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Step It Up: targeted user experience testing and community engagement in development of a mobile health technology-enabled physical activity app

Thursday, September 13, 2018 — Poster Session IV

3:30 p.m. – 5:00 p.m.
FAES Terrace


  • SH Xu
  • JN Ceasar
  • SE Claudel
  • MR Andrews
  • K Tamura
  • VM Mitchell
  • S Mye
  • R McCoy
  • J Zahurak
  • L Balian
  • S Guiliano
  • TM Powell-Wiley


Background: While mobile health (mHealth) tools are critical in technology-enabled cardiovascular health interventions, few have employed a community-based approach in developing and promoting an mHealth-enabled, physical activity (PA)-promoting application (app) targeting African American (AA) women. Objective: To collect qualitative data from user experience (UX) interviews to guide development of a culturally-tailored, PA-promoting app aimed at improving cardiovascular health in AA women in Washington, D.C. metropolitan areas. Methods: Eight AA women were recruited from low-income neighborhoods in Wards 5, 7, and 8 of Washington, D.C. and Prince George’s County, MD through faith-based communities. Participants were given a prototype of the culturally-tailored, PA-promoting app and completed one-on-one UX interviews in real time with a member of the research team. App features assessed included user registration, interactive educational content, motivational messages, and a reward system. All interviews were video recorded. Results: Participants (n=8, age range=54-70 years old) rated overall UX on a scale of 1-10 (mean=8.19, range=7-9.5). Participant suggestions were categorized into three themes: visual design (e.g., color palette, profile icons), user friendliness (e.g., audio/video supplements), and goal-setting and reward features (e.g., animations). Conclusions: To increase user acceptance, our research team will modify functionality and content of the culturally-tailored, PA-promoting app with stretching videos, bold color schemes, and an independent goal-setting section. Future directions include using Geographic Information Systems to offer information in the app tailored to local PA resources. Partnering with the target community facilitates collaborative development of a PA-promoting app that is tailored to its users, thus likely increasing intervention effectiveness.

Category: Health Disparities