takes him back to the main “My Trackers” screen.
- Let’s say Jim also wants to track the amount he socialized that day. When he selects the socializing tracker, he comes to this screen:
This screen operates much like the “Moods” screen. Jim tracks how much he socialized, whether people influenced him negatively or positively and whether people supported him a lot or not much. Let’s say Jim decides he wants to add some personal details about his socializing experience, so he decides to write a note by clicking the “Notes” button on the lower part of the screen. He then comes to the “Notes” screen:
On this screen, Jim can write a note about what he did with his friends; once he’s done, the green save button takes him back to to the “Socializing” screen:
When he’s done entering his information, Jim can select the green save button to go back to the main “My Trackers” menu.
- Finally, Jim remembers to record his exercises from the night before in the “Exercise” tracker. When he selects “Exercise” on the main “My Trackers” menu, he comes to this screen:
On this screen, Jim searches for his exercise and adds what he has done by hitting the orange plus button. When he adds running as an exercise entry, he comes to this screen:
Because Jim is adding an exercise entry for the previous night, he needs to correct the date and time. When he selects the calendar image at the bottom of the screen above, he is taken to the screen below, where he can change the date and time before selecting the green save button (in the upper right-hand corner), which takes him back to the “Exercise” screen.
Once Jim saves his exercise entries and finishes recording his observations for the day, he can take a look at his progress by looking at his “Journal.” To get to the “Journal,” Jim clicks the notebook symbol at the bottom of the screen to review his “Journal,” which displays his progress.
Our participants seem to accept our app well, and they report that it is pretty easy to use and takes only a few minutes a day. We are doing exit interviews as participants complete our study, so we’ll be able to share more of their feedback in a future post.
*Jim is not a real participant in the iN Touch study.