I led the process of ideating and defining the project scope, product strategy, and design process and finalizing the interaction design using rapid prototypes.
User Experience Design, User Interface Design, Interaction Design, Prototype, UX Research, Concept Development, Ideation, Information Architecture.
Timeline: 8 Weeks
Software: Adobe XD, Miro and Blender
Team : Aravindh Nagarajan (Lead), Aditya Nair, Dhairya Vora
Students are encouraged to address one of the grand challenges of Indiana University for their Mid-term project. Our team chose to overcome addiction as a challenge for this project.
A solution that gradually overcomes smoking addiction with the passive attention of the user.
Analyzing and understanding the user's smoking pattern and bridge it with the behavioural change of the user to overcome the smoking addiction.
Proposed a final design product which uses MMI Multimodal Interaction as a tool to overcome addiction.
No more is a smoking behaviour activity tracker to provide users with personalized experiences to overcome their smoke addiction. This product comes up with a wristband to understand and analyze users' behavioural patterns using hand gesture methods, state and action of the user, primarily during smoking. Furthermore, the product supports an app to provide detailed information on the user's progress in metrics.
Understands the user's smoking pattern and interrupt their smoking action in order to reduce the users smoke inhaling percentage E.g., If the user holds a cigarette drag for four seconds, the tracker understands this pattern of the user and intelligently takes the decision to reduce the smoking inhale percentage by indicating the user by haptic feedback at 2.5 seconds of the drag.
How does it work? This feature works with the help of a Multimodal interaction (MMI) system, where the tracker takes the user's hand gesture of smoking as a primary input to understand the smoking pattern as action and uses a cigarette smoke sensor around the user as a secondary input to reduce the false negative inputs.
Users will be notified about the status and progress of the day using the combination of different haptic and visual feedback from the Band.
E.g. Red indicates the user is entering the intense smoke zone Green says doing well; White indicates the progress of the day.
In the App, users will be able to track the progress they have made so far, and also, the App helps them visualize how each data from different features/sensors helps in the overall goal.
E.g., A sleep tracker helps to show the user how much the user's sleep timing has been improved throughout the journey.
The challenges help the user participate more actively and motivate them to follow through with another active user. The community forum in the App helps to stay motivated and share the progress to motivate others.
For example, users can opt for four weekly challenges, which help people who want to take a break or quit smoking instead of trying for the long process.
Unlike other projects, this project also comes with a set of constraints, one among them being the timeline. With the given timeline and performing human-centred design is crucial, A design thinking process is an excellent tool for solving open-ended problems in a specific domain in a limited time. Since our domain is already selected, we have opted for design thinking as a process for this project.
We are designing a solution for smoking addicts to overcome it. Though we have chosen one of the grand challenges from Indiana university still, addiction is a vast domain to jump in. This open-end problem area needs to be narrowed down by prioritizing the significant areas to concentrate on inside addiction.
The main reason for choosing smoking as an attention area is its life-threatening nature and the percentage of people dying. Comparatively, it is much higher than any other addiction consequence. Also, smoking affects smokers and the people around them implicitly. We narrowed our scope down to cigarette smoking during our literature study; we understood cigarette smoking needs more attention compared to other smoking habits like vaping, weed etc. cigarette smoking is one of the significant contributors to deaths by smoking in the USA.
Almost 14% of U.S. adults aged 18 or older were cigarette smokers in 2018. (CDC, 2021) = 46.8M.
More than 4,80000 deaths in the United States yearly due to smoke exposure. (CDC, 2021)
Nearly 70% of adults who smoke say they want to quit.
In the United States in 2018, 55% of adult smokers had attempted to quit smoking in the past 12 months. (CDC, 2020)
Only 3% to 5% of smokers successfully quit smoking without professional help.
Semi-structured interview X 6
Observations X 6
To better understand the smoker, we conducted a semi-structured interview with a smoker who wants to quit and has been smoking for quite some time. Furthermore, we have done an observational study to understand the behaviour and pattern of smokers in their day-to-day life.
We used standard techniques in industries, namely Affinity diagramming and Empathy Mapping.
The whole team participated in both activities.
Empathy mapping provides a glance into our target audience as a whole. The exercise helps us better empathize with the users by addressing what they see, hear, feel, their motivation and pain points. Upon analyzing these, we clearly understand user requirements, which may lead us to develop a better and more organic design solution.
The Affinity Diagramming helps us to quickly organize our findings and insights into small groups and themes based on their relationships. This process supports us in specifying a common understanding of the problem statement.
By analyzing the synthesized data from interviews, observation and desk research, we have derived insights that focus on users' core need to quit smoking. Also, it helps us find the design direction and values users seek and redefine the given brief into narrow downed ones.
How might we help the user to connect with the decision emotionally?
How might we help smokers to be aware of good habits?
How might we help smokers to overcome social pressure on social smoking?
How might we help smokers to understand the repercussion of passive smoking?
How might we help smokers to stay motivated and keep trying different ways to quit smoking?
From the data synthesizing process, it is evident that the cessation journey has two main problems or miles which every smoker faces and often fails to get; they are
Addiction is an easily relapsing action; over time, users feel they have completed the journey of quitting smoking when they succeed for a certain period. However, often, they start to smoke again. This is because the changes are made on an intentional level, not on the behavioural level.
In quitting, smokers seek extrinsic emotional support and continuous motivation to stay on track. Finding the motivation to do it every day is hard. Considering these core problems users deal with, the direction we are approaching is bringing fundamental behavioural changes instead of adding new behaviour.
For the next phase of the Design process, we used our research findings and insights to produce potential HMWs (How might we ) for the brainstorming sessions. We used a well-known ice-breaking ideation method called "Random word Ideation" in the first brainstorming," "Brainwriting ideation" for the second one and finally, the "Creative Matrix method" for the final session. We concentrated on "Quantity over the Quality of ideas" in the random word method. Whereas with the Creative Matrix method, we did the vice-versa.
Why did this ideation not work well for me?
After the first ideation session, we analyzed all our 56 ideas and narrowed down our design direction. Then we conducted the next round of Brainwriting exercises by presenting our top five concepts to fellow students. During the Brainwriting session, we observed that our ideas were far-fetched and out of the box, and it was tough for others to consume our thoughts. Since the problem statements also revolve around the current world issue, we conducted brainstorming sessions to generate more realizable and close-to-reality concepts by keeping the user in the centre.
The creative matrix method worked well for me The third brainstorming session is the "Creative matrix Ideation" method which works mainly on the cross-pollination of our insights/HMWs and the technology enablers for the concepts. Using this method, we could develop more viable design ideas for the problem statements.
We applied several affinity mapping to synthesize our ideation data to lead to a down-selection process. From the top 60, we have voted the top three ideas that fall under these design principles, Convenient, Behavioural and Motivational.
For this report, we conduct evaluation methods like Heuristic evaluation, cognitive walkthrough and think-aloud sessions to understand and analyze the usability and functionality of the product. Our team performed the evaluation individually with different users, and we got together to collate our findings into actionable insights.
Minimalism is more than just a clean and simple design. It is more about engagement, connection, and usability of the product. The information given to users should be relatable, and they should be able to gain insights independently. Making the App look good will work as a try-out product, not a sustainable one.
Though we understood the user value and made a concept that satisfies all the user's core needs. The usage of the right technology is a crucial design decision. If the user is given futuristic or old technology as a solution, people might feel disconnected from the product because it might take users' cognitive load, which can affect the experience.