WORK IN PROGRESS

A day-to-day stress management service
PROJECT

Master thesis at UID

YEAR

2020

DISCIPLINES

Branding · UI · UX

ABSTRACT

Stress affects us all more or less, but over the last decade people who suffer from severe stress and its symptoms has increased considerably. Women are especially affected, with absence from Swedish workplaces due to stress growing 370% between 2011—2019. As of 2020, stress is treated when we experience symptoms such as anxiety, panic attacks or insomnia, but it is more sustainable to prevent stress than treating it in terms of money, time, health and effort.

Through collaboration with people affected by stress, psychiatrists & researchers specialized on stress, and designers from different disciplines, the topic of stress was explored and researched to create a conceptual solution that could be able to help users manage their stress better.

“Pause” is the result of this work. It is a conceptual product ecosystem consisiting of an application and watch that facilitates monitoring and management of stress in day-to-day scenarios, in order to prevent and reduce stress.

LET’S PAUSE
Pause is a product system that helps the user manage day-to-day stress by using friendly nudges and guided breathing pauses to create a positive behavior change and prevent chronic stress. The Pause Watch seamlessly blends into your life to measure stress levels and provide guidance, while the Pause App keeps track of and helps you manage your stress with exercises, therapy chats and the Stress Score.

The Pause concept takes our current ambiguous ways of talking about stress and translates it to a simple and easy-to-understand metric, similar to how we measure how many hours we sleep or steps we take.

Research

QUALITATIVE INTERVIEWS

• 12 interviews
• 6 stress experts
• 6 users
• 20-60 minutes per person
• 9+ hours of conversations

“The point where they reach out to a therapist is when they are experiencing overwhelming bodily sensations, physical symptoms of extreme anxiety or panic attacks.”

— Psychiatrist

“All of a sudden my hand cramped, I couldn’t control my body. I was afraid I was having a heart attack or stroke and thought, ‘this cant be real — I’m only 29 years old’.”

— Anonymous user

QUANTITATIVE SURVEY

• Stressgäris Facebook group
• 45 respondents
• 12 questions on stress

68,9% feel stressed on a daily basis

Key insights

GENERAL
• Stress is increasingly experienced at a younger age
Stress is a very individual and subjective matter
Being aware of your stress is the first step towards learning to manage it

PRODUCTS
Few consumer products on market
Expensive and don’t measure continuously
Technical and lack in user experience

THERAPY
Users get therapy too late
There is a stigma around talking about stress and seeing a therapist
Therapy sessions cost a lot of money and time

FACTORS
Therapy is not so much about giving the right answer, but asking the right questions
You can’t “catch up later” when it comes to stress
It’s more sustainable to prevent stress instead of treating it

Why

Stress is experienced at an increasingly younger age by a growing part of the population. There is a lack of accessible tools to assess and treat this stress, and if something doesn’t change it will have severe impact on our health and economies.

How
ANALYSIS

Biologically measure psychological stress

FEEDBACK

Make biofeedback useful and understandable

CHANGE

Empower the user to manage their own stress

RESULT

Happy user!

When

Stress is experienced at an increasingly younger age by a growing part of the population. There is a lack of accessible tools to assess and treat this stress, and if something doesn’t change it will have severe impact on our health and economies.

Who

Stress is experienced at an increasingly younger age by a growing part of the population. There is a lack of accessible tools to assess and treat this stress, and if something doesn’t change it will have severe impact on our health and economies.

Visual directions

1

FRIENDLY SMOOTH
“The Helpful Buddy”

Shytech · Embedded technology

Pumped surfaces
Playful details
Saturated colors
Soft materials
Matte finish
Neumorphic UI

LOW-CONTRAST NEUMORPHISM

The app focuses on simplicity and straight forward communication without a lot of user input. I animated a soft and friendly blob element for the pause sessions, to give the app character and explore the motion expression.

2

CONFIDENT FUTURE
“The Professional Therapist”

Hitech · Unapologetic transparency

Primitive forms
Intricate details
Digital colors
Syntethic materials
Contrasting finish
Bold UI

BOLD BRAND MESSAGING
A no-frills conversational approach using a professional yet personal language. User input is turned into personal tips and tricks. The animation utilises the full screen of the user’s phone during sessions. Simple and effective.

3

CONTEMPORARY SCANDINAVIAN
“The Lifestyle Solution”

Slowtech · Effortless smart

Sleek lines
Functional details
Neutral colors
Honest materials
Clean look
Magazine UI

YOUR FAVORITE MAGAZINE
Inspired by lifestyle magazines with serif fonts and real-life imagery, this direction takes user input and turns it into personalized insights as articles. The session animation is minimalist and to the point.

Ideation workshops
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