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Luxband

Introduction

Luxband is a smart headband system with interactive movement detection, LED lighting, a smart tracking progress application, and a connected art installation. While a range of devices is available to track exercise and movement, they don’t encourage others to join in and build a community or don’t have effective motivational incentives. Luxband is part of a greater research and product goal of combating climate change and lowering overall carbon emissions/reducing the carbon footprint on the individual level.

My Role

In this individual product design project, I took on the role of a UX researcher and main product designer. For research, I conducted user interviews, sent out cultural probes, utilized the Delphi method, and sent out user surveys. 

In the design phase, I went through brainstorming exercises, created a mood board, creates storyboards and scenarios, roleplayed the use of the product, made foil prototypes, created working high-fidelity prototypes, and more. Lastly, a research paper summarizes the results and the overall product design process.

Duration
Semester-long

Tools Used
Figma, Illustrator, Blender, Canva, Word, Procreate

Discover

Purpose

The climate crisis has become a pressing issue and continues to be a point of concern among the population. What solution can we create to mitigate the problem? A mind map activity was conducted to start the conversation of climate change and examine the connections related to the issue.

UX/UI Design

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Climate change mind map exercise

Background Research

Research was conducted to find statistics and evidence about the climate crisis.

Within the next two decades, global temperatures are likely to rise 1.5 degrees Celsius

Greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from transportation account for about 29 percent of total U.S. greenhouse gas emissions, making it the largest contributor of U.S. GHG emissions.

Define

Cultural Probes

Our focused user group was college students so for qualitative user research, I created a cultural probe and sent it to 6 college students to learn more about their lives and sustainability habits. This cultural probe asked each student to provide a written out day in their life, photos that represent their life, sustainability habits, report their transportation usage, and perception of their personal carbon footprint.

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One student's full cultural probe response

User Interviews

Following the cultural probes, I interviewed five more college students, asking more direct questions about climate change and their viewpoints and actions toward sustainability.

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User interview responses

Insights

From the cultural probe, important insights from transportation questions were:

3/5 students

had a car as their main form of transportation 

5/5 students

had a car at least in the top two modes of transportation

From the user interviews, important insights to note were:

3/5 students

think about climate change once a month or never, others think about it once or multiple times a week

2/5 students

felt conscious about climate change through direct experiences

4/5 students

state they often do something to help with climate change whether it was once a week or everyday

4/5 students

had different guesses in which way they contribute to climate change the most

Develop

Mood Board

To start thinking about an overall concept, I created a mood board to represent the vibe and emotions I wanted to represent.

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Product inspiration and mood

Low-fidelity Prototypes

The next step was experimenting with form and making rapid foil prototypes. We had multiple timed sessions ranging from ample time to around 30 seconds.

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Rapid foil prototyping

Morphological Chart

I then created a morphological chart to compare and analyze the best possible component combinations for my product idea. The chosen and ideal combination is darkened with blue.

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Storyboard

After sketching and ideating, a storyboard outlines a general idea of how the product will be used among college students. The headband is able to light up with movement and tracks progress in an app which is connected to a smart display on campus. Another student notices and also wants to try using the smart headband. 

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Storyboard of product idea

Animated Gif

The animated gif shows the full storyboard in action and provides a more clear overview of the product.

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Animated gif of full storyboard

Roleplay

A roleplay was conducted to further showcase the ability of the smart headband. 

Deliver

3-D Rendering

With a stable idea, I created a 3-D model in Blender of the design of the headband "Luxband". I made sure to follow my mood board and incorporate elements that would make the lighting stand out. Additionally, I designed a "Wired" magazine mockup to showcase the product.

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Wired Magazine mockup

Scenario

The full written scenario fleshes out a use case for the Luxband in more detail.

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High-fidelity Prototype

Using a headband, cardstock, transparent acrylic, and Arduino components I created a functional high-fidelity prototype. The Luxband is a smart headband that automatically turns blue when a user starts walking. Each headband is connected to the Lux app where walking data is tracked and also sent to a centralized display on campus. On the installation, footsteps are rapidly moving, increasing as more people choose to walk rather than drive. As more people are aware of the installation and headbands, they are encouraged to join in on the movement. The product is meant to combat sustainability issues by helping college students slowly lessen their carbon footprint.

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(a) Luxband stationary (b) Luxband after movement

(c) Mockup of installation on campus

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Close-up of final prototype

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Lux logo and app on phone

Functioning Components

The prototype utilizes an Arduino board with an accelerometer to track motion and an RBG LED stick to emit light. These attachments are hidden for the sake of the prototype and Wizard of Oz reactions.

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Prototype components

Prototype Usability Survey

A usability study and survey was done with the prototype and the main insights were:

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Compiled survey results (Likert scale)

Final Product Video

Final Thoughts

What's Next

Takeaways

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From the usability survey results, many students were likely to try a wearable for tracking movement and had overall positive reactions to Luxband/seeing an installation on campus. However, there was still hesitation and two users stated that the chance of trying a wearable device like Luxband is very unlikely. I would brainstorm more subtle products or devices that would similarly encourage more walking on campus or improve the actual feedback system.

Through the design process, I was able to research and fully develop a product meant to mitigate the climate crisis. I learned several new research collecting methods and experimented with Arduino boards/coding for the first time. I'll be able to apply the same process and learn from my challenges for future design projects. Moving forward, I want to reserve time to brainstorm more possible design solutions rather than going with my first couple of ideas that seem fitting.

Me modeling the Luxband

Back to top

Read the research paper here.

Check out my other work as well here.