The ABCs of Designing Social Networks for Health Behaviour Change: The VivoSpace Social Network

  • Noreen Kamal
  • Sidney Fels
  • Mike Blackstock
  • Kendall Ho
Part of the Mathematics in Industry book series (MATHINDUSTRY, volume 18)


This chapter presents the Appeal, Belonging, Commitment (ABC) conceptual framework, which describes how online social networks can be designed to motivate positive health behaviour change. The ABC Framework is based on the existing theoretical models that describe the determinants for motivating the use of online social networks and health behaviour change. Common themes are drawn from these theoretical models and combined to provide the determinants for the three emergent themes: Appeal (individual determinants), Belonging (social determinants) and Commitment (temporal determinants). Results from a questionnaire survey and interviews are presented to validate and iterate the ABC Framework. Based on these themes and their determinants, design suggestions are presented. A case study implementation of the ABC Framework is shown through the design of VivoSpace. The design strategies are interpreted to design the online social health system, VivoSpace, and the ABC Framework is used to evaluate the design. This case study shows that the ABC Framework provides the best methodology to design and evaluate an online social network that will lead to a committed user base and motivate health behaviour change.


Health Behaviour Design Strategy Online Social Network Health Behaviour Change Healthy Living 
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.



The authors would like to thank the Vancouver Aboriginal Friendship Centre Society for providing access to their First Nation staff and clients. The authors are also grateful to the Canadian Network of Centres of Excellence on Graphics, Animation and New Media (GRAND NCE) for funding this research. We thank everyone at the Media and Graphics Interdisciplinary Centre (MAGIC), where this research was conducted.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  • Noreen Kamal
    • 1
  • Sidney Fels
    • 1
  • Mike Blackstock
    • 1
  • Kendall Ho
    • 1
  1. 1.University of British ColumbiaVancouverCanada

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