It's time there was an app for that too: A usability study of mobile timebanking

Kyungsik Han, Patrick C. Shih, Victoria Bellotti, John M. Carroll

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

26 Scopus citations


Timebanking refers to community-based volunteering in which participants provide and receive services in exchange for time credits. Although timebanking takes advantage of web technologies, the lack of flexibility in managing web-based timebanking transactions and the difficulty of attracting younger adults whose contributions would be highly valuable to the community still remain as major challenges. The authors' design research attempts to address these issues by leveraging the unique affordances of smartphones and their attractiveness to young adults. In this paper, the authors introduce a timebanking smartphone application and present a 5-week user study with 32 young adults. The results highlight the potential of timebanking for young population with an application that facilitates access to communications and transaction-management activities, and strengthens social connection and the sense of community attachment. The authors in particular present new affordances of smartphone technology on timebanking, including (1) transaction time reduction, (2) location and time-sensitive timebanking activity support, and (3) real-time coordination. The authors discuss design challenges and opportunities of smartphone-based timebanking.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1-22
Number of pages22
JournalInternational Journal of Mobile Human Computer Interaction
Issue number2
StatePublished - Apr 1 2015

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Human-Computer Interaction


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