School project @ SCAD | 9 weeks | 2018 | Team of 4
Overview: Millennials' smartphone addiction has become a serious issue. As a team of both users and designers, we researched our target audience and developed a service and product to encourage conscious smartphone usage.
My Role: I was in the team of four and responsible for the research, ideation, concept development, and the entire UI design and prototype.
Millennials present a concerning addiction to their smart phones. On average, teenagers check on their smartphones 90 times a day. It is harder for them to balance smartphone usage and daily life such as in-person social interactions, mental health, and quality time with loved ones. There are damaging psychological effects when people use smartphones too much. Therefore...
How might we encourage conscious smartphone usage to help Millennials balance daily life and technology to prevent further damaging psychological effects?
Analog is a conceptual system of smartphones which allows users to re-define their screen by having access to certain applications based on different modes. Users get to add, delete, and customize each mode to fit specific needs to encourage conscious smartphone usage.
Easily switch to Analog system
Explore more options
Analog system provides different mode options based on different times of the day or users' activities.
Choose a mode and access only Apps you use
Prevent potential distractions
Each Analog mode allows users to only access certain Apps and hides all unnecessary ones to avoid distractions.
Add new modes based on certain activities
Own your unique experience
Adding a new mode gives users control of Apps based on specific scenarios such as a mode for kids or a mode for exercise.
Customize each mode with necessary Apps
Develop a healthier habit
Users customize each mode with the Apps they use and hide all others to avoid potential distractions and help focus on their activities.
A glance at people's current relationship with technology
In order to better understand trends and how people interact with technology today, we did secondary research and recognized some of the latest changes. This shows an increasing concern over the excessive use of technological devices by Millennials.
percent of people use their phone in the bathroom
percent check their phones for messages, alerts or calls, even when they don’t hear their phone ring or vibrate
percent of people believe they use their phone too much
percent of people can't make it through the day without their phone
percent of people check their phone within 5 minutes of going to sleep
Interviews and Survey.
Understanding Millennials' habits and concerns with smartphones
To gain a better understanding of how Millennials feel about their relationship with technology and their attitude about potential disconnection, we created a survey targeting Millennials about their habits with technology and feelings on disconnection.The questions we asked pertained to distractions, comfortability about stepping back, alternative options, and their ideas about potential disconnecting features. You can view 70 responses here.
64.3% of Millennials rank cell phones as the top device that they want to disconnect from
We confirmed that social media is the number 1 distraction
Most people prefer a feature that disconnects certain functions
Exploring touch points between technology and interviewees' in daily life
In order to deeply understand how Millennials use their smartphones throughout the day, we created a cultural probe, A Day in My Life, and distributed it to interviewees to get more detailed information
It's an App tracks how often you use each App on your phone. At the end of the week or month, it gives you a report on how much screen time you use a period and how much screen time you use per App. I haven't looked at the report for a long time but I still have it.
Affinitizing to learn the mindset and getting high-level insights
The next step was affinitizing all the data points from all the research. Yellow clusters were converted into one Blue which was drafted in the voice of the user be it as an I... or a We... Blues are also clustered and then summarized as a Pink, which are the insights. The Green presented themes, which led to an apparent direction to follow when designing the product or service.
People's behaviors have changed over time
Internet and technology have increased productivity and multitasking, yet over time individuals' behaviors are changing the more they use them.
Keeping only basic functions is necessary sometimes
There’s an awareness of addiction, time spent on smartphones can be decreased by only keeping basic functions in technology, to get more real interactions.
Disconnect to appreciate everyday life is needed
People’s relationship with phones has caused cognitive and physical behavioral changes. They want to disconnect in order to enhance their focus and appreciate everyday life.
Based on the cultural probe results, many people are in a dilemma of wanting disconnection yet worrying about missing information from friends and family
There are certain periods of time during the day and activities when people would like to avoid distractions, such as work, exercise, and spending time with loved ones
People constantly check on their phones for no specific reason, it is a more about a habit and a sense of security that most people are not conscious of
The most effective yet simple way that people avoid distractions is not being able to use or reach their phones
Visually conceptualizing ideas
This is the stage during which we sketched ideas based on the clustered insights and themes. By repeatedly clustering the sketches and creating new illustrations based on the similar themes and collections, we condensed the information and solidified ideas from over 150 concepts.
Setting Design Goals
1. Focus on phones rather than other devices at this stage.
2. Focus on solutions for tangible Apps' limitations, then explore ideas about changing potential users' habits, and in the long run assist users in resetting their educational mindset.
Prototype and test.
Rapid prototype on paper
A key feature we agreed upon and wanted to test was letting users have access to certain Apps on their phone screens during different times of the day. But we would like to know what users need to see on screen and what is most effective for concentration and disconnection.
Different modes based on different times during the day
Most interviewees mentioned that there are certain times during the day that they want zero connection and distraction.
"When I walk my dog, I really wanna just enjoy the time and not worry about checking on the notifications."
Certain Apps are faded and can't be accessed
We explored the idea of limitations of Apps on phones screens, which is a direct way to disconnect and is a more tangible solution compared to others.
Re-design control center to have more options
This is another idea group we agreed upon because it is the easiest way to control the phone, compared to creating another App to help users.
Validate and Test
We sketched several versions of phone screens and tested them with 11 students to see which one they wanted to use. The one with only necessary functions received the most votes. However, testers mentioned the one with social media on it (version B) still made them want to use it.
A Current screen
B Screen with some inaccessible Apps
C Screen with some functions
D Screen with basic functions zoomed
E Screen with basic functions