Ataraxia is a physical artefact combined with a small phone app designed to encourage mindfulness. Developed with user-centered methods following the SS-EN ISO 9241-210:2010 standard, Ataraxia is a product of both professional knowledge and layman preferences. The Ataraxia egg uses sound and heat to support mindfulness for its users. The physical artefact was constructed using a sawed-apart maracas egg, which was then filled with lead weights. By reverse-engineering an electric hand warmer, a heating element was attached to the egg. The sound was Wizard of Oz’d using bluetooth headphones and a separate phone. The phone app provides the users a way to choose sound, temperature, and to see usage statistics and a daily introspective quote or question.
Apart from planning and executing a full design process including user evaluations and stakeholder presentations, I learned to solder electronics and that super glue will eventually melt most plastics. Lots of fun.
User centered methods, physical prototyping, ISO-standards
Our initial ideation branched out into three different proto-ataraxias that explored different tactile and physical sensations. Most of them were scrapped or replaced in later iterations.
Building tangible prototypes apart from rapid paper UI:s was not something we'd done before, so we jumped at the opportunity to do some tinkering. The egg was first sawed in half and filled with weights, then resealed.
The "finished" prototype of Ataraxia, complete with a blue balloon cover.