This dissertation research explored human-centered principles and methods to design information dashboards to display techno-spiritual data. The dissertation included extensive research on the subject matter, prototyping, testing, and a report on the study results. The project’s primary goal was to advance current research on techno-spirituality and to explore the effectiveness of connected mobile applications on the level of spiritual practice in congregants of the Christian faith (Sweeper, 2020). It was found that the existing research suggested that spiritual practices such as prayer, scripture reading, and monetary giving are used to facilitate spiritual experiences.
A SWOT analysis, wireframing, and moodboards built on visual research from techno-spiritual artifacts to inform the dashboard design. The final dashboard design represented visual research from the researchers’ exploration of elements that support a modern, biblical aesthetic (Sweeper, 2020). The moodboard consisted of dark hues and serif text found in printed Bibles, line, shape, type, glyphs with metallic gold, burgundy, red, gray, black, and white color palettes (Sweeper, 2020).
Participants in this study were placed in a control group and an experimental group. They used three different techno-spiritual focused phone applications centered on three tenets of the Christian faith: scripture reading, prayer, and tithing (Sweeper, 2020). The control group did not use the dashboard, and the experimental group used it throughout the study. The YouVersion Bible, a scripture reading application, the Abide prayer application, and Givelify, which is a monetary giving application, were used by each participant (Sweeper, 2020). A high-fidelity, interactive dashboard prototype displayed individual participant data showing how many scripture verses, how many minutes of prayer, and how many dollars were given using the techno-spiritual applications to the experimental group (Sweeper, 2020).
All participants used the Daily Spiritual Experience Scale (DSES) survey to measure their day-to-day spiritual experience (Sweeper, 2020). Each day participants reported app activity, answering how many scripture memory verses they read, how many minutes they prayed, and how much they gave monetarily (Sweeper, 2020). By aggregating the data from the Bible app, the Abide app, and the Givelify app that offer avenues to spiritual practice, the project showed users’ overall level of practice during the use and non-use of an interface of connected applications (Sweeper, 2020).
The dissertation study found that the dashboard did not positively or negatively affect users’ DSES survey data over time (Sweeper, 2020). Furthermore, 75% of the participants in the study showed increasing weekly DSES means after using the dashboard. Finally, it was determined that using a dashboard made things neither worse nor better based on the data collected (Sweeper, 2020). The research showed that a techno-spiritual ecosystem exists, and new avenues are created for techno-spiritual focused mobile applications that are harnessed to support religious and spiritual practices or experiences (Sweeper, 2020). The full dissertation can be found at http://hdl.handle.net/11603/18280.