Exploring Rhetoric Theory in Persuasive Design: A Mobile Web Application for Obesity Prevention

  • G. Mauricio MejiaEmail author
  • Sauman Chu
Conference paper
Part of the Lecture Notes in Computer Science book series (LNCS, volume 11582)


This paper is a report of an exploratory study of persuasive design for changing health attitudes and behaviors. The researchers designed a mobile web application for Latino parents about childhood obesity prevention called Lifecast and created three rhetoric theory-driven versions of the application changing rhetorical appeals – rational, emotional and credibility characteristics in graphics and content. The researchers evaluated the appropriateness of the application and its versions observing users and conducting in-depth interviews. In the evaluation, they found that versions did not have notable differences; in general parents and their children were motivated to use all versions of the app and reported some changes in their attitudes. They concluded that an effective strategy of rhetorical appeals should be planned and evaluated iteratively. Future work should focus not only on the appeals of visual and textual elements, but also on the rhetoric of the design concept, format, and interactivity.


Design for health Persuasive design Visual rhetoric Rhetorical appeals Children obesity 


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Arizona State UniversityTempeUSA
  2. 2.University of Minnesota, Twin CitiesMinneapolisUSA

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