A speculative design, meaning it is intended to spark conversation and challenge the future rather than present a fully realized product. My goal with this project was to create a dystopian design that would discomfort users and serve as a conversation starter to explore the potential consequences of new technology.
Some of the methods used:
Microsoft reaction cards
I did everything from research and workshops to prototyping and test
So, what's the problem?
The goal is to create a speculative design. I chose to do it about dreams since it exist in our everyday lives but remain a great mystery to us.
Time to create
To not get lost in my process I used the Double Dimond methodology.
Research, Analyze, synthesize
Prototype, test, refine
After I conducted some research, I wanted some help with the ideation and decided to have a workshop regarding the theme "dreams". The workshop was 1 and a half hours long and was conducted with 4 people.
The workshop generated a lot of new ideas and thoughts. The participants of the workshop also discussed what they find unpleasant about dreams so I had a lot to move forward with.
I also gathered information from other people by creating a Story Board that I sent out digitally with information and a form with Microsoft Reaction Cards. I wanted to know if they're initially positive towards the idea of Deep Sleep. I sent this out to 5 new people.
Story about Anders
Anders works full-time at an office.
He works intensely and he constantly tries to live up to his boss's expectations of him.
Anders sleeps but gets no further
recovery from his sleep. He feels that he will never truly recover.
He starts a new, stressful work day.
Anders is so exhausted that he can hardly stand anything at all. He just gets more and more tired.
He feels that he is stuck in the squirrel wheel. He works, eats, sleep, and then the cycle starts again. When will he have time for other things in life and rest?
Anders discovers Deep Sleep, which allows him to get more recovery when he sleeps. They use a new technology where you can decide for yourself what to dream about.
Anders dreams peaceful dreams and gets real rest. He finds it meditative to be out in nature and therefore dreams of hiking.
Through the better quality of sleep, Anders has more energy at his workplace.
I started with low-fi wireframes creating frames inspired by ordinary health apps and streaming services.
From low-fi to mid-fi
I explained this new technology and gave the user the phone to look around in the app. I had also given the test person a timeline to do some UX curves. As I said in the beginning. I wanted the user to feel good initially and then feel uneasy. I did this test on 2 people.
It was an overall good experience,
I had to make it worse.
I added horrible categories to point at misuse with a technology like this. I hid the category a bit further down the page to not make it too obvious.
I tested the new "worse" version with 4 new people. Resulting in 4 new UX-Curves.
Before the change
After the change
This resulted in an app that pulls users in, but then, the longer they stay the more uneasy they feel. Overall I'm happy with my design, it serves its purpose and is considered hi-fi regarding the time I had.
So, did I learn anything?
This project was a particularly valuable experience for me, as it allowed me to work independently and explore new methods and techniques, it was really fun.
One of the things I enjoyed was using UX curves to determine what matters most to users. This helped me focus my efforts and prioritize my prototype's most important features and functions.