Virtual coaches for healthy lifestyle

Hendrikus J.A. op den Akker, Randy Klaassen, Antinus Nijholt

    Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterAcademicpeer-review

    13 Citations (Scopus)
    28 Downloads (Pure)


    Since the introduction of the idea of the software interface agent the question recurs whether these agents should be personified and graphically visualized in the interface. In this chapter we look at the use of virtual humans in the interface of healthy lifestyle coaching systems. Based on theory of persuasive communication we analyse the impact that the use of graphical interface agents may have on user experience and on the efficacy of this type of persuasive systems. We argue that research on the impact of a virtual human interface on the efficacy of these systems requires longitudinal field studies in addition to the controlled short-term user evaluations in the field of human computer interaction (HCI). We introduce Kristina, a mobile personal coaching system that monitors its user’s physical activity and that presents feedback messages to the user. We present results of field trials (N = 60, 7 weeks) in which we compare two interface conditions on a smartphone. In one condition feedback messages are presented by a virtual animated human, in the other condition they are displayed on the screen in text. Results of the field trials show that user motivation, use context and the type of device on which the feedback message is received influence the perception of the presentation format of feedback messages and the effect on compliance to the coaching regime.
    Original languageUndefined
    Title of host publicationToward Robotic Socially Believable Behaving Systems - Volume II: Modeling Social Signals
    EditorsAnna Esposito, Lakhmi C. Jain
    Place of PublicationBerlin, Germany
    Number of pages29
    ISBN (Print)978-3-319-31052-7
    Publication statusPublished - 30 Mar 2016

    Publication series

    NameIntelligent Systems Reference Library
    PublisherSpringer Verlag
    ISSN (Print)1868-4394


    • EWI-25508
    • HMI-HF: Human Factors
    • HMI-IA: Intelligent Agents
    • longitudinal study
    • persuasive communication
    • IR-100231
    • Virtual coaches
    • Personal coaching system
    • Intelligent Agents
    • Healthy lifestyle
    • METIS-316814
    • Virtual Humans

    Cite this