The DECENT Toolkit - Designing mHealth Apps for Cultural Diversity

12 October 2022
Tochukwu Ikwunne presenting his research on the DECENT toolkit

The DECENT toolkit approaches mHealth app design in a human-centric and culturally conscious way to elevate not only user engagement but also user experience.

ADAPT PhD Student, Tochukwu Ikwunne has had his paper accepted and presented to the International Federation for Information Processing (IFIP) WORKING GROUP WG8.6 CONFERENCE on Co-creating for Context in Prospective Transfer & Diffusion of IT held in Maynooth earlier this year. The research paper: ‘The DECENT Toolkit to Support Design of User Engagement of Mobile Health Technologies from a Practice Theory Perspective’, was co-authored by ADAPT’s Academic Collaborator, Prof. Lucy Hederman and Dr. P. J. Wall. The working group conference focuses on the increasing diversity, complexity and uncertainty of contexts influencing the spread of internet enabled emerging technologies, like the Internet of Things (IOT), Artificial Intelligence and Blockchain.

User Engagement and Mobile Health Technologies

Keeping users engaged in the use of mobile health (mHealth) technologies and apps like the Health app on an Iphone, Strava or even meditation apps like Calm, is a critical success factor in their adoption. Speaking about the research Ikwunne said: “Capturing users’ socio-cultural contexts into the design process – boosts app user engagement”. The research identifies the often overlooked importance of socio-cultural context for mHealth technologies and introduces the DECENT toolkit to help designers of mHealth technologies address this deficit in user engagement.

The Design Process Engagement Enhancement System (DECENT) Toolkit

Is an innovative theory-based design tool and method that includes socio-cultural filtration and socio-cultural contexts to augment different phases of the user-centred design model. The paper presents a set of consolidating concepts to guide future design practice and broadens designers’ knowledge of mobile health designs for user engagement. 

An ever globalised market for mobile health apps necessitates a human-centric approach to design which understands the unique cultural context of each user, this is not only to improve user engagement but user experience.

You can read the full paper and discover more about the DECENT toolkit, Here >