With the hustle and bustle of today’s world, we rarely relax and stare into space. The next thing we know, we’ve become history. Getting older can be difficult, but let’s make it worthwhile.
A tamagotchi-inspired companion to instill positive behavioral change in living a healthier lifestyle.
Supervised by Peter J. Snyder Ph.D., Lifespan Hospital System
User experience, Branding, Product photography
To understand the challenges of every day living as an older adult, I created an immersive experience with four designers. We transformed one of our designers to a 75 year old adult by stimulating weight and strain on this body.
He went through a series of activities, including walking down the stairs, cooking and calling a friend. Not only did he felt physically burdened but also demoralized.
Opportunity with Fall Prevention
Inspired by our empathy exercise, I chose to tackle sarcopenia (the muscle loss that comes with aging) as a holistic approach to improving the lives of older adults.
Talking to a group of 8 seniors at Tockwotton senior home, I learned that taking walks were common but very short ones. Some of them voiced their concerns with falling and injuring themselves.
- Design something that could be integrated into their lifestyle
- Solution shouldn’t make the senior afraid of falling
- Easily accessible, portable, or not require seniors to go outdoors
The Habit Loop
The experience I wanted to create was Inspired by the habit loop, The habit loop is a proven process (discovered by MIT researchers) that have helped people make better, long-term impacts to their life.
Recreating the resistant training experience
I looked into why people were afraid of falling and discovered the natural aging process called sarcopenia. While looking for muscle atrophy remedies, I came across the proven benefits of resistant training. With the habit loop in mind, I created a more rewarding experience with Rcubed.
I went back to the senior living facility with a looks-like prototype and noticed that most were hesitant to try, even though they knew about the benefits I had explained. Here were some high level learnings.
- Even though they knew the benefits, some were afraid of exacerbating arthritic pain.
- Most seniors were using the resistant band incorrectly, which could be dangerous. This involved a big learning curve.
- Some seniors had specific health problems that would not benefit from this exercise.
My product transformation was inspired by the senior community and companionship. Instead of pointing the senior to resistant training, I simplified my solution and created an app that would encourage them to walk.