Applied Ergonomic Methods | Spring 2019
Generation Z is mostly comprised of teenagers and young adults entering the workforce. This generation is digitally connected to one another and to society. They strive for individual expression but are often overcome with stress, which further contributes to poor mental health. The act of savoring itself can promote positive developments in self-esteem by relishing in their most satisfying moments. Momento hopes to develop savoring behaviors by reminding users of their happiest memories.
Partners: Amil Vera and Michael Brigham
Members of Generation Z report difficulty in savoring positive experiences, citing stress, performance standards, and lack of time as key obstacles.We designed a product that takes an activity many members of Generation Z already engage in—recording videos—and transforms it into a practice which supports savoring. Initial usability testing revealed broadly positive responses to the product and suggested further exploration of process timing and the sharing
heavily involved with the ideation, prototyping, and fabrication processes, as well as user research
created the 3D model and contextual renderings
performed usability experiments with a high-fidelity prototype
created a poster and helped write a paper that will be submitted to the ACM CHI conference
After thorough investigation into literary research on Generation Z, our team interviewed 7 students and alumni. The patterns and trends in responses are compiled into two user personas:
Our user research further supported and confirmed the findings from previous literature reviews. Generation Z's current focus seems to be on making the most out of life after high school. Falling between the age range of 19-25 years old, most of Gen Z is in college or a recent graduate and has faced the steady increase of job competition and work stress. Fears include financial instability, the future state of the world, and social satisfaction. There's not enough time to savor past experiences when there's the pressure to do well in school or work, work hard on extracurricular activities, and relax.
ideation and prototyping:
The process of ideation began with multiple, different ideas including a watch that promotes random times of savoring and different physical representations of storing and retrieving memories. These physical representations presented themselves in the forms of a tree, cactus, or gumball machine before we settled on a snake plant.
We wanted the ability to store a memory with individual "devices" and video/sound/written recordings.
Gentle prompt, user readiness to record spontaneous memories
Single-channel (audio, video)
Temporary access - access to retrieve memory is limited
Delayed gratification - memory is "given back" after a random period of time
Quality of memory
Physical attributes of artifact maps to specific functions
Users create audio memories tied to a physical artifact
Artifact temporarily stores memory
Memory can be released at a later time
A light will indicate which memory is ready to be picked
Large rings are holes for each individual leaf of the snake plant. Smaller rings let each LED light fit perfectly to light their individual leaves. A speaker and Arduino fit inside the pot to play the memory back and determine which leaf will be lit.
After you receive a random notification on your phone reminding you to find time to savor and record a memory...
Take a paper leaf and write your memory.
Put the leaf back.
Continue with life!
Some time later...
Notice the light!
Pick the leaf from its designated hole.
Listen to recording and reminisce in a past memory!
For our usability study, six participants were asked to send a video recording and a short description. They later met with the researchers to interact with Momento and receive their memory back at a later time. Interviewers looked for qualitative reactions in their observations and asked questions to understand the participants’ experiences. This process was replicated with an additional video recording selected by a friend of the participant. An AttrakDiff questionnaire was used to determine quantitative measures.
Examples of interview questions:
How often do you record video on your phone? Audio?
Tell me a bit about how you watch or listen to these recordings after you’ve made them.
Did you notice the light when it turned on?
What was it like to hear the recording you provided us?
What was it like to hear the recording [friend] selected for you?
Was there anything you wanted to do with the recording or the paper following the listening?
The AttrakDiff questionnaire demonstrated overall positive reactions to the Momento prototype, scoring positively in hedonic and pragmatic qualities. Momento is classified as desirable according to user feedback. As for usability, two-third of participants said the prototype was clear, noticed the lights, wanted to listen to their memories immediately, and expressed the desire to relisten to their recordings. Half expressed how they wanted to replace their memories as well. Overall, the user study results indicate a successful initial prototype and valid conceptual design. Some participants wished for more visuals while others enjoyed how it only played audio recordings. There was a repeated emphasis on the social aspect of Momento in which people can hear their friends memories that they have shared. For future designs, Momento will test different ways of recording information and materials for ease of use, and evaluate savoring behavior.
The experience of creating Momento was very satisfying. We experienced a lot of trouble with feasibility and trying to figure out how our product would work. After we simplified the design and process, we got on track with developing a usability that provided us with promising results. I plan to further the development of Momento by creating a mock phone application that assists with the functionality of the product.