Systematizing Behavior Change Designs-The Case of Social Comparison Theory

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To improve people's lives, human-computer interaction researchers are increasingly designing technological solutions based on behavior change theory, such as social comparison theory (SCT). However, how researchers operationalize such a theory as a design remains largely unclear. One way to clarify this methodological step is to clearly state which functional elements of a design are aimed at operationalizing a specific behavior change theory construct to evaluate if such aims were successful. In this article, we investigate how the operationalization of functional elements of theories and designs can be more easily conveyed. First, we present a scoping review of the literature to determine the state of operationalizations of SCT as behavior change designs. Second, we introduce a new tool to facilitate the operationalization process. We term the tool blueprints. A blueprint explicates essential functional elements of a behavior change theory by describing it in relation to necessary and sufficient building blocks incorporated in a design. We describe the process of developing a blueprint for SCT. Last, we illustrate how the blueprint can be used during the design refinement and reflection process.