RTD2015 22 Certainty as a Provocation: The Design and Analysis of 2 Quant-Qual Tool Dyads for a Qualified Self Technology Project

This paper takes its starting point in recognising that the Quantified Self Movement can go beyond its existing purely quantitative nature and develop a second degree of meaning, so that the individual achieves self knowledge through human insights.

We designed a research methodology to explore an individuals current and past relationship with ‘Activity Levels’ and ‘Balance Health’ using two Quant-Qual dyads. For the first Dyad, quantitative data was gathered about the number of steps taken by participants, and compared to the Qual Tool of Energy Diaries. For the second Dyad, quantitative data about postural sway was gathered through an application and qualitative data about the perceptions of balance was gathered through a personal diary. Quantitative data provided grounds for sensitising the participants to the idea of ‘Balance Health’ and ‘Activity Levels’ and the Qual tools revealed the lack of an actionable vocabulary on the one hand for Balance Health and rich narratives for activity levels on the other. Therefore, there exists an opportunity for research through design, to understand an individuals perception of their activity and to compare this existing self knowledge (or the lack of) to factual quantitative data in-order to design Qualified Self technology devices.