Our preliminary study reveals that individuals use various management strategies for limiting smartphone use, ranging from keeping smartphones out of reach to removing apps. However, we also found that users often had difficulties in maintaining their chosen management strategies due to the lack of self-regulation. In this paper, we present NUGU, a group-based intervention app for improving self-regulation on smartphone use through leveraging social support: groups of people limit their use together by sharing their limiting information. NUGU is designed based on social cognitive theory and it has been developed iteratively through two pilot tests. Our three-week user study (n = 62) demonstrated that compared with its non-social counterpart, the NUGU users’ usage amount significantly decreased and their perceived level of managing disturbances improved. Furthermore, our exit interview confirmed that NUGU’s design elements are effective for achieving limiting goals.


M. Ko, S. Yang, J. Lee, C. Heizmann, J. Jeong, U. Lee, D. H. Shin, K. Yatani, J. Song, and K. Chung, “NUGU: A Group-based Intervention App for Improving Self-Regulation of Limiting Smartphone Use,” in Proceedings of the ACM conference on Computer-Supported Cooperative Work and Social Computing (CSCW 2015), 2015.