Many people struggle to control their use of digital devices. However, our understanding of the design mechanisms that support user self-control remains limited.
In this paper, we make two contributions to HCI research in this space: first, we analyse 367 apps and browser extensions from the Google Play, Chrome Web, and Apple App stores to identify common core design features and intervention strategies afforded by current tools for digital self-control. Second, we adapt and apply an integrative dual systems model of self-regulation as a framework for organising and evaluating the design features found.
Our analysis aims to help the design of better tools in two ways: (i) by identifying how, through a wellestablished model of self-regulation, current tools overlap and differ in how they support self-control; and (ii) by using the model to reveal underexplored cognitive mechanisms that could aid the design of new tools.