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CIID Final Project: Design challenge


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CIID Final Project: Design challenge

  1. 1. LIFE IS AN ACT OF BALANCE an exploration into how personal informatics can facilitate behaviour change and enable people to feel like they have a more balanced life Eilidh Dickson Scottish Product/Service Design Advisor: Heather Martin
  2. 2. I AM INTERESTED IN AND INSPIRED BY.... For my final project I am focusing on how you give people the ability to change elements of their behaviour, in order for them to feel like they have a balanced life (subjective to the individual) Either by allowing them to become more aware and learn about their lifestyle habits, so they can make behavioural changes themselves or by providing them with tools or services that will actively help them make the changes to their lifestyle. I am especially interested to see if the emerging field of Personal Informatics can play a role in helping people achieve this. If you could track intangible information about your day-to-day actions would it trigger people to change their behaviour. I believe this new realm has huge potential to redefine the way in which we interact with the physical world and gain insights about our actions that make up our daily routines. I am excited that this greater awareness has the potential to help us adjust and moderate our behaviour in a number of positive ways. Currently in our everyday lives we are commonly engulfed in specific contexts, which makes it difficult to see the bigger picture. I am curious to understand if personal informatics can enable people to pinpoint areas of their life that bring them personal fulfillment and support them to experience this more often. An area I see as an underlying thread throughout the project is addressing the issue of ‘time poverty’ People need to feel connected to people, places they live, even the food they eat. Traditionally this was much easier to achieve, as family all lived together, you new all your relatives and you new that your food had come from your back garden. These connections have been weakened because of a fast pace of life. The advance of new labour saving technologies has allowed us to achieve more in a shorter space of time, yet instead of using the time we save to ‘slow’ down we are prone to making ourselves even busier. Eilidh Dickson, CIID/DKDS Pilot Year, 9th June 2009
  3. 3. RELATED PROJECTS AND REFERENCES At the very beginning of our final project I collected some examples around personal informat- ics and mapped them out, purely to understand what was already available. Below are some of the more successful and interesting ideas I collected. They all focus on very specific areas of an individuals life that they can help them monitor and control. Nike + Nike + is one of the most commercial and well discussed personal informatics tools currently available. The system is made up of a small chip that you insert in your running shoes, combined with a personal online service. The tangible UI which is imbedded in the sole of your shoes communicates with your Apple iPod (which has pre-loaded software) feeding it with information about your running to help you track your training regime. The system essentially becomes a digital personal trainer. After you have completed your training session you can plug your iPod into your computer and log into your personal Nike + account. What I think has greatly contributed to the success of the Nike + system is that even though you have a personal account you are part of a community. Your web based account allows you to provide training tips and advice to other people and recommend good running routes. By being part of community I really believe that it makes peoples actions feel more valued. Eilidh Dickson, CIID/DKDS Pilot Year, 9th June 2009
  4. 4. Wattson The Wattson is a new kind of home appliance that is networked to a sensor attached to your home’s electric meter box. Using colours and numbers, the Wattson device displays your energy consumption and stores it on an online database making it easy for you to manage your electricity usage and therefore save money. Not only is the system hugely informative and practical… the device also looks great. Google Power Meter How much does it cost to leave your TV on all day? Which uses more power every month — your dishwasher or your washing machine? Is your household more or less energy efficient than similar homes in your neighborhood? These are some of the questions you will be able to answer with a new prototype Google are experimenting with. Google power meter helps you become more energy efficient and save money by pinpointing what devices are using specific amounts of energy. You can even have friendly competition between your friends and neighbours. Last Fm Is an online web tool that monitors your music habits by connecting to your itunes or other media software. Every track you play will tell your profile something about what you like. It suggests friends based on your music tastes and recommends songs from their music collections and yours too. Eilidh Dickson, CIID/DKDS Pilot Year, 9th June 2009
  5. 5. Dopplr Dopplr is an online tool used to track your traveling habits. Dopplr members can share personal and business travel plans privately with their networks, and exchange tips on places to stay, eat and explore in cities around the world. Each year you get an annual review of all your traveling, including showing when your travel plans have over lapped with friends and how much impact you are having on the environment. What I really like about dopplr is the flexibility it provides, you can update your profile on your personal profile, through your mobile or on other social networking sites, and you can sync it all to you iCAL or outlook calendar on your computer. It appears to be very seamless. References Johnny Holland, The Power of Personal Infomatics Addressing the issue of ‘time poverty’ Tools for knowing more about your body and mind Eilidh Dickson, CIID/DKDS Pilot Year, 9th June 2009
  6. 6. Frog Design on Personal Informatics html Personal Informatics, Matt Jones & Tom Coates of-personal-informatics-493301 Behaviour is our Medium, Robert Fabricant (Frog Design) technology?type=presentation TED talk on meta data nbox%2F%3Fref%3Dmb&feature=player_embedded Pervasive Design article MY STARTING POINT My starting point was a curiosity to investigate how design can be used to change people’s behaviour especially within the context of life balance. This interest was very much inspired by our TUI project at CIID that focused on using RFID technology to create an awareness of the environmental impact caused by certain food products transportation. On completion of this project I further investigated it by writing an article on personal Informatics for an online Interaction Design magazine called Johnny Holland. During this I found out that there are currently a number of personal informatics tools on the market to help people balance their lives, mainly focusing around health, finances and energy consumption. Some of these have been a great success while others are just a waste of time. When looking at these examples I was disappointed by the lack of imagination that was driving this emphasis on data displays and was very skeptical that any bar chart on a screen would actually motivate anyone to change his or her behaviour. I was interested in how to trigger an emotional experience to motivate behavioural change and find a more specialized area that could be addressed by personal informatics to help people feel more balanced. Eilidh Dickson, CIID/DKDS Pilot Year, 9th June 2009
  7. 7. MY EXPLORATIONS After conducting some initial desk research on personal informatics and existing tools to help people balance their lives, the majority of my time was spent on planning (1 week) conducting (1 week) and analyzing user research (1 week) Objective My objective for my user research was to gain an understanding of what it means for people to live a balanced life, what are people’s personal values they need to meet to feel comfortable in their lifestyle, how does this change depending on what stage of their life they are at and do they use any tools or strategies to achieve this. To understand how people’s values change at different stages of their lives I conducted research with three different user groups, Students, couples that were working and families. Within these categories there were also some extreme users that included an avid sportsman, someone with diabetes and two people that were away from home frequently due to work travel. I was interested in hearing if people who had more extreme lifestyles had different strategies to keep themselves feeling in control. STUDENT EXTREME USER Mapping Research Candidates HAS CHILDREN ERIC PERNILLE RUNE LIVING WITH LIVING ALONE PARTNER/HUSBAND AMANDA KRISTIAN MARTIN FRANCESSCA JON LAURA RUNE. P KATE DAVID WORKING Eilidh Dickson, CIID/DKDS Pilot Year, 9th June 2009
  8. 8. Reasearch Candidates Amanda bligh David Kearford Eric Stevenson Francessca Mustaffi Jon Wettersen Kate Pilkington Kristian Kørrup Martin Wøldik Laura ceriol Pernille Christoffersen Rune Bottzauw Rune Pittmer Eilidh Dickson, CIID/DKDS Pilot Year, 9th June 2009
  9. 9. Research Planning Out of 12 people I conducted nine 2 hour research sessions in person, 2 Skype interviews to the US and one remote experiment in Italy. During the research sessions I used a number of reflection tools I had designed to help facilitate the session and provoke conversation. I also had a set of questions on more specific areas, that I adapted depending on how the discussion evolved. These questions covered areas such as typical daily routines and habits, enjoyable parts of their day, things they don’t have time to achieve, how they manage their time to meet all their priorities, use of labour saving technology, triggers that make them to feel stressed, how they deal with conflicts in their time, what their ‘feel good’ activities are and how their priorities have changed as their responsibilities have. Conducting Research I used a Card sorting activity where i got people to chose from a list of things they do either on a daily, weekly or random basis. This was used as a warm up activity to get people starting to think about what they do prioritize in daily life. It was a great conversation starter as you could question them on their answers. Eilidh Dickson, CIID/DKDS Pilot Year, 9th June 2009
  10. 10. I also designed a mapping tool to get people to think about more specific values they need to achieve to feel in control and what really brings them meaning in life. This exercise was very valuable as it forced people to take a moment and reflect on what was really important to them. People found the exercise difficult, especially when they started to realize that they were achieving very few of the things that were important and a priority to them. Although the task was challenging almost everyone I interviewed found it beneficial to have a moment of reflection for themselves where they could rethink what their priorities were. During my research a few people also kept a diary so i could gain insight into their routines, sleeping and eating habits. After completing the diary I questioned them if they gained any value from writing in it each day. People responded with saying that they felt like they wanted to be more productive throughout their day so they had something positive and interesting to write in it. This shows that actively logging your activities can lead to increased motivation to do well. Eilidh Dickson, CIID/DKDS Pilot Year, 9th June 2009
  11. 11. During some of the interview sessions I would get people to draw an emotional time line map of a certain period of time that they decided on. The peaks in the diagram are when they are feeling out of balance. This allowed me to see that periods of in balance are often due to a change or transition in their lifestyle. This often included moving to a new city, leaving home or starting a new job. Although these are not negative situations to be in, the uncertainty and the anxiety of starting something new can make people feel out of balance. The remote exercise in Italy involved an extreme user (Laura, who is rarely at home due to work related travel) keeping a detailed diary for one week. In this she recorded her day-to-day activities and routines, including eating and sleeping habits. I also asked her to reflect on how she felt throughout the day and in the moment while she was doing certain tasks. If anything made her feel stressed she was to record it and the same goes for if she was happy. As well as the written diary she also took photographs of the following: 1. Things that you do on a regular basis that make you feel comfortable and content. 2. Any tools or strategies that help you meet your priorities. 3. Things that you make you feel uncomfortable or unbalance in your life. The result of this exercise was very detailed and rich information with a number of key insights to what it is like when you are continually on the move. Research Analysis On completion of my user research I created character boards for each person, writing down key quotes and observations from their session. At this point I then filtered the information again and selected the most intriguing and surprising quotes from each respondent that I did not anticipate. Within these insights three underlying themes were formed. These were Communication with Family and Friends, Food and Eating Habits and Personal Prioritising and Planning. Eilidh Dickson, CIID/DKDS Pilot Year, 9th June 2009
  12. 12. Interview notes typed up and organised! One of my character boards Mapping out all my insights Eilidh Dickson, CIID/DKDS Pilot Year, 9th June 2009
  13. 13. Understanding what each quote means Creating How might we statements Voting on the most interesting insights Eilidh Dickson, CIID/DKDS Pilot Year, 9th June 2009
  14. 14. Within each of these themes I used the IDEO method of asking what does each insight mean, and then writing “How might we statements” for them all. At this point there were still a number of areas I could chose to develop, but I decided to focus on personal prioritizing as this is where I felt most challenged, excited and saw potential to apply personal informatics to. Some of the key insights in this theme were: “I transfer work trips to our calendar at home, but only a few weeks before, mainly so Mas [husband] can’t see what’s ahead of him!” People only really use a ‘public’ calendar for really important events that are necessary to share. “I don’t currently write in a diary as I imagine someone reading it, so I won’t put anything personal in it…….I like the approach of this diary, I actually find that I want to be more productive just so u can write something positive in it, kind of indirect motivation” Having to actively record you activities allows you to reflect and become motivated to do well. “I would love to be able to schedule time for reading…….but it sounds kind of dorky….so I would love to be able to track some of these things I would like to be able to do without having to actually track it” People feel silly scheduling ‘me time’ but are interested to understand what they spend their time on and when. “I keep a personal to-do list, I prioritise everything, so when I have been neglecting something I move it up the list, I keep it on my desktop so I can always see it” People need to have a constant reminder of what it important to do otherwise they will ignore it. “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 enjoy it until you do it again” People easily forget how important something is and how much they enjoy it when they stop doing it. “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 when it comes to making personal decisions. Eilidh Dickson, CIID/DKDS Pilot Year, 9th June 2009
  15. 15. DESIGN CHALLENGE Due to an increased pace of life and personal competition with ones self to become ‘someone better’ people are continually busy, going from one task to the next. This has been heightened by a more prominent use of technology in our lives, which has resulted in lifestyle barriers that used to exist been broken; people can now work anywhere, contact anyone at a given time and achieve much more on the move. The result of having this fast pace of life is that people become absorbed in ‘achieving more’ and detached from what their day-to-day life looks like and what brings them a real sense of enjoyment. Within their busy lives people find it hard to prioritize when making decisions in their own life and would often like to be guided in some way. Some people use diaries and calendars to schedule (make time for) ‘practical appointments’ but very rarely for personal activities, yet they are interested to understand what they spend their time on, especially for things they enjoy doing, but rarely have time to do. In order for people to have a balanced life on a bigger scale they have to first reconnect to themselves, focusing on what they need to be content rather than everything that is possible. How might we create a flexible and customizable platform that will help people to reconnect to themselves, enabling them to prioritize in their lives by keeping track of and reminding them of past experiences that they can then use as a reference point to make decisions? Other Questions to probe for brainstorming -How might we create a greater awareness of elements of our lives that bring us enjoyment, and how much time we actually spend on these activities. -How might we compare what your day actually looks like with what you would ideally like it to be. -How can the act of recording these experiences be seamlessly integrated into your lifestyle. -How might we see what our priorities are in ‘real time’ and edit them as they change. -How might we use forms of multimedia in a creative way to record and reflect on ‘our stories’ -How might we track success and failure to learn from it. -How might we create a experience model that people will want to invest time in. Eilidh Dickson, CIID/DKDS Pilot Year, 9th June 2009
  16. 16. Concerns At this stage my main concern is defining what experiences people should actually record. Should there be specific types of experiences they record depending on the feeling they get from it, should they get to specify them themselves, or decide on important categories to follow. When researching on Personal Coaching the main areas they focus on are (i) Developing habits for a less stressful life (ii) Maneuvering through life transitions (iii) Meeting goals and aspirations (iv) Enhancing quality of communication and relationships. I think these areas are all interesting and looking at prioritizing under umbrella themes could be something to investigate. Potential User Group From my user research I found that the main reason for people to feel out of balance was after a significant transition in their lifestyle. For some people this was moving to another country or starting their own company, for others it was having a child or going from being a student to having their first job. Although these periods of people’s lives are not necessarily negative they can be unsettling and often daunting, and it is during these periods of time you can forget or ignore what your personal priorities really are. I am finding it is hard to decide on a specific user group as I do not want to limit my idea generation, but at the same time I know it is better to be able to create a more focused design challenge. As an initial thought I think focusing on people that have moved away from their native country could very be interesting. When you are in your own culture, it is often the case that it helps you define your lifestyle and the decisions you make, ranging from how many hours of work you do to the type of food you eat. Where as when you move to a new country you have a new level of freedom that can often be harder to manage. Eilidh Dickson, CIID/DKDS Pilot Year, 9th June 2009