The Internet, Policy & Politics Conferences

Oxford Internet Institute, University of Oxford

Tatsuo Nakajima, Monami Takahashi, Hina Akasaki: Design Strategy for Building a Flourished Platform Society

Tatsuo Nakajima, Department of Computer Science and Engneering, Waseda University

Monami Takahashi and Hina Akasaki

Our society urgently needs to solve a variety of social issues. For example, in the modern lifestyle, people consume a large amount of natural resources, which makes our future life unsustainable. Ubiquitous computing technologies dramatically improve the efficiency of natural resource usage, but the improvement is limited in the future if we only take into account technological aspects. We need to change our behavior and improve our daily lifestyles to reduce the usage of natural resources. Changing human behavior is crucial to achieving a sustainable society. There are several alternative ways to change human behavior. One of the typical approaches is to use social norms or public policy. A government may conduct public campaigns to promote the sustainable lifestyle necessary to maintain its country’s wealth. However, the approach will only be able to improve the average behavior, and some people may not change their behavior. The phenomenon may be problematic because free riders who do not change their behavior may receive benefits without making efforts, and other people will consider their behavior unfair. Finally, most people may stop contributing to the campaign. Thus, the social situation will become worse.

These traditional approaches may also reduce some people’s happiness because the approach cannot be customized for them and they may feel a strong inconvenience from being guided through the social norms or public policies [1]. The decrease in their happiness becomes a strong reason to increase the number of free riders. To achieve a sustainable and flourished society, the direction of their respective behaviors should be customized according to their current situation and preferences to increase the happiness of all. Ubiquitous computing technologies can be used to design persuasive services that offer customized ways to guide people’s behavior without reducing people’s happiness [3].

In past research studies, many persuasive services incorporating ubiquitous computing technologies have been proposed, and they successfully demonstrate changing human behavior. However, these existing services focus on only one piece of an aspect of people’s behavior, such as stopping smoking, encouraging tooth brushing or reducing unsustainable behavior. When using these technologies to develop a technology-driven social platform for guiding people’s behavior towards achieving a sustainable society, we need to consider how to influence a citizen’s behavior seamlessly through ubiquitous computing technologies incorporated in urban cities. The persuasive technologies can be embedded everywhere in cities and can influence citizens’behavior in their respective places. However, there is currently no way to connect these technologies to guide diverse people’s behavior according to their current situations and locations.

In the paper, we first conducted two small case studies to investigate how each person’s personality or preference affects his/her motivational mechanism. From the experiences with the case studies, we will extract some insights and develop a framework for pervasively motivating diverse people that is suitable to design a technology-driven social platform.

Well-being, which is different from the traditional monism happiness theory, is a construct consisting of five measurable elements (PERMA). In the first case study, in order to obtain a finding of how well-being has been enhanced by burring behavior and including the handling elements in information systems towards achieving greater well-being of the user, we conducted an experiment using a tool that was created from focusing on the three of the elements of the Seligman ‘s five elements. In the experiment, we asked participants to do an excise to improve their well-being by utilizing the tool continuously for one week on a daily basis. In addition, we have carried out a personality test that measures the optimism of the participants. As a result, the participants who showed high optimism were seen to have rising trend of happiness according to all three types of tools. On the other hands, participants with low optimism were seen losing happiness in the period of use of each of the two tools that were focused on the meaning and accomplishment. However, since the well-being of the participants who showed low optimism using the tools focused on the relationship was improved, even the low optimism, it may be possible to increase the overall well-being if well-being elements are chosen that are suitable to the participant. Because the elements driving well-being of the group of low optimism cannot be improved easily compared to a group of high optimism, we need to design the system taking into account which factors of the five are important among the five factors of well-being is different by personality or preferences. We will report more details of the tool, experiments, results and insights of the case study in the final version of papers.

Gamification is a technique to increase human motivation by applying a game design to everyday problems. There are various elements to improve human motivation in games. In the second case study, we have developed a gamified sharing economy service to enhanceаthrough storytellingаand have performed an experiment to investigate the effect that a game story increases the motivation of a user. The service has four gamification elements - badge, collection, rank and story - to compare the effectiveness of storytelling and other gamifications techniques. We conducted two personality tests for investigating which game mechanics respective participants prefer. As a result, we found that the effect of gamification elements relates to participant’s personality. We will report more details of the prototype service, experiments, results and insights of the case study in the final version of papers.

Based on the above insights extracted from the case studies, we propose a design framework for designing a social platform towards achieving a flourished society. Our design framework is based on the Seligman’s PERMA framework in positive psychology [6] and some insights from experiences with developing our past design frameworks [4, 5]. The proposed framework indicates which factor in the Seligman’s PERMA framework can be realized by a set of mechanisms to motivate human. Therefore, when designing a social platform, our framework suggests which mechanisms should be chosen for developing a platform for satisfying diverse people to achieve a flourished society. The detailed framework and design strategies will be presented in the final version of the paper.

We also present a case study demonstrating how to use the proposed framework for designing a social platform. The case study we investigate is to achieve a low carbon community, in particular, for aiming a car free urban city. A car free urban city is promising to make our society more sustainable [2], but people need to be guided to choose the desirable lifestyle. We will show how our design framework helps to build a better car free urban city without losing citizens’flourishness. We also show an augmented bicycle prototype, that is an Internet of Things(IoT)-enhanced bicycle for promoting to share bicycles within communities towards achieving a car free urban city, and present how IoT-based daily artifacts will contribute to build an effective social platform. In the final version of the paper, we will present some scenarios showing how to use the proposed framework to design a car free city and some insights to adopt IoT-enhanced prototype daily artifacts in the experiment to use the service demonstrating our approach.


[1] Akasaki H., Suzuki S., Nakajima K., Yamabe K., Sakamoto M., Alexandrova T., Nakajima T.: One Size Does Not Fit All: Applying the Right Game Concepts for the Right Persons to Encourage Non-Game Activities, In Proceedings of the 10th International Conference on Universal Access in Human-Computer Interaction, (2016)

[2] Foletta, N., Henderson, J.: Low Car(bon) Communities: Inspiring Car-free and Car-lite Urban Futures, Routledge (2016)

[3] Gushima K. Sakamoto M., Nakajima T.: Computational Community: A Procedural Approach to Navigate Collective Human Behavior Towards Achieving a Flourished Society, In Proceedings of 4thаInternational Conference on Distributed, Ambient and Pervasive Interactions (2016)

[4] Ishizawa F., Takahashi M., Irie K., Sakamoto M., Nakajima T.: Analyzing Augmented Real Spaces Gamifed through Fictionality, In Proceedings of the 13th International Conference on Advances in Mobile Computing and Multimedia, (2015)

[5] Sakamoto M., Nakajima T.: Flourishing Citizens’Activities through a Crowdsourcing-based Social Infrastructure, DCL Technical Report (2016) [6] Seligman, M. E. P.: Flourish: A Visionary New Understanding of Happiness and Well-being, Atria Books, (2011)

Tatsuo Nakajima, Monami Takahashi, Hina Akasaki