Jonna E

Ataraxia - the mindfulness egg

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

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  • 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.