ColorAway (CHI 2018)

Exploratory design to promote solo travelers’ mindfulness

Image for post
Image for post

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 a 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 literature, has two key aspects:

  1. Recollection: remember or recollect past internal learnings
  2. 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 the 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.

Image for post
Image for post

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.

Image for post
Image for post
candid photo of our team during interview analysis

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.

Image for post
Image for post
selected presentation slide design 1
Image for post
Image for post
selected presentation slide design 3
Image for post
Image for post
One of the main design guidelines. Read more at:

Moving Forward

ColorAway allowed me to study mindfulness for the first time. The concepts of mindfulness help me even after the project go through stressful moments. 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!

Project Duration

June 2017 — September 2017


My Roles

Qualitative UX Research, Prototyping, Visual Communication Design


Mindful technology for solo travelers” — UW HCDE News

Students at ConveyUX 2018” — UW HCDE News

Link to Research Paper

Saper Vedere

Personal journal of learning “how to see” the world

Medium is an open platform where 170 million readers come to find insightful and dynamic thinking. Here, expert and undiscovered voices alike dive into the heart of any topic and bring new ideas to the surface. Learn more

Follow the writers, publications, and topics that matter to you, and you’ll see them on your homepage and in your inbox. Explore

If you have a story to tell, knowledge to share, or a perspective to offer — welcome home. It’s easy and free to post your thinking on any topic. Write on Medium

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store