UX Design
My Role
  • UX Designer
  • Researcher
Timeline
  • Sep. 2021 - Dec. 2021
  • 10 weeks
Team
  • 2 x Designers
  • 2 x Researchers
Tools
  • Figma
Project Overview
Ré is a lamp for dark winter months. It is designed to mimic the sunrise - helping you wake up in the morning by gradually increasing in brightness and shifting in color. Once you've woken up, Ré reaches brightness level similar to natural outdoor light, increasing your energy levels. Ré has an accompanying app that acts as your portal to all things settings, which is what I worked primarily on.
My Contributions
My contributions to this project were moderating research interviews, note-taking during research interviews, leading co-creation interviews, creating design probes for research,  ideation, and designing the lo-fi mockups. I then designed the high fidelity prototypes on my own.
How can we provide support for those experiencing Seasonal Affective Disorder during the darker winter months?
Design Problem
Background
Why?
We all have one body, and how we treat them is very important to our quality of life. Mental health is especially important in maintaining a happy equilibrium. We decided on positioning ourselves to research Seasonal Affective Disorder- or SAD, as it is often referred to. Seasonal Affective Disorder affects an estimated 10 million Americans.

Context
People affected by SAD experience symptoms similar to depression that can negatively impact how they feel, think and act. Common treatment for SAD are Vitamin D supplements, talk therapy, light therapy, prescribed anti-depressant medication, and exercise.

Different Light Modes

Ré would feature four different light modes:

  • SAD therapy light, which provides enough lumens to give users their daily Vitamin D dosage after sitting in front of it for 30 minutes
  • A work light for when they need to do work. The work light would be dimmer than the SAD light, but still be white light.
  • A warm, yellow reading light.
  • A dimmable mood light that mimics the sun's behavior, rising and setting with it

Research

Research Objective

  • What current solutions exist at the intersection of mental health and technology?
  • Who are these solutions best serving?
  • What are their limitations?

Desk Research

We each did a deep dive into learning about how mental health and technology came together. From there, we put all our findings together to try to find common threads. We found out that with mental health apps, there is a general 'life-stylization' of mental health. This effectively blurs the lines between clinical and lifestyle approaches. Additionally, most mental health apps remain unvalidated in their efficacy.

Primary Research

We decided on positioning ourselves to research Seasonal Affective Disorder- or SAD, as it is often referred to. Seasonal Affective Disorder affects an estimated 10 million Americans.

People affected by SAD experience symptoms similar to depression that can negatively impact how they feel, think and act. Common treatment for SAD are Vitamin D supplements, talk therapy, light therapy, prescribed anti-depressant medication, and exercise.

For our qualitative primary research, we had 6 research questions:



Qualitative Research Methods

To acquire participants and carry out our primary research, we employed a variety of methods.

Screener Survey

We sent our survey to our personal networks, asking for people that identify or are diagnosed with SAD. Our screener survey gathered very basic information about our participants, such as SAD symptoms and location they experience or have experienced those symptoms in the past.

Informal Interviews
  1. 7 remote informal interviews
  2. Recorded, with consent from participant
  3. To make participants feel at ease, max. 2 interviewees present in the meeting - one moderator, one person taking notes

The insights that we formed after our qualitative research were:

Design Concept

From our generative research, we were able to develop a concept for a connected lamp called Ré.
Often sunrise lamps and Light Therapy Boxes (LTBs) are sold as separate products. Ré is an all-in-one solution, combining the functions of a Sunrise Lamp and a LTB by gradually increasing light intensity and then maximizing intensity for optimal light therapy conditions. Ré also includes a companion mobile app that enables easy control of light exposure and relevant content notifications.

We came up with a How Might We question for concept testing...

Does the general product concept interest people? Why or why not?

Concept Testing

Evaluative Research Methods

Next, we conducted evaluative research, as it is used for assessing a specific problem to ensure usability and ground it in the wants, needs, and desires of real people.

The concept we were evaluating was the Ré lamp prototype.

Research Question
  1. Does the general product concept interest people? Why or why not?
  2. How important is form factor? What form factors do people like and why?
  3. What specific features of the product do people find relevant?
  4. What is the expected price point for a product like this?
  5. Do people trust claims that the product will treat SAD symptoms?
Moderated Interviews
  1. Remotely on Zoom
  2. Recorded, with permission of participants
  3. For the co-creation exercise, participants asked to show their sketches through their Zoom video or send a picture.
Materials/Stimuli

Slide deck including:

  1. Concept explanation
  2. Co Creation Exercise: Visual representation (sketch or picture) of physical concept
  3. Participants also needed a pen and paper to sketch their ideas about the product
  4. Some mock-up screens of connected app demonstrating capabilities

The insights that we formed after our evaluative research were:

Design

Often sunrise lamps and Light Therapy Boxes (LTBs) are sold as separate products. Raé is an all-in-one solution, combining the functions of a Sunrise Lamp and a LTB by gradually increasing light intensity and then maximizing intensity for optimal light therapy conditions. Raé also includes a companion mobile app that enables easy control of light exposure and relevant content notifications.

Early Sketches and Wireframes

I took part in sketching some early wireframes for the accompanying mobile app that comes with the Ré lamp. From there, I also helped design the lo-fidelity screens in Figma.

Design System

I took the lead in putting together a design system for Ré.

High Fidelity Designs

I took the lead in putting together a design system for Ré.

Back to Top