The Health Machine: Combining Information Design/Visualization with Persuasion Design to Change People’s Nutrition and Exercise Behavior

  • Aaron Marcus
Part of the Human–Computer Interaction Series book series (HCIS)


Finding a life-enhancing and life-preserving way of life is a twenty-first-century global challenge. Obesity and type 2 diabetes are increasing in many countries. Health/nutrition information, products, and services available to increase people’s awareness of health issues and propel changes by monitoring food are targeted to the PC/Web, do not focus on innovative data visualization, and lack persuasive effectiveness. Communicating critical data helps build awareness, but does not result automatically in effecting behavioral changes. The question then becomes: How can we motivate, persuade, educate, and lead people to reduce their food consumption and exercise more?

The Health Machine project of 2010 researched, analyzed, designed, and evaluated powerful ways to improve healthful behavior by persuading and motivating people, especially those 50+ from lower economic and educational backgrounds, to reduce food consumption and increase exercise by means of a well-designed mobile phone application concept prototype design: the “Health Machine.” The Health Machine uses similar principles of combining information design/visualization and persuasion design. This chapter explains the development of the Health Machine’s user interface, information design, information visualization, and persuasion design.


Current Health Condition Information Architecture Glucose Reading Healthful Food Mobile Phone Application 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

Further Reading

  1. Cialdini RB (2001) The science of persuasion. Sci Am 284(2):76–81, Feb 2001. (
  2. Fogg BJ (2003) Persuasive technology: using computers to change what we think and do. Morgan Kaufmann Publishers, San Francisco, p 2003Google Scholar
  3. Fogg BJ, Eckles D (2007) Mobile persuasion: 20 perspectives on the future of behavior change. Persuasive Technology Lab, Stanford University, Palo AltoGoogle Scholar
  4. Marcus A (2011a) Health machine. Inf Des J 19(1):69–89Google Scholar
  5. Marcus A (2011b) The health machine: mobile UX design that combines information design with persuasion design. In: Proceedings of design, user experience, and usability conference, sub-conference of human-computer interface international, Orlando, FL, August 2012. Springer Publishers, London. Design, User Experience, and Usability. Theory, Methods, Tools and Practice, Lecture Notes in Computer Science, vol 6770, 2011, pp 598–607Google Scholar
  6. Marcus A (2011c) The health machine (in Chinese). In: Proceedings of user-friendly 2011/Usability Professionals Association 2014, Beijing, China, November 2011, unnumbered pagesGoogle Scholar


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag London 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  • Aaron Marcus
    • 1
  1. 1.Aaron Marcus and Associates (AM+A)BerkeleyUSA

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