Hotseat: A Health App That Delivers Better Employee Health and 78% Engagement

Hotseat is a behavior change app delivers a customizable experience where users could use their phones to perform a series of micro-activity breaks throughout the day. 

  • 76% of users were more mindful of their time spent sitting
  • 67% of users took more activity breaks
  • Hotseat has won awards and has been recognized by the WEBBYS, the International Academy of Visual Arts, and Partners Healthcare

Turning Short Breaks Into Meaningful Change

The Process: User-Centric Design

Hotseat is a mobile app to get employees to get up and move during the day.

To build it, Mad*Pow began with user-centered design thinking. An employee health app is only useful if it's user-centered. That meant things like:

  • a streamlined user setup
  • activities broken into two minutes at a time
  • an interface that synced with user calendars

Next, the team considered user motivation. They used game design theories to make Hotseat engaging. This included multiple modes of play, nudges, social accountability, and competition. Overall, the strategy made for a "sticky" user experience. Plus, the design and content created a playful attitude. Both are important when trying to improve employee health.

For tracking, Mad*Pow built dashboards for both employees and employers. The employee dashboard offered actionable information. On the employer side, the dashboard helped track employee success. Mad*Pow also designed an employer self-service portal. There, employers can add users, adjust activities, and view and share reports.

The Results: Better Employee Health in an App

The American Heart Association evaluated Hotseat’s stats. They found that 76% of employees were more aware of how long they sat still. Even better, 67% took more activity breaks. Hotseat's beautiful design and effectiveness in promoting employee health have received multiple awards and recognitions. These included: The Webbys, The International Academy of Visual Arts, Partners Healthcare, and WEGO Health.

In early 2016, Mad*Pow acquired ownership of the application to further develop, license and implement Hotseat for commercial and research endeavors.

Key Services

  • Behavior Change Design: The team focused on engaging users, to implement and measure positive changes to improve their health.
  • Experience Design: Wireframes, visual design, and prototypes were all a part of creating a user interface that employees and employers would find useful and usable.
  • Mobile App & Web Development: The development team implemented and delivered this effective app, which incorporates sensors, tracks passive and active data, and provides automated reports.