Is Going Unnoticed More Socially Acceptable?: An Exploration of the Relationship Between Social Acceptability and Noticeability of Fitness Trackers
Chapter from the book: Loizides, F et al. 2020. Human Computer Interaction and Emerging Technologies: Workshop Proceedings from the INTERACT 2019 Workshops.
While fitness trackers are becoming increasingly popular, the majority of such devices are relatively smaller and almost always worn around a user’s wrist (e.g., smart watches). To expand the potential of novel design options for such devices, a study explored the link between social acceptability and device noticeability, in conjunction with two other factors; namely, the device size and the on-body location (i.e., on which body parts the user wears the tracker). The central question we investigated was: to develop a socially acceptable fitness tracker, should the device be less noticeable? For this exploration, an online questionnaire was distributed (N = 32), and results indicated that noticeability was correlated with social acceptability only in two situations: i) when the fitness tracker is large, or ii) when a female user wears it around their chest. That is, noticeability partially accounted for social acceptability only in these conditions. Jointly, the results point toward the great possibility for novel design ideas of fitness trackers in other conditions (e.g., when the device is smaller or worn around the arm) without compromising social acceptability.