Mobile Mindfulness and User's Worry: A Qualitative Study of Using a Smartphone App for Distancing from Negative Thoughts
Authors: Chittaro L., Vianello A.
Published in: Interacting with Computers, Vol. 28 No. 6, November 2016, pp. 695-717.
Abstract: Mindfulness is attracting an increasing interest due to its health and well-being benefits, but its practice can be difficult for people with no or minimal experience with meditation. In this study, we aim at thoroughly investigating participants’ user experience with a mobile mindfulness app (AEON). In particular, we focus on perceptions in using the app for ameliorating worry, as well as on understanding in situ usage. We employ thematic analysis to qualitatively analyze participants’ interviews at the end of a 5-week study period. Results indicate that several participants experienced decentering from their worries when using the app. Moreover, AEON was perceived as easy and pleasant to use. However, results also highlight that some participants did not experience decentering from all or some of their worries, and we discuss the possible reasons. Finally, unexpected patterns of use, user’s suggestions and some usability problems emerged from the study, allowing us to identify some design opportunities for mindfulness apps.