Each year Microsoft hosts a design expo with graduate students from 6 universities around the world. The 2019 topic was "empathy at scale," and Loop was the solution that my team delivered as a submission from UW.
We spend a lot of time on our devices. Research shows that this tech usage has a negative impact on our empathy and compassion towards others. How might help users reduce addictive screen use behavior over time and encourage social interactions?
Microsoft Student Design Expo
I took on a strategic design role, focusing on connecting the product to the research and ensuring that we effectively solved the problem. I created the script and designed the sketches for the storyboard.
Millenials spend 4-5 hours a day on mobile devices.
Reducing problematic screen time and encouraging real life human interaction is critical to developing interpersonal empathy and improving emotional wellbeing.
Illustrated storyboard video, created by yours truly!
Loop started as an affective computing product to help children become more empathetic. Our research found that kids are quickly becoming addicted to screens and parents are concerned.
According to the eMarketer study "US Kids and Digital 2018," 76% of parents said that their kids are more addicted to their devices than candy.
UCLA scientist Stuart Wolpert found that sixth-graders who went five days without even glancing at a smartphone, television or other digital screen did substantially better at reading human emotions than sixth-graders from the same school who continued to spend hours each day looking at their electronic devices.
How Might We help kids develop cognitive empathy by promoting collaborative and interactive behavior using screen-free technology?
Loop is a smart add-on for existing wrist wear that enables status checks without your phone.
Green Mode: Using phone in an appropriate context. The user will have no restrictions and the charge will drain at a normal rate.
Yellow Mode: Using phone in an inappropriate context (i.e. social setting). The user will have no restrictions, but the charge will drain at a rapid rate.
Red Mode: Screen time has run out. The user is restricted to essential apps only. This will only last a few minutes, just enough to make the user move onto something new.