An interaction touch design concept primarily for fathers-to-be, as well as expecting mothers, to help them enhance their experience of pregnancy and enhance the family’s bonding with the unborn.
As the design lead, my role encompassed ideating for the problem statement, the UX, interaction, visual design, as well as crafting the motion design for the project.
Nominated finalist at UX Design Awards '22
Top 5 Projects at German UPA UX Design Challenge '22
CHALLENGE: Critically evaluate existing touch interfaces in specific contexts (therapeutic, living, sports, aesthetic) to develop new touch interfaces that consider materials, textures, dimensions, temperature, force, resistance, and more.
INTERACTION DESIGN - Current interaction design uses limited touch sense dimensions when creating machine interactions, but the touch sense ideally helps humans understand their environment and serve emotional purposes.
Our design approach followed an adapted version of the Double Diamond design method, which we expanded to cater to our unique requirements.
We started with a comprehensive research phase, studying literature across diverse fields such as psychology, wearable technology, and speculative design fiction. This research phase led us to articulate our problem statement, focusing on enhancing family bonding during pregnancy.
We gained a better understanding of expectant parents. To learn more, we interviewed pregnant couples, new mothers, and fathers.
We examined fathers' roles during pregnancy, expecting parents' psychology, and unborn growth. We also examined existing health care technology used during pregnancy and its cultural effects.
The third phase was designing an experience based on the complexity
of human touch. We evaluated human behavioral metaphors and emotional gestures and conducted design workshops. This stage saw us exploring intuitive interactions and creating a robust design ecosystem.
We transformed our design concepts into tangible prototypes. We explored various materials and undertook a form and function case study. The prototypes were then subjected to rigorous testing using the Wizard-of-Oz method and Design Circle test.
The culmination of our design process is Wondr, an innovative ecosystem comprising two connected wearables and a mobile app designed to foster a touch-based bonding experience for expecting parents.
The ecosystem consists of four devices. WondrBelt, WondrBand, WondrApp & WondrPods
This belly support wearable, a familiar accessory for expecting mothers, comes equipped with two strategically placed sensors that monitor
the baby's health and growth, and relay audio/music to the unborn.
The mother pairs the Wondr Belt with the mobile app, and as she caresses the sensors, ambient music or soft pink noise plays for the unborn, aiding in the baby's development.
The sensors record the unborn baby's heartbeat and can play it back, creating a unique, intimate connection between the mother and the unborn.
This wrist wearable, extending a bit onto the forearm, provides fathers with an active role in the pregnancy journey. It pairs with the Wondr Belt, enabling fathers to interact with the unborn child.
The father clasps his hands, activating sensors on the Wondr Band. This gesture enables him to feel the unborn baby's heartbeat on his thumb, creating a sense of closeness.
While communicating with the unborn, if the baby reacts or moves, the father feels this reaction on the Wondr Band. The band tightens and forms irregular patterns on the forearm area, simulating the feeling of the baby's foot pressing against the mother's belly.
The inner forearm area of the wearable can also be used as a caressing area. Like the mother's interaction with the Wondr Belt, the father can relay ambient pink noise/music to the unborn. If the baby reacts, the band tightens or projects patterns on the forearm area, creating a multi-sensory interaction.
The WondrApp serves as the center point of the entire ecosystem. It helps the users pair their devices with each other. Apart from that the app can be used to monitor the unborn baby's health and other activitiy. Movements of the baby while the mother is wearing WondrBelt can be recored in the activity seciton and can be replayed to feel the reactions on the Wondr Band.
The concept of Wondr is rooted in the complexity of human touch and interactions.
Wondr is designed to foster intuitive interactions, using music and sound as a soothing medium. The natural gestures and soft, intimate interactions offer a comforting experience to expecting parents.
Wondr takes into account the dynamics of the couple's relationship, the development of the baby, post-partum experiences, and the often overlooked aspect of the father’s absence during pregnancy.
Wondr is a practical and supportive tool for expecting parents. It fits into their daily lives as wearable technology, with user-friendly interfaces and textiles that are both comfortable and functional.
Wondr tackles significant issues that parents-to-be face during pregnancy
It enhances the bonding opportunity and helps mitigate feelings of depression and anxiety.
It addresses the incapacity to experience pregnancy firsthand, the failure to bond with the unborn, and helps bridge the gender gap in the pregnancy experience.
Wondr provides comforting sounds and music, aiding memory and development.
The Wondr design incorporates three gestures borrowed from real-life interactions, serving as metaphors
User Needs Understanding
Comprehending the intricate needs and emotions of expecting parents,
particularly fathers, necessitated in-depth user research and interviews.
Balancing the simulation of a baby's movements and heartbeat
with user safety and comfort presented significant technological hurdles.
Intuitive Interactions Design
Crafting intuitive interactions and resonating metaphors
required numerous design iterations and user tests.
The quest for safe, comfortable, durable, and sensory-responsive
materials, especially for the Wondr Belt, was a formidable challenge.
Ensuring a functional, aesthetically pleasing, and user-friendly
design was crucial to foster user acceptance.
Data Privacy and Security
With sensitive health data being collected, guaranteeing user
data privacy and security was a paramount concern.
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