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Pact

Role : UI / UX Design, Research
Timeline : 4 weeks
Team Members : Aditi Surana, Audrey Fox (UX researchers)

Pact is a mobile app that lets users determine and control their future behavior. It allows users to make healthier lifestyle choices and pledge to adhere to them with the help of certain external motivators. This project was accomplished in a duration of two weeks as part of the 'Design Usability' course with my two peers at Parsons School of Design. 

My role involved working with my peers on user research and then synthesizing the team's ideas into wireframes, user flows and user personas. While the course module only involved creating a low fidelity paper prototypes, I continued working on the project to create higher fidelity prototypes, user interactions and refined the user experience. 

 

Arising from a speculation of how artificial intelligence can help humans create a better version of themselves, we were inspired by the British anthology television series "Black Mirror",  in particular the "White Christmas" episode where a digital copy of the self was extracted and designed to control the elements of one's life.

The team initially came up with a self-imposed challenge using the "How Might We" method to solve a broader umbrella of health and lifestyle problems - unhealthy food habits, lack of physical activity and social media addiction. However, we narrowed it down to solving fitness issues as the first step. 

How might we use personal data and artificial intelligence to aid healthy decision making

 

At this point, we looked into different psychological models that talk about rational choices, decision making and habit forming like the Ulysses Pact and  Ivan Pavlov's classical conditioning model. We also came across various interactions through which users enable their now-self to positively influence their future-self. For example, there are certain plugins that do not let you send drunk emails.

Goals

Willpower is a limited resource and how can we leverage on enhancing this ability.

To help users hold their future self to the goals they care about.

Nudges and rewards to keep users motivated.

Pact will help to resist temptations by holding one accountable to the lifestyle pacts they’ve made.

Challenge

Most fitness regimes fail because the people don't stick to them. There is a plethora of lifestyle apps that - weight loss, health, but do not form into a habit. Our goal was to address this challenge.

Approach

A typical user scenario that depicts "a day in the life" of an ideal user. The first scene shows the user's daily activities without PACT from the minute she wakes up to when she retires to bed. While the second scene introduces PACT in her life and depicts how the user is affected. 

Based on the feedback and input from the team, I created raw user flows to further create wireframes of the same. 

How it works?

Pact works with any fitness device a user may have. It uses the data collected by the device to create motivating challenges and rewards. 

User Testing

For the purpose user testing, 3 participants from The New School were selected based on our user persona and interviewed on their lifestyle habits. These participants were then asked 'Pre-Test' questions followed by 'Task Testing' using paper prototypes formed the crux of the user test. 

Objectives:

To understand how the users respond to external controls.

To understand whether external controls would prove to be a better form of motivation.

To observe how the user feels when bound by their previous resolutions.

 

Detailed Design

Based on the users feedback on the paper prototype and the inputs from the course instructor, I continued working on the project to design high fidelity prototypes. 

For the purpose of understanding how users could interact with the app, I created motion designs using Adobe After Effects. Here is an example of one such interaction.

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