Field study of a web service for stimulating the positive side of stress: Entrepreneurs' experiences and design implications

Päivi Heikkilä (Corresponding Author), Elina Mattila, Mari Ainasoja

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

    2 Citations (Scopus)


    Background: Digital services have been found promising in managing different aspects of health, also stress. We developed a web service for cultivating the positive side of stress based on the stress experiences of entrepreneurs. In this paper, we present a field study conducted to evaluate the user acceptance and the user experience of the developed service. Methods: Twenty-two participants, working as entrepreneurs or having an entrepreneurial-type job description, used the web service for 6 weeks. User experiences were collected from all participants with electronic questionnaires, and 10 participants were interviewed to gain deeper understanding and to formulate design implications. In addition, usage logs of the web service were analysed to assess how actively the participants used the service and a pre and post questionnaires on stress and work engagement were conducted to evaluate the preliminary effectiveness of the service. Results: The usage activity of the service was relatively low, on average, the service was used on 3 days and a total of 101 min. During the usage period, the participants' negative stress measured by the perceived stress scale decreased and their self-reported positive stress experiences had increased. The participants considered the positive perspective to stress useful. In the Eustress Toolbox service, the users appreciated especially the off-line and reflection exercises, as well as the quotations from peers, but the design should have supported more active triggering to use the service. Conclusions: Based on user experience, we propose four design implications: Integrate the service into the daily hassle of entrepreneurs, Provide personal guidance while maintaining a possibility to explore, Recognise the user's progress and accomplishments in a meaningful way and Support implicit learning from peer entrepreneurs. Trial registration: ISRCTN14739582, Sept 3 2019, retrospectively registered.

    Original languageEnglish
    Article number200
    JournalBMC Medical Informatics and Decision Making
    Issue number1
    Publication statusPublished - 28 Oct 2019
    MoE publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed


    • Entrepreneurs
    • Eustress
    • Human-centred design
    • Positive stress
    • User experience
    • Well-being


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