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Doctoral thesis (Dissertations and theses)
Changing Commuter Behaviour through Gamification
Kracheel, Martin


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Keywords :
Smart Mobility; Behaviour Change; Traffic
Abstract :
[en] This thesis explores how the dynamic context of mobility, more specifically the commute to and from work in the region of Luxembourg, can be changed through gamified mobile applications. The goal is to get a better understanding of the innovative application area of gamified mobility and its potential, as well as to describe its implications for research and practice. This applied research is inspired by a participatory design approach, where information is gained by adopting a user perspective and through the process of conceptualising and applying methods in empirical studies. The four empirical studies described in this thesis employed a mixed-methodology approach consisting of focus group interviews, questionnaires and mobile applications. Within these studies four prototypes were developed and tested, namely Coffee Games, Driver Diaries, Commutastic and Leave Now. The studies show concrete possibilities and difficulties in the interdisciplinary field of gamifying mobility behaviour. This dissertation is composed of seven chapters: Chapter I introduces the topics mobility, games and behaviour; Chapter II presents a proof of concept study (Using Gamification and Metaphor to Design a Mobility Platform for Commuters); Chapter III explains the development and validation of a mobility research tool (Driver Diaries: a Multimodal Mobility Behaviour Logging Methodology); Chapter IV describes the development of a new gamified mobility application and its evaluation (Studying Commuter Behaviour for Gamifying Mobility); Chapter V provides an empirical assessment of the relevance of gamification and incentives for the evaluation of a mobile application (Changing Mobility Behaviour through Recommendations) and Chapter VI is a summary on how to change mobility behaviour through a multilevel design approach (Using Gamification to change Mobility Behaviour: Lessons Learned from two Approaches). The four prototypes help to address the primary goal of this thesis, which is to contribute to new approaches to urban mobility by exploring gamified mobility applications. Coffee games is a proof of concept, low-fidelity implementation of a real-life game that tests gamification elements and incentives for changing indoor-mobility behaviour. The findings of two iterations with a total of 19 participants show the adaptability of the concept to different contexts. The approach to change indoor-mobility behaviour with this mock-up game was successful. Driver Diaries is a methodology to assess mobility behaviour in Luxembourg. The aim with this mobile, digital travel diary is to study features of cross-border commuter mobility and activities in Luxembourg in order to identify suitable elements (activities etc.) for a gamified mobility application, such as Commutastic. After two rounds of data collection (Android and iOS) the records of 187 participants were analysed and the results illustrate the mobility habits of the target audience. Commutastic is a mobility game application that motivates users to avoid peak-hour traffic by proposing alternative after work activities. Analysing the data of 90 participants, we find that the timely offer of an activity in the proximity along with gamification elements involves users and motivates a third of them to engage in alternative mobility behaviours. Leave Now is a gamified recommendation application, which rewards users for leaving their workplace outside of their usual schedule and explores the role of specific gamification elements on user motivation. The study, which was conducted with 19 participants, shows differences between an individual play and a group play condition regarding leaving time changes. The contributions of this thesis to gamification and mobility research and practice span from mobility participations as a game and integral part of our everyday life to methodologies of its successful implementation in the Luxemburgish context. The results show the advantages, disadvantages, and restrictions of gamification in urban mobility contexts. This is an important step towards gamifying mobility behaviour change and therefore towards research aiming at a wellbeing in a better urban life.
Research center :
Disciplines :
Social & behavioral sciences, psychology: Multidisciplinary, general & others
Author, co-author :
Kracheel, Martin ;  University of Luxembourg > Faculty of Language and Literature, Humanities, Arts and Education (FLSHASE) > Educational Measurement and Applied Cognitive Science (EMACS) ; University of Luxembourg > Interdisciplinary Centre for Security, Reliability and Trust (SNT)
Language :
Title :
Changing Commuter Behaviour through Gamification
Defense date :
April 2016
Number of pages :
178 + 20
Institution :
Unilu - University of Luxembourg, Luxembourg
Degree :
Promotor :
Martin, Romain
President :
Jury member :
McCall, Roderick
Walz, Steffen
Viti, Francesco  
Focus Area :
Computational Sciences
Name of the research project :
Funders :
UE - Union Européenne [BE]
Available on ORBilu :
since 15 November 2016


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