Angela Bains, Anthony Kerr, Herman Pi’kea Clark, Jason Lujan, Simone Jones, Sugandha Gaur
Three questions to the project team
What was the particular challenge of the project from a UX point of view?
The primary UX challenge was navigating the paradoxical nature of the issue at hand — users' contextual unavailability due to excessive device use. The goal was to guide users back to the present without isolating the device. Crafting an experience that used the smartphone as a tool for reconnection, rather than advocating detachment, demanded an intricate understanding of user-device interactions. It required nuanced design to captivate attention within the digital realm and strike a delicate balance, ensuring the device became a facilitator in solving the problem it had inadvertently created. The challenge was transforming the device from a source of distraction into a medium for meaningful engagement and self-awareness.
What was your personal highlight in the development process? Was there an aha!-moment, was there a low point?
The aha!-moment came during usability testing when users responded positively to the app's ability to organically transition them out of digital liminality. Witnessing the impact on their awareness and well-being was deeply rewarding. However, a low point was grappling with the challenge of ensuring the algorithm's adaptability without compromising user privacy, a crucial ethical consideration.
Where do you see yourself and the project in the next five years?
My vision for the next five years involves extending the scope of this case study. Fuelled by a profound passion for my research question on digital liminality, I am committed to delving deeper into the subject. The plan is to refine and expand this project, contributing to a broader understanding of how technology can play a role in reconnecting individuals with their immediate surroundings. This journey aims not only to enhance the project's impact but also to contribute valuable insights to the evolving field of digital well-being and user experience.