Harnessing the Small Victories: Goal Design Strategies for a Mobile Calorie and Weight Loss Tracking Application

25 Pages Posted: 7 Mar 2017 Last revised: 18 Apr 2022

See all articles by Kosuke Uetake

Kosuke Uetake

Yale School of Management

Nathan Yang

Cornell University

Date Written: April 15, 2022

Abstract

This research presents a characterization of goal design strategies under the context of mobile health. Estimating a dynamic structural model of calorie consumption with large-scale data from a popular mobile calorie and weight management application, we first confirm that users do indeed receive higher utility from goal achievement (relative to goal failure). With this estimated model, we uncover potential tensions between different objectives (e.g., user utility, goal adherence, weight loss) that the mobile application developer may need to consider when designing the daily goals. In particular, goals that optimize adherence need not align with goals that optimize utility and weight loss.

Keywords: Behavioral Analytics; Customer Development; Gamification and Goal Design; Health and Wellness; Mobile Application; Reference Points

Suggested Citation

Uetake, Kosuke and Yang, Nathan, Harnessing the Small Victories: Goal Design Strategies for a Mobile Calorie and Weight Loss Tracking Application (April 15, 2022). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2928441 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2928441

Kosuke Uetake (Contact Author)

Yale School of Management ( email )

135 Prospect Street
P.O. Box 208200
New Haven, CT 06520-8200
United States

Nathan Yang

Cornell University ( email )

Dyson School, Warren Hall
360E
Ithaca, NY 14853-6201
United States
6072551590 (Phone)

HOME PAGE: http://dyson.cornell.edu/faculty-research/faculty/ncy6/

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