Procrastination on Social Networking Sites: Combating by Design

Abdulaziz Alblwi, Angelos Stefanidis, Keith Phalp, Raian Ali

Research output: Chapter in Book or Report/Conference proceedingConference Proceedingpeer-review

6 Citations (Scopus)


Procrastination refers to a voluntary postponement that prevents people from performing their tasks and can hurt productivity and wellbeing. Procrastination might occur due to a lack of motivation to perform tasks or due to the low self-control that people might have over their time and task management. Social Networking Sites (hereafter SNS) are designed to enable their users to engage in online interaction for different purposes such as increasing popularity or exploring information. SNS embed influence and persuasion techniques to attract users which can make them a medium for procrastination where some users fail to maintain a desirable level of self-control over their usage. However, we argue that advances in persuasive technology and gamification techniques can be utilised to augment SMS and help users to regain self-control over their procrastination. Implementing these techniques correctly means that users can still enjoy accessing SNS while maintaining a desirable level of control over their procrastination. Building these anti-procrastination tools, however, is a challenging design activity due to their potential of triggering negative side-effects such as reactance and workarounds, and affecting the overall user experience. In this paper, we conduct user studies, consisting of an exploratory stage using focus groups, diary study and interviews and followed by a design stage based mainly on co-design sessions. Our studies' participants self-declared having a problematic degree of procrastination on SNS, to explore procrastination countermeasure techniques that can augment the future designs of SNS and how best to apply them.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationProceedings
Subtitle of host publicationRCIS 2019 - IEEE 13th International Conference on Research Challenges in Information Science: Towards a Design Science for Information Systems
EditorsManuel Kolp, Jean Vanderdonckt, Monique Snoeck, Yves Wautelet
PublisherIEEE Computer Society
ISBN (Electronic)9781728148441
Publication statusPublished - May 2019
Externally publishedYes
Event13th IEEE International Conference on Research Challenges in Information Science, RCIS 2019 - Brussels, Belgium
Duration: 29 May 201931 May 2019

Publication series

NameProceedings - International Conference on Research Challenges in Information Science
ISSN (Print)2151-1349
ISSN (Electronic)2151-1357


Conference13th IEEE International Conference on Research Challenges in Information Science, RCIS 2019


  • Co-design
  • Procrastination
  • Social Networking design

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