An Autoethnographic Analysis of Nike+GPS

Gierad Laput (coursework on SI688 - Fundamentals of Human Behavior)

This project is a semester-long introspective study on a selected interactive system, analyzed through the lens of fundamental human behavior and human-computer interaction. The goal of the study is to provide a critique of the system from personal experience using concepts learned from SI 688 - Fundamentals of Human Behavior.

In this analysis, I focused on the Nike+ GPS mobile application. I chose this application because I am particularly interested in it's interaction in the context of a high-intensity activity (i.e. running).


» Download a copy of the final paper here.


In a nutshell, Nike+GPS is a fitness application intended for users who are interested in running and walking exercises. Its main function is to track personal statistics (such as distance, speed, and location) while synchronizing this data to a user’s online Nike account. In this analysis, I focused mostly on the mobile application while also highlighting the role of the online community in providing a cohesive and meaningful running experience.



The concepts employed in this analysis include:

Divided Attention and Multitasking
How does the system handle divided attention in the context of running? What aspects of it support effective multitasking?

Motivation and Incentives
Are there aspects of the system that motivate users to run and complete their goals? What are they and How?

Experience and Meaning Making
How does the application enhance the experience of running? What aspects of the system support meaning making in a solitary activity?



Through this in-depth analysis, I got the chance to self-reflect on how I personally use the application, and directly apply the concepts of human behavior in a unique way. This paper was a lot of fun to write. I was learning while running!