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DOI: 10.1145/3613904.3642317

InteractOut: Leveraging Interaction Proxies as Input Manipulation Strategies for Reducing Smartphone Overuse

Tao LuHongxiao ZhengTianying ZhangXuhai XuAnhong Guo
Jan 2024
Smartphone overuse poses risks to people's physical and mental health. However, current intervention techniques mainly focus on explicitly changing screen content (i.e., output) and often fail to persistently reduce smartphone overuse due to being over-restrictive or over-flexible. We present the design and implementation of InteractOut, a suite of implicit input manipulation techniques that leverage interaction proxies to weakly inhibit the natural execution of common user gestures on mobile devices. We present a design space for input manipulations and demonstrate 8 Android implementations of input interventions. We first conducted a pilot lab study (N=30) to evaluate the usability of these interventions. Based on the results, we then performed a 5-week within-subject field experiment (N=42) to evaluate InteractOut in real-world scenarios. Compared to the traditional and common timed lockout technique, InteractOut significantly reduced the usage time by an additional 15.0% and opening frequency by 17.0% on participant-selected target apps. InteractOut also achieved a 25.4% higher user acceptance rate, and resulted in less frustration and better user experience according to participants' subjective feedback. InteractOut demonstrates a new direction for smartphone overuse intervention and serves as a strong complementary set of techniques with existing methods.
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