Background: Cell phone text messaging is gaining increasing recognition as an important tool that can be harnessed for prevention and intervention programs across a wide variety of health research applications. Despite the growing body of literature reporting positive outcomes, very little is available about the design decisions that scaffold the development of text messaging-based health interventions. What seems to be missing is documentation of the thought process of investigators in the initial stages of protocol and content development. This omission is of particular concern because many researchers seem to view text messaging as the intervention itself instead of simply a delivery mechanism. Certainly, aspects of this technology may increase participant engagement. Like other interventions, however, the content is a central driver of the behavior change.