Personal tracking as lived informatics

John Rooksby, Mattias Rost, Alistair Morrison, Matthew Chalmers

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contributionpeer-review

381 Citations (Scopus)
12 Downloads (Pure)


This paper characterises the use of activity trackers as 'lived informatics'. This characterisation is contrasted with other discussions of personal informatics and the quantified self. The paper reports an interview study with activity tracker users. The study found: People do not logically organise, but interweave various activity trackers, sometimes with ostensibly the same functionality; that tracking is often social and collaborative rather than personal; that there are different styles of tracking, including goal driven tracking and documentary tracking; and that tracking information is often used and interpreted with reference to daily or short term goals and decision making. We suggest there will be difficulties in personal informatics if we ignore the way that personal tracking is enmeshed with everyday life and people's outlook on their future.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationCHI 2014
Subtitle of host publicationOne of a CHInd - Conference Proceedings, 32nd Annual ACM Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems
EditorsMatt Jones, Philippe Palanque
Number of pages10
ISBN (Print)9781450324731
Publication statusPublished - 26 Apr 2014
EventSIGCHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems - Metro Toronto Convention Centre, Toronto, Canada
Duration: 26 Apr 20141 May 2014


ConferenceSIGCHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems
Abbreviated titleCHI '14
Internet address


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