Nick Noguez and Michael Gonzalez Discuss their Research Project: Are Social Features in Mobile Health Apps Effective in Engaging Users? A Content Analysis of Smoking Cessation Mobile Apps

Main Article Content

Nick Noguez and Michael Gonzalez, Class of 2012, Class of 2019

Interviews with TCU Students About their Research


Despite the ubiquity of smartphone ownership and the increasing integration of social engagement features in smoking cessation apps to engage users, thesocial engagement features that exist in current smoking cessation apps and how effective these social features are in engaging users remain unclear. To fill the gap in the literature, a content analysis of free and paid smoking cessation mobile apps isconducted to examine a) the presence of socialengagement features(e.g., social support, social announcement, social referencing) and non-social engagement features (e.g., personal environmental changes, goal setting), and b) their relationship with user ratingsand engagement scores (e.g., Mobile App rating scale [MARS]). The findings will not only extend the mobile health apps engagement typology,but also inform smoking cessation mobile apps design.

Comments from Mentors

I met Nick and Michael during the first class (i.e., Communication Theory) I ever taught at Texas Christian University. Communication Theory has been long regarded as one of the most challenging courses required by the department of Communication Studies. However, Nick and Michael not only excelled in that class but genuinely enjoyed it. After the conclusion of class, both Nick and Michael did not stop there—they have made unremitting efforts in communication research. For instance, when I was recruiting student collaborators on this highlighted research project, which is funded by the Dean’s Faculty Research Grant, both Nick and Michael showed great interest in participating. Nick and Michael have been actively involved in the coding process of this content-analysis study examining the social and non-social engagement features of smoking cessation mobile apps, and were listed as co-authors in the conference paper submission of this project to acknowledge their contribution. In addition, I’m supervising Nick in another grant-funded research project that investigates how individuals manage their uncertainty when communicating with friends whose native language is different from their own. Michael is also applying to the graduate program in communication studies and seeking more opportunities to be involved with or to conduct research. 

I’m deeply impressed by Nick and Michael’s desire for knowledge and strong motivation, and I truly enjoy working with both of them. They are undoubtedly excellent role models of TCU undergraduate students. Both Nick and Michael have produced promising work and are sure to be outstanding scholars in their future careers.

Qinghua (Candy) Yang


Article Details

Bob Schieffer College of Communication