ArtCenter College of Design
Brian Boyl, Jeff Higashi
Three questions to the project team
What was the particular challenge of the project from a UX point of view?
In addressing the UX challenge of digitalizing emotions, the essence was capturing their authenticity. The task was like bottling lightning - transforming joy, sorrow, excitement into something tangible. My approach involved extensive brainstorming and designing user experiences for the prototype 'Emotion Assemble'. I focused on the crucial role of physical interactions in conveying emotions, integrating this with digital interfaces. Through iterative user testing and refinements, the aim was not just to mimic emotions but to authentically communicate them. Umi endeavored to seamlessly merge the intangible world of feelings with digital interactivity, creating an experience that was genuinely resonant, rather than a mere digital illusion.
What was your personal highlight in the development process? Was there an aha!-moment, was there a low point?
One of the defining moments was the birth of Pebble. Initially, I experimented with various physical prototypes, like bracelets and watches. But when I observed users interacting with these designs, the interactions felt too deliberate. What forms of interaction do people engage in subconsciously ? That's when I noticed how often people fiddle with objects when lost in thought. This led to the creation of Pebble, a physical product designed to be touched instinctively. The most impactful interactions are those seamlessly woven into the fabric of our daily lives, unnoticed yet integral. Pebble epitomizes this philosophy, blending subtly into our routines while connecting us more deeply to our digital experiences.
Where do you see yourself and the project in the next five years?
In the next five years, I envision transforming this conceptual project into reality by partnering with engineers and vendors. I'm excited about the potential for market launch and user feedback, which will be invaluable for refining and improving the design. My vision extends beyond a single product: I'm exploring a range of products to create a comprehensive ecosystem. This system will support and resonate with human emotions, bridging the digital and physical realms. This journey isn't just about technology, it's about creating connections and enhancing the human experience in our increasingly digital world.