ColorAway (CHI 2018)
An exploratory design to promote solo travelers’ mindfulness
ColorAway is a tool that helps solo travelers practice mindfulness through interaction with modified photos. It is part of a larger study on solo traveler’s technology use. The process and findings of this project have put into a research paper. It has accepted into 2018 CHI Conference Proceedings and the 2018 Convey UX. (Edited April 2018).
In this project, I produced prototypes and gave research insights from literature review, interview coding, and affinity analysis. Later, I also worked on the visuals and art direction for the presentation given at the conferences.
Mindfulness != Meditation
The meaning of “mindfulness” has more than “meditation.” Mindfulness, drawn from Western psychology and Buddhism literatures, has two key aspects:
- Recollection: remember or recollect past internal learnings
- Evaluation: contemplate one’s thoughts and feelings to distinguish beneficial from harmful qualities
Designing Mindfulness Tool
Using the insights from the literature interview, my team ideated, designed, and prototyped a tool that promotes the key aspects of mindfulness as the following:
1. Recollection by revisiting memorable photos
The prototype asked travelers to go through and pick the three most meaningful photos taken during their trips.
2. Evaluation by imagining and making meanings
Selected photos went through various photo processing techniques and were given back to their owners. By providing new photos to interact, the prototype aims to trigger user’s imagination and meaning making.
To arrive at these concepts, we first analyzed the interview data from the larger study and gathered solo traveler’s needs.
Testing Our Prototype with Solo Travelers
To test our concept, we recruited and provided a personalized prototype for each of 6 solo travelers. The below image is the cover of our prototype followed by sets of the original and modified photos placed side by side.
When the travelers finished with the prototype, we interviewed them to study their behaviors and thoughts interacting with the prototype. We then transcribed and coded the interview to gather insights.
We put our process and findings into a research paper and submitted it to conferences.
The Presentation (added in April 2018)
Our team was excited to learn that our paper got accepted to 2018 CHI and 2018 Convey UX conferences. We gathered again to create a presentation this time. We all had the same mind: simplify this complex philosophical concept as much as possible. My primary role during this time was to work on the visuals and art direction.
ColorAway allowed me to study mindfulness for the first time. The concepts of mindfulness help me even after the project go through stressful moment. This project is currently at the paper prototype phase. But, I hope to push it forward to digitalize it as we found out that travelers prefer using digital tools.
Thank you my team for the work and achievements we’ve made!