Sean Munson

Summer 2020

SwitchTube: Testing a Mobile App for Self-Control on YouTube

Many people express concern with the ways that social media like YouTube captures their attention. Users describe being “sucked in” when they would rather be doing something else. Designers, meanwhile, employ their knowledge of psychology to “hook” users and maximize user engagement.

In this DRG, our research team will refine, develop, and evaluate three different versions of a mobile app for Android that plays YouTube videos. The high control version is designed to support self-control, the low-control version is designed to undermine self-control, and the final version allows users to “switch” between the two versions. In previous quarters, our team created detailed mockups of these three versions. In this quarter, we will support the development of the mobile app by testing and fixing any design issues that arise. 

Finally, we will run a field experiment with about 50 participants to test the three different versions against each other. Participants in this DRG will be responsible for helping to run the experiment, manage the participants, and evaluating the results (analyzing log data and survey data). Students will also help write up the results.

Planned activities:

  1. Support the development of the SwitchTube app for Android (testing, fixing design issues that arise);
  2. Run a field experiment with about 50 participants;
  3. Analysis and writeup of field experiment results.

Required availability:

  • Attend our 2-hour class each week: Thursdays 1:30-3:30pm
  • Work 4 to 6 hours each week outside of meetings
  • Summer quarter: June 22 - August 21, 2020

To apply, please complete this form. Applications are due by Friday, June 19 and decisions will be shared on Sunday, June 21.

This DRG will be led by PhD student Kai Lukoff, with guidance from Associate Professor Sean Munson (HCDE) and Assistant Professor Alexis Hiniker (iSchool).


Dr. Munson's Research Group archive