This early stage of developing involves writing and adapting SMS to Indigenous Australian culture. This is an iterative prototyping process not a scientific experiment. Healthcare Professionals and Cultural Advisors are involved at this stage. Testing is lightweight, which involves multiple short tests, reviews and preparing new tests, based on previous feedback. Yet, at the completion of this stage, positive behavior change is not guaranteed, the messages will have merely been developed to a point where they have the maximum possibility of success.

The methodology proposed for this project will attempt to answer the following two questions;

  1. Can men (males) develop clinically accurate text (SMS) messages for pregnant Indigenous Australian women, while respecting culturally sensitive traditions such as ‘women’s business’?
  2. What is a culturally acceptable process to go about developing these messages?

In the adaptation of maternal healthcare messages to an Indigenous Australian audience, a universal set of maternal healthcare messages is used. This existing set of SMS text messages were previously developed by the Maternal Alliance for Maternal Action (MAMA), to address the issues of MDGs 4 and 5 in low-resource settings (MAMA, 2015). Globally, the appropriate wording of messages and healthcare systems vary considerably. Therefore, theses messages were developed specifically with the intention of being adapted to multiple audiences. This researcher has been granted permission to use the MAMA universal set of maternal health message, for adaptation to an Indigenous Australian context.

The project’s theoretical foundation originated within the discipline of Human Computer Interaction (HCI), specifically, within the discipline of Captology, which includes the study of Persuasive Technology. From persuasive technology, MAMA, in the development of the original message database, chose BJ Fogg’s model of behavior change from a range of behavior-change models, as the most suitable to use with a mobile phone program. The Fogg model is simple, actionable, breaks change down into tiny steps, and works at a distance. BJ Fogg heads the Persuasive Technology Lab at Stanford University. (MAMA 2014b, p. 2)

After close examination of BJ Fogg’s persuasion technology model (Figure 1.1), it was possible to extend and modify its usage for continued application to the current study. The process is detailed in his paper, Creating Persuasive Technologies: An Eight-Step Design Process (2009). The model is followed loosely. Fogg (2009) intended flexibility in the process, with each step representing a milestone, rather than a rigid step-by-step process. Adapting the sequence to the circumstances, according to Fogg, ‘… is a valid part of the design process’ (Fogg 2009, p. 2).

bj fogg persuasive tech model

(Source: Fogg, 2009, p. 3)

MAMA, in the development of the original message set, completed the following steps of Fogg’s persuasion technology model (Figure 1.1);

  • Step 1: ‘Choose a simple behavior to target’,
  • Step 3: ‘Find what is preventing the target behavior’,
  • Step 4: ‘Choose an appropriate channel’.

Leaving the following steps to be completed:

  • Step 2: ‘Choose a receptive audience’,
  • Step 5: ‘Find relevant examples of persuasion technology’,
  • Step 6: ‘Imitate successful examples’,
  • Step 7: ‘Test and iterate quickly’,
  • Step 8: ‘Expand on success’.

This website will focus on ‘Step 6: Imitate successful examples’ and ‘Step 7: Test and iterate quickly’.


Fogg, B. J. (2002). Persuasive technology: using computers to change what we think and do. Ubiquity2002 (December), 5.

MAMA 2015, Who We Are, viewed May 13 2015, <>.

MAMA 2014b, MAMA Guideline #2: How these messages have been developed, viewed May 9 2015, <>.

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