Archive for July, 2009


July 29, 2009


Last week I had a severe case of tunnel vision when it came to my project, i was starting to get distracted by silly details and was loosing sight of the true value in my idea and the research i had based it on..So to rectify this situation i refreshed my mind by hiding away all my scenarios and blueprints and looked back through my insights and prototyping and summarized my project into what it is, why I’m doing it and who for… I feel much better now! I have even started to mock up props and interface screens for my video prototyping!photos here.

An increased pace of life = People become absorbed in ‘achieving more’ rather than doing things that bring them enjoyment

People Become Detached from what there day-to-day life looks like, they are unaware of how busy they really are,  and how there time is distributed.

People find it hard to prioritize in their personal lives.


“I don’t currently write in a dairy as i imagine someone else reading it, so i wouldn’t put anything personal in it……I like the approach of this diary. I actually find i want to be more productive, so i have something interesting to write in it”

Actively logging your activities can motivate people to do well and stick to a program

For someone to use a ‘diary’ to reflect there needs to be a level of privacy

“I would love to schedule time for reading…but it sounds kind of dorky…So I would like to be able to track some of these things i would like to be able to do, without have to actually track them”

People feel silly for scheduling ‘me time’ into their routines, but are interested to become more aware if what they spend their their time on and when

“Hobbies are great when they are built into your life, i love it, but when you don’t do it for a while you forget how much you really enjoy them, until you do it again”

People easily forget how important certain activities are to them and how much they enjoy them when they stop doing them on a regular basis. People adjust to new situation easily.

“Prioritizing is difficult, it would be good to have ground rules, or a rule of thumb to follow”

People like to be guided in some way when it comes to making personal decisions….they need reassurance

A service that provides a platform for people to self reflect and become more aware of their lifestyle patterns. Its uses GPS tracking and direct reporting (data input) through the users mobile phone to build up a map of how people spend their time, with who and how happy they are. The data that is tracked and recorded is then transformed into different visualizations that the person can interact with, reflect on and see opportunities for change in their behaviour.

A self reflection tool, that helps people to reflect in the moment of doing something and overtime.

It helps people pinpoint  areas of their life that bring them personal enjoyment and supports them to experience more often

It allows people to reconnect to what their day-to-day life looks like and understand what they spend their time on, with who and how happy they are

It allows people to see trends and patterns in their behaviour, and opportunities for change they might normally miss. It is not designed to control behaviour, but to monitor and display actions in a way that will raise questions with the person.


Flexible, Customizable and Scalable

Work to reward and not punish

Use feedback to give gentle nudges

Feedback mechanisms = inform what you can do to change behaviour in real time

Leave it open so the user can fill in the end of the story…don’t tell them what to do, but give them clear information so they can make more informed decisions themselves.

(Matt Locke)

People who are motivated to do well and want to change

People that currently live a busy lifestyle and find it hard to prioritize, often sacrificing the things they really enjoy doing, so they can achieve more in other areas of their life

People who have gone through a change or transition in their life, that has caused

Experience Prototype #2

July 29, 2009

Over the weekend i conducted another simple experience prototype. This time is was with Mimi from my class. During this experiment i wanted to question what motivates people to stick to a program and how do people react when they are rewarded for it. During this experiment, like the previous one i got Mimi to track certain tasks she wanted to complete, and alert the service (me!) when she had done so through either an SMS or by leaving a physical note on my desk. When Mimi was doing well i would give her rewards in different ways…These included:

1. an email with a reward voucher attached that she had to print out and bring to me to then exchange it for a gift

2. a surprise gift and note  left on her desk one morning

3. simple “well done” messages to her mobile phone

The video below shows the documentation of the experiment. After it was over i interviewed Mimi to get feedback, some of my  key learning’s are below 🙂

-receiving the welcome pack felt like you were getting a gift

-The system has to  be flexible enough to deal with changes in people’s schedules and priorities that will occur

-When a gift was a complete surprise, it was better than knowing you were about to receive something in advance

-Big rewards were not expected as part of the service, but it was nice when the little surprises were personal and tailored to the individual as it makes you feel like the service knows you

-It would be nice to share  the experience with a friend(s) and get motivation and advice from them, it would also allow you to share your day to day life with people you don’t have the opportunity to see on a day to day basis

UI Design

July 21, 2009

Over the last few days i have been starting to think more about the design of my service touch points especially the UI of the website and visualizations. This has also been a good excuse to brush up my flash skills as well! Below are the first few sign up pages of the website, where yo can start to get a feel for what i’m doing.

Picture 6

Picture 7

Picture 8

Picture 9

Experience Prototyping

July 16, 2009

On Monday and Tuesday of this week i conducted a quick experience prototype to test of few questions i had about my idea. From my prototyping i wanted to learn:

How much effort is it to log your daily activities and goals you want to achieve? and do you gain something from doing so?

What is it like to have to quantify your happiness after doing certain tasks, and what is the the most natural way to do it?

What is it like to receive friendly nudges of encouragement and motivation? Do they work or does it just become irritating receiving them?

During the experiment i asked Sarah to track specific tasks she wanted to achieve by sending an SMS to the service (my mobile phone) when she had completed it. At this point she also had to quantify her happiness and satisfaction, by using a set of cards i had given her which asked her to illustrate how she was feeling in a variety of ways i.e with words, colour, icons. While all this was going on the service was also sending her prompts and motivation via SMS to encourage her to complete her goals!

The video below shows the documentation of the experiment. After it was complete i spent time interviewing Sarah who had taken part in it, the notes below show some of my key findings.

-Receiving messages and reminders worked as a good support line

-by recoding what she was doing, it brought things to her focus, she started to realise why she was or wasn’t doing something

-She liked that the service was personal, so she felt more commitment towards it and responsibility for her actions, as it was something that was helping her

-The easiest was to quantify how she was feeling was with with a number or slider, or sometimes using words to describe it.

-Seeing what you have achieved it very motivating, and remembering how good you felt when you did it is encouraging to do it again

-knowing it was a person on the end of the phone and not automated made her feel more motivated and responsible. So how can the service be personal to each user and seem like a buddy or friend.


July 15, 2009

For the last few days i have been designing and making welcome packs for my service to use as part of my experience prototyping which took place on Monday and Tuesday. I will post the video for the experience prototyping once it has been compressed enough so it can go on vimeo. In the mean time here are some photos…..oh and i should also mention my service is called echo!

102_1009Packaging straight from the printers!

102_1024Assembled packaging

102_1030Welcome pack and letter


102_1038Inside the welcome pack!

P1000631instructions for the experience prototyping

P1000635Cards to rate your happiness


102_1065Logging activities through SMS for the experience prototyping

102_1078Quantifying happiness in  the experience prototype

more photos can be found here

Initial Blueprint

July 11, 2009

This week it has been back to final project work after our amazing industry visits (documentation coming soon) I have been reviewing my feedback from my midway review and making an initial service blueprint. This has allowed me to focus and establish the key user interactions, the role of the service provider and the touch points of the service that need to be designed for my experience prototyping and my end communication. I have also come up  with a name for the service and started working on the branding. Currently i am working on designing some of the touch points needed for experience prototyping next week, so when i have finished then i will also reveal the name!

102_0985brainstorming service name

102_0969initial service blueprint

CIID/DKDS Interaction Design Funding

July 6, 2009


Today we got this AMAZING news for next year….

“I am very pleased to be able to tell you that we have received funding to continue the Interaction Design Programme at CIID/DKDS.

Our next intake of students have already been selected and will be coming from 12 different countries to study with us from September 14th, 2009”