IRIS

RESEARCH BASED PRODUCT DESIGN
SPRING 2019
Exploring the possibilities for intentional and enjoyable data experiences.

A research and product design project investigating how people interact with their personal data. Our team focused on music in relation to mental health and asked “How might we help people recognize, reflect, and archive mood shifts on a long term basis?” Our response was a music speaker and companion app focused on individual interpretation of mood and abstracted data visuals. Deliverables included research based posters, storyboards, ideation exercises, two prototypes and an analysis paper.

IN COLLABORATION WITH:

_ Rachel Fazio, Camille Scukas, Patrick Roller

CONTEXT:

_ 12 weeks
_ Team Project
_ Design Methods Class

IRIS

Exploring the possibilities for intentional and enjoyable data experiences.

A three month long research and product design project investigating how people interact with their personal data. Our team focused on music in relation to mental health and asked “How might we help people recognize, reflect, and archive mood shifts on a long term basis?” Our response was a music speaker and companion app focused on individual interpretation of mood and abstracted data visuals. Deliverables included research based posters, storyboards, ideation exercises, two prototypes and an analysis paper.

To continue reading please revisit on a desktop browser.

SELF AND WORLD ANALYSIS

PROBLEMATIC

We asked our participants general questions regarding their interaction with, and reasoning behind the types of personal data they collected. They all questioned what personal data was. They immediately associated the word “data” with automatic, impersonal systems, like spreadsheets and strictly numerical information.

We found it especially important to make data collection for mental health more personal, as it can be a complex and vulnerable topic.

I began by examining my own life-world. I considered my personal journey as a designer and a maker. A common aspect I found was collaboration.

I chose to explore collaboration with nonhumans because I have a passion for those that go unnoticed. With emerging technologies changing the way we navigate the world, it is increasingly important to consider those who may get excluded and forgotten.

RESEARCH

PROBLEMATIC

To begin our research, we found participants with varied backgrounds and ages ranging from 11 to 55 years old. Research methods included semi-structured interviews, artifact analysis, participatory design workshops, and user feedback reports.

We synthesized our research and focused on three main design principles to address:

1. FITS INTO THEIR SPACE
2. INDIVIDUALIZED
3. MINIMAL EXERTION

Nonhuman beings may not be readily noticeable, but their contributions to each other and our world are vast. They may be unseen, unheard, or unmoving to the human eye, but they are creating and sustaining symbiotic relationships within a plurality of species. And yet, we don’t often acknowledge these nonhumans when we think about collaborative problem solving, design and resilience within the world.

To continue reading please revisit on a desktop browser.

Nonhuman beings may not be readily noticeable, but their contributions to each other and our world are vast. They may be unseen, unheard, or unmoving to the human eye, but they are creating and sustaining symbiotic relationships within a plurality of species. And yet, we don’t often acknowledge these nonhumans when we think about collaborative problem solving, design and resilience within the world.

SELF AND WORLD ANALYSIS

I began by examining my own life-world. I considered my personal journey as a designer and a maker. A common aspect I found was collaboration.

I chose to explore collaboration with nonhumans because I have a passion for those that go unnoticed. With emerging technologies changing the way we navigate the world, it is increasingly important to consider those who may get excluded and forgotten.

PROBLEMATIC

Nonhuman beings may not be readily noticeable, but their contributions to each other and our world are vast. They may be unseen, unheard, or unmoving to the human eye, but they are creating and sustaining symbiotic relationships within a plurality of species. And yet, we don’t often acknowledge these nonhumans when we think about collaborative problem solving, design and resilience within the world.

To continue reading please revisit on a desktop browser.

Nonhuman beings may not be readily noticeable, but their contributions to each other and our world are vast. They may be unseen, unheard, or unmoving to the human eye, but they are creating and sustaining symbiotic relationships within a plurality of species. And yet, we don’t often acknowledge these nonhumans when we think about collaborative problem solving, design and resilience within the world.

DRAWING EXERCISES

We asked people to draw, in any style they liked, what they felt like their mood shifts looked like throughout the day. This exercise helped us realize how important personalized color is when visualizing mood shifts.

HOW MIGHT WE HELP PEOPLE RECOGNIZE, REFLECT, AND ARCHIVE MOOD SHIFTS ON A LONG TERM BASIS?

SELF AND WORLD ANALYSIS

IDEATION

Considering these insights, we ideated sixty possible design responses to connect mental health and personal data. These products would ideally fit into people’s routines, feature abstract data, and function with minimal effort. We decided on an “everything goes” mentality; even if an idea wasn’t realistic, it could inspire a more feasible design in the future.

PROBLEMATIC

Nonhuman beings may not be readily noticeable, but their contributions to each other and our world are vast. They may be unseen, unheard, or unmoving to the human eye, but they are creating and sustaining symbiotic relationships within a plurality of species. And yet, we don’t often acknowledge these nonhumans when we think about collaborative problem solving, design and resilience within the world.

WHAT IS WORKING? WHAT ISN'T?

SELF AND WORLD ANALYSIS

FURTHER IDEATION

In narrowing down our ideas, we chose three concepts that had the most potential for positive impact while meeting our three design principles. These concepts were an app that prioritizes notifications, a prescription reminder lid, and a mood tracking radio.

During the class critique, we found that most of our peers favored the mood radio idea. They expressed a desire for long term reflection and requested more clarity for usability.

PROBLEMATIC

Nonhuman beings may not be readily noticeable, but their contributions to each other and our world are vast. They may be unseen, unheard, or unmoving to the human eye, but they are creating and sustaining symbiotic relationships within a plurality of species. And yet, we don’t often acknowledge these nonhumans when we think about collaborative problem solving, design and resilience within the world.

DESIGN TOGETHER!

SELF AND WORLD ANALYSIS

PARTICIPATORY DESIGN WORKSHOP

We focused our activities around making, telling, and enacting. Our card sorting and prototyping activities provided clear insights into the physical components of our product. Participants desired a balance between industrial and organic aesthetics.

The co-design processes taught us to let the participant be the specialist in our research. Listening to their specific needs and potential solutions helped us detach from our own ideas and imagine a more realistic use of our product moving forward.

PROBLEMATIC

Nonhuman beings may not be readily noticeable, but their contributions to each other and our world are vast. They may be unseen, unheard, or unmoving to the human eye, but they are creating and sustaining symbiotic relationships within a plurality of species. And yet, we don’t often acknowledge these nonhumans when we think about collaborative problem solving, design and resilience within the world.

WHAT IS THIS EXPERIENCE LIKE?

SELF AND WORLD ANALYSIS

STORYBOARD

Through storyboarding exercises, we imagined various scenarios of how and when our product would be used. Creating a storyline with realistic context helped us to refine the purpose of our project.

Multiple issues were addressed, such as the purpose of the sliders, how “smart” the device would be, and how the data is viewed on a long term scale. This feedback allowed us to think more critically about how people would specifically interact with our product and the data it collects.
(Storyboard Illustrations by Patrick Roller)

PROBLEMATIC

Nonhuman beings may not be readily noticeable, but their contributions to each other and our world are vast. They may be unseen, unheard, or unmoving to the human eye, but they are creating and sustaining symbiotic relationships within a plurality of species. And yet, we don’t often acknowledge these nonhumans when we think about collaborative problem solving, design and resilience within the world.

RESPONSE

SELF AND WORLD ANALYSIS

FINAL DELIVERABLES

These prototypes offer a fundamental lens at what the experience of tracking mood through the speaker and app would look and feel like.

PROBLEMATIC

Nonhuman beings may not be readily noticeable, but their contributions to each other and our world are vast. They may be unseen, unheard, or unmoving to the human eye, but they are creating and sustaining symbiotic relationships within a plurality of species. And yet, we don’t often acknowledge these nonhumans when we think about collaborative problem solving, design and resilience within the world.

SELF AND WORLD ANALYSIS

SPEAKER

The top slider on the speaker allows people to set the color they currently feel reflects their mood. They can set the bottom slider in the same position to only hear songs related to that current mood, or they can choose a second color. The second color represents a mood you would like to feel, so the speaker would gradually play music from one mood spectrum to another.

PROBLEMATIC

Nonhuman beings may not be readily noticeable, but their contributions to each other and our world are vast. They may be unseen, unheard, or unmoving to the human eye, but they are creating and sustaining symbiotic relationships within a plurality of species. And yet, we don’t often acknowledge these nonhumans when we think about collaborative problem solving, design and resilience within the world.

SELF AND WORLD ANALYSIS

APP

I prototyped the app in Figma, with Camille's contribution of data visuals (circle motion graphics). The app needed to be both welcoming and nonintrusive. Therefore, I designed a minimalistic interface.

The app allows a person to customize their color settings in relation to their mood (eg. one person may choose the color blue to represent excitement while another person relates blue to sadness). The easily adjustable color settings allow for privacy and self interpretation of mood data.

The option to add time stamps to a color or song choice allows people to quickly recognize and archive their mood shifts over an extended period of time. Interactive data visualizations would allow people to feel immersed in, and in control of, their archives.

PROBLEMATIC

Nonhuman beings may not be readily noticeable, but their contributions to each other and our world are vast. They may be unseen, unheard, or unmoving to the human eye, but they are creating and sustaining symbiotic relationships within a plurality of species. And yet, we don’t often acknowledge these nonhumans when we think about collaborative problem solving, design and resilience within the world.

KEY TAKEAWAYS

SELF AND WORLD ANALYSIS

ONGOING THOUGHTS

Overall, this project highlighted the ever-growing complexity of people's relationships between themself and their data. As connected devices become more integrated into our daily lives it is important to design data experiences intended for people to understand, benefit from, and enjoy interacting with.

PROBLEMATIC

Nonhuman beings may not be readily noticeable, but their contributions to each other and our world are vast. They may be unseen, unheard, or unmoving to the human eye, but they are creating and sustaining symbiotic relationships within a plurality of species. And yet, we don’t often acknowledge these nonhumans when we think about collaborative problem solving, design and resilience within the world.