Timeline: Six Weeks (multiple components)
Project Goals: Design a connected environment that enables a user to hand off a singular digital experience between multiple devices.
A newfound interest in crystals among the youth has created the need for accurate information. With such a large variety of crystals and mediation techniques, it is intimidating to become involved. Crystalized Energy will be a one-stop source that can provide any information needed to practice, learn, and regain balance. This project will team up with Amazon’s Alexa to enable an easy and personalized experience (available through Alexa, mobile, and Applewatch).
Timeline Nov.1 – Dec.12
Nov. 1-14: Crystalized Energy Press Release
A press release to dig further upon Crystalized Energy, how it’ll function, who it is for, and why it is necessary
Nov. 15-21: Multi-Modal Flowchart and Components Table
Walks the audience through the “happy path” or ideal scenario, and helps storyboard the video demo. The components table identifies technical requirements and roles of devices
Nov. 22- 28: Thanksgiving Break
Nov. 30- Dec. 12: Demo Video and Case Study
Show how connected experience will work through video demo
Connected UX Ecosystem Design
(1). Press Release
Crystalized Energy will provide accessible and accurate information that will make
it easier for those to learn more about natural practices. By categorizing
information by needs, benefits, and usage, the user will feel less overwhelmed –
enabling their interest to take over. Crystalized Energy’s purpose is to build a
connection and personalize a broad practice. All while learning, the connection to
Alexa will help with guidance and improvements.
Read more here: Crystalized Energy Press Release
(2). Components Table
|Component||Experience Goal||Tech Specs/Requirements|
|Crystalized Energy is available through the desktop. Some users may prefer to use a website because of its larger scale. Accessibility through computers makes Crystalized Energy available through multiple devices, places, and moments. This will allow the user to have easy interactions across multiple devices.||Crystalized Energy would have to design a website for desktop, using components from app/brand identity. Access/compatibility to browsers and app stores.|
|Amazon Echo||Allows users to interact with the product quickly without having to reach for a hand-held device. Alexa skill will host meditation exercises, calming sounds (rain, waves, nature), healing frequencies, and quick questions.||Compatibility to Wi-fi, wake word, hardware (speaker, adjustment buttons), software (Alexa skill).|
|Mobile/Tablet||Users can use their device to expand information and have accessibility to the product. App will host a library of crystals, their usage, charging, and benefits. The app will also have a photo recognize feature that will search the database for the user and provide possibilities on names + info.||Application platform (JAVA or BREW), Network compatibility, built-in memory, software, UX/UI design, user research.|
Crystalized Energy will have a simple yet interactive UX/UI design that is inclusive, accessible, and organized.
|Apple Watch||Another quick and accessible resource when Echo and/or mobile are unavailable. Will record sleep and heart rate patterns to inform the user to check in with their emotions and mental health (stress, anxiety, bad sleep).||Software, hardware, network compatibility, wi-fi, sensors (blood, oxygen, steps, etc.). Connection to app|
|Human||The user will have an array of choices when using Crystalized Energy. Whether they’re out and about or relaxing at home, users will be able to access and explore the app, website, and Alexa skill. Seamless interactions will improve the relationship between the user and Crystalized Energy. They will be able to trust Crystalized Energy and regain balance between energy and knowledge.||Curious, unbalanced, experiencing mental health issues (depression or anxiety), exhausted.|
User will need access to Wi-fi, devices (tablet, computer, phone, apple watch), voice and hearing
(3). Multi-Modal Flowchart
See in detail here: Full Flowchart
Crystalized Energy was made for those interested in mediation practices, metaphysical practices, and crystals (benefits, symbolism, history). Though Crystalized Energy is targeted towards young adults (18-25), it is an unlimited source of information – open to all ages. Crystalized Energy was made to be a “one-stop-shop” that would guide and inform those new to metaphysical practices.
I chose to show my product to a designer and a non-designer, to gather unbiased perspectives on my final result. The designer, a fellow student, has only known the topic and direction I planned initially, but has not seen sketches, edits, or prototyping. She said, “The video came out very well! I am very impressed, it feels like a real life commercial for it with very good pacing within. I read the difficulties and triumphs in the reflection part and though rusty, I think you overcame it very well… I love your project.” Gaining this feedback made me feel proud and reassured! I was worried about the demo video, and felt it was lacking. She was able to make me appreciate the work that I have done.
The non-designer enjoyed the consistency between devices and materials/tools. I first showed her all of my elements separately, to see if everything was connected and consistent though they were not together. Luckily, she felt each design was clear and consistent, stating, “I love the color palette and font you chose, everything looks like it would be for metaphysical practices.” Then, I showed her the demo video, which pieced each element together. She really liked it because it clearly showed how each device connected within this product.
After gaining feedback on my final result, I felt happy and proud! I appreciated the energy I put into designing everything and I was glad that was seen through my work.
Project Retrospective/ Insights
During this project, the most challenging part was figuring out how each device would connect with one another. With multiple devices involved, I found it challenging to assign a role to each one. To overcome this challenge, I had to break down each device to its’ main purpose. For example, mobile/tablet are used because they are accessible and portable, while Alexa is used with small tasks around a home. By stripping the devices down to their main function, I was able to fit them into the Crystalized Energy experience.
I really enjoyed learning about connected experiences. With technology progressing everyday, the user and app can become even more involved and flexible. I learned a lot about voice assistants (especially Alexa) and why it is important to have connected experiences. It is important to have connected experiences because the user will be able to have easy, collected, and consistent interactions, while using their favorite devices!
My least favorite part of this project was the video demo. Though I understand why it is important to create a visual walk through, I struggled! I struggled with storyboarding, editing, and portraying each device. I’ve always struggled with motion because a lot of planning goes into it. I feel that I do not have enough practice when working with motion, so I end up feeling lost. I had to push through by sketching out multiple storyboards and filming a variety of (potential) scenes.
My creative process was challenged in multiple ways. I had to learn new things, including information about connected experiences and programs. For this project, I had to sketch and edit my ideas multiple times! I usually have a better sense of direction within my projects but I think the incorporation of different devices and mediums made it very hard for me. Compared to previous projects, Crystalized Energy required a lot more attention. I had to make sure everything made sense and had the ability to connect, as if it was a real product. Similar to other projects I have completed, my creative process consisted of multiple ideas that had to be eliminated, one by one, to reveal the most fitting idea for the project goals.
The main challenged I faced was completing the demo. I have not worked with motion in a long time. Coming back to Adobe After Effects after not using it for two years was really difficult! I was rusty with my skills and knowledge within the program. Not only did I struggle with how I was going to portray my experience and product, I also struggled with editing footage, audio, and the prototype. I overcame this challenge by watching tutorials! If I could not remember how to complete something within After Effects, I would find a tutorial to help. To overcome the challenge of storyboarding and combining footage, I sketched it out over and over until I found a path I liked. Because I had to include Alexa, mobile/tablet, desktop, apple watch, and the user, I did not know what order to go in. After exploring multiple paths, I found the right one that conveyed all of the information clearly.
When comparing which I enjoyed more, I liked creating a product for a connected experience, compared to a digital one. It was hard for me to design for multiple devices but I enjoyed the challenge! Creating a connected experience required me to think of Crystalized Energy as a real app, and how to connect it to multiple devices/experiences. The process also challenged me to learn about the limits of each device. The digital experience (mobile or desktop only), on the other hand, is a lot easier for me. When creating a prototype, my worries focus on clarity, format transitions, and accuracy. With connected experiences, I not only have to worry about the details within a digital experience, but also the overall functions of everything.
What I did well within this project was filling a need! The amount of information that is out there that focuses on metaphysical practices is overwhelming! I wanted to create a product that would help guide and inform those interested in crystals, meditation, and improving mental health through those practices. Another strength was consistency and the connection between devices. I put in a lot of time to make sure the app and video felt like they were made for the same product. I also put a lot of time into assigning roles into each device, making sure mobile, desktop, Apple Watch, and Alexa will all work together to create a seamless interaction.
I would improve the video demo! Though I did my best, I know I could do a lot better with creating a demo. I felt stressed about the video, which put a lot of pressure on me during my creative process. I would improve the demo by adding more footage of the interactions between the human/user and device. Watching the demo enabled me to realize how much better the footage looked when the interactions were realistic. Though I recorded footage of the interactions between human/user and device, some did not come out the way I planned. For example, when interacting with the mobile prototype, the screen was zoomed in while in Safari or Chrome. When using the photo identification feature, I had to scroll down to press the button. I watched this scene over and over, wondering how I could save it. I ended up having to cut it after the opening screen, and complete a screen recording of the prototype. With overcoming these challenges, I am proud that I was able to push through my fear of motion design and create the demo!