Yin-Maw Cheng and Chao-Lung Lee: Persuasive and engaging design of a Smartphone App for cycle commuting

This article presents results from a pilot study addressed to investigate the design of behavior change intervention using smartphones for cycle commuting. In this specific case, a smartphone app, BikeTogether, was developed to encourage and support its users to cycle home with each other over the Internet. The app employs the metaphor of a bicycle flashlight to represent closeness, leading, and following between two sides.

The cycling performance can also be recorded so the users can track how they are doing over time. 10 participants were instructed and randomly paired to take a two-phases test ride on different routes.

Results indicated that the app can help create the sense of being with each other while cycling and promote not only accompanied but competing ride. In addition, the outcome of the desirability towards the app implies a higher chance it will lead to a behavior change. This provides a new way of seeing, being and knowing solitude, a state that we commit to remain encouraged.