A presence that helps improve sleep by reducing screen time before bed.
The goal of this ten-day collaborative project was to develop a concept that delivers an empowering experience by utilising sound in a meaningful way.
Sound Design Course
MFA Advanced Product Design
10 Days Execution Time
Umeå Institute of Design
Team / Role
Connie Jehu, Interaction Design
Paolo Camerin - Interaction Design
Jenny Johansson - Product Design
Ethnographic Research, User Journey Mapping, Mockups, Concept Development, User Testing, CAD Modeling,
Online Survey, Interviews, User Journey Mapping, Sacrificial Concepts, Physical Sketching, User Testing (Wizard of Oz), Prototyping, Rhino, Massive (Sound Design), Adobe CC
Interviews about sensitive topic, Storytelling, Wireframing,
UI Design in Figma (Phone & Watch), Filming & Post Production
“ I would not want to have something
telling me to put away my phone.”
Foster self-motivation instead
of restricting people.
Scientific research shows that screen time before bed affects the quality of our sleep increase the risk of a range of health problems. Meanwhile, we are becoming more and more inseparable from our phones.
Is there a way of acknowledging this attachment but help foster a healthier relationship with our electronic devices before bed?
Reading Lamp & Charging Device
Yoro helps you foster your self-control, develop a healthier relationship with your phone, as well as other activities you love, and reduce your screen time before bed, leading to better sleep and wellbeing. It is a charging device and reading lamp that supports you in putting your phone away in exchange for reading a book. The induction charging platform invites you to put your phone to 'bed' by placing it on its soft surface. Yoro then lights up for you to be able to read the book you pick up at its base.
Let a helping friend remind you of activities you would like to get better at doing before sleeping. Like Sarah and her desire to read more often.
Yoro challenges our relationship with our phone by giving the usual interactions with it a different meaning. The act of putting your phone to charge by putting it to 'bed', acknowledges the role phones now play in our lives but shows that we can also choose to use it in other ways to make space for reading instead. Yoro and its supportive presence aim to foster our self-motivation and make room for something else you want to invest time in doing.
Interaction & Sound
Transfer energy & focus from your phone to other activities.
By only one simple move.
Yoro only switches on as a reading light when you place the phone on to charge. The energy and focus you have dedicated to your phone during the day is now shifted into Yoro. This transfer of focus is expressed through sound and light. Using that transfer, Yoro then suggests you take the book you placed earlier this day away and when removed, the light brightens for you to read.
The light dims when it is placed back. In this way, the phone and the book are an integral part of the interface through which Yoro functions.
Does not nudge you, turns the light on and off & supports
your endeavor. A good start for a friendship, right?
Yoro's reaction to placing the phone on the charging surface represents that positive transfer of energy and focus from the phone to the light and book. The light can be seen moving from the charging platform down the device towards the book when needed. Yoro's sounds are unobtrusive, friendly and encouraging. Because it is a device that sits by your bed or next to an armchair, the sounds are designed to be subtle but without taking away from Yoro's personality as supportive friend.
Place a book for safe keeping.
See other peoples activities based on your search setting in your community nearby.
A different background color helps to distinguish all shared activities.
How does that work?
The working model of Yoro contains eight different electronic components to react properly to the interaction with the user. The core of the system, an Arduino Uno, is connected to a sound board from Adafruit that allows to drive internal speaker and eventually play back the correct sound. Internal LED strips make sure the right amount of light is applied to the right situation when interacting with Yoro. All the interactions in the final model are real and not simulated.
Technical Package of the working model.
Step up your reading game with the help of a charismatic friend.
And you are the one setting the pace.
Yoro aims to communicate a cozy and friendly feeling by covering the main body with light grey fabric. The same fabric allows the light emitted from Yoro to diffuse and create an atmosphere that invites the user to relax and prepare to sleep. While designing Yoro the physical hierarchy between the book and phone played a crucial role. To make Yoro work from different angles the book is placed on a lower level than the phone. Depending on whether your are standing or laying in bed the desired object is always close.
Behind the scenes of Yoro.
Working on this ubiquitous issue of self-motivation in a multi-disciplinary team of designers from different countries was a great experience. Dividing the work among the team in all stages of the design process as well as a working project management made it possible to deliver Yoro within a short period of time.
Theme Exploration & Research
A common desire.
We started the research by several interviews with students, parents and people with different bedtime routines. We asked question about their sleeping habits and how they perceive the usage of their devices especially before going to bed. Many people expressed an awareness that the extensive use of mobile devices before bed time had negative effects on their sleep but found it difficult to establish better habits around bed time. As a next step we launched an online survey to quickly gain a better understanding of people's routines before sleeping. 265 people responded to the survey over two days which demonstrated an obvious interest improving sleep habits and helped us to prepare for the next phase of the project.
Interviews about peoples sleeping habits and the role of screens before going to bed.
Quotes from Research
“ I know that I shouldn’t look at a screen before bed but it's difficult to find the self-motivation.”
How might we use the importance of the phone
to promote other activities and self-motivation?
During our research, we discovered that people really want to be able to put their phones away before sleep and do other activities they value, like reading, but struggle to find the self-motivation and control to do so. We therefore wanted to find out if there was a way of using the importance of the phone itself as a trigger to foster more healthy pre-sleep activities without feeling disturbed or patronized by it.
Good habits vs. bad habits
People are aware of their unwanted habits and would appreciate some help to be able to improve their self control in doing better.
Helping them to introduce new and healthier habits can have a sustainable impact on their daily routines and quality of sleep.
Our research showed that people were reluctant to have something that tells them to put their phone away. It therefore is crucial to develop a supportive presence and unobtrusive friend that encourages you to put your phone away but does not order you to.
Transfer of focus
Phones play a main role in our daily lives and often draw our attention. Engaging people to transfer this attention from the screen to an activity they would like to do can create new routines and manifest them. Like reading a book or learning how to knit.
Put the phone to bed
Hiding the phone or even forcing people to stop using it is not an efficient and sustain-able solution to tackle the issue of self-motivation. Having an open and visible space to keep the phone is important to give the user the choice of whether or not using their phone and not being patronizing.
Don't nag, trigger exchange instead.
Without making a noise.
We explored different ways of encouraging people to motivate themselves away from their phones. While acknowledging the importance of the phone we developed the concept of the phone as a switch. This includes the phone in the interactions with the object and allows the focus to seamlessly transfer from the screen to other activities. The idea of an appealing object having both a place for the phone to sit and charge and something like a book or guitar pick that motivates the user to put down the phone, resulted the more convincing. To create a calm atmosphere and a supportive presence we developed sounds that are friendly and unobtrusive without taking away from Yoro's personality as supportive friend.
Exploring different concept through low fidelity mockups.
Assemble, disassemble, assemble, disassemble.
Until every component feels snug & works.
After finalizing the concept and design we got to the final phase of the project. Through the advantage of working in a well functioning team we were able to produce a working prototype in a short timespan. All components were milled, soldered or programmed with the appropriate tool and then carefully assembled.