INFO200: Response to User Research
As stated in the Berkshire Encyclopedia of Human-Computer Interaction, “information technologies may either support or undermine human values; sometimes they do both at the same time.” (769) As information technology advances, it is important that we reflect on how our personal values are being integrated (or not integrated!) into the designs we see around us every day.
The importance of value-sensitive design can be seen if we take a closer look at the FitBit, a health-tracking device worn around the wrist.
The FitBit supports human values of personal health and fitness. By collecting and organizing a user’s activity data, it helps its users more accurately and successfully track their health progress. Users can then more accurately craft a health regime that is effective and within their personal limits. The FitBit’s guidance allows users to do this in a more controlled and safe manner. The Fitbit also supports human values of knowledge. It can be hard for people to, on their own, collect various forms of data about their everyday health. Even if users were to manually log the exact distance walked/run, their eating habits, and their daily activity levels, it would be hard to aggregate this data into trends over time. Because the FitBit creates personalized data analysis for its users, it makes the process of collecting knowledge easier and more accurate.