Redesign Neckgraph app
The aim of the project is to analyze the existing Neckgraph app and its features, then create a strategy for improvement based on the insight and design an appropriate user experience.
The redesigned app focused on people working in front of the computer, and the specific situation when the users receive and see the data from the neck tension-biofeedback. I have focused on how to make the biofeedback understandable to users with an aim for a gentle and effective way to notify them when they have wrong posture.
Research : 2 week
Ideation & Prototype: 3 week
User test : 1 week
What is Neck Graph?
Neck Graph, a start up company in Norway, aims to help people with neck pain to change their work habits. They have developed a device , a neck sensor that placed on left and right shoulder measures muscle activity in the neck, and an app that collect data and analyse the data from the sensor to give direct feedback on your muscle activity to you.
If your muscle activity(which is measured by electromyography) is over 2 percents for over 4 minutes, the app will remind you to change posture through sound and traffic light.
What is Neckpain?
I started by understanding the context of this project through the meeting with NeckGraph Company, what is neck pain, what cause neck pain, and who is the target user of Neck Graph.
What - Sustained trapezius muscle activity with periods of more than 4 minutes duration for more than half of the working day, increase the rate of neck and shoulder pain.
Why -Wrong working posture can cause high muscle activity.
Who - People who often work in front of the computer, like white collars and student.
Analyse the original app
I sketched the hierarchy of the app, diagrammed its flows and explored its features to figure out the relationship between the underlying logics and try to understand the functions as well as the features of the original app.
I tested the app with target users who often work in front of the computer, such as bank clerk of DNB Bank in Norway and designers from my school. And also tested it with experts like doctor to get feedback. From user behavior observation, I found that most users don't watch the biofeedback graph all the time, they rely on the notification which reminds them to change posture, but the sound of the notification always disturbs their work.
I got 3 key findings through the research, which would help me to determine the design directions and improve the user experience.
1.The biofeedback graph is confusing, which is hard for users to understand if they are having a wrong posture.
The blue and red line represent left and right shoulder,it will change with user’s muscle activity. There have 0%-100%. People will have a high risk of chronic muscle pain if their muscle activity is over 2% for over 4 minutes
The problem is there have no mark or line to tell people they are in danger, so it is hard for users to know if they are in bad status.
2.The way of using sound to remind users when they are having a wrong posture doesn't meet the using context.
3. It is hard for users to understand the histogram.
The Neckgraph app reminds users by changing the traffic lights with sound when they have high muscle activity. The problem is that people often focus on their work when they are working, It is impossible for them to stare at the screen all the time.
The graph shows the history data of left and right shoulders. Green,yellow,red represent good, ok, bad status. But the histogram doesn’t show the whole day or whole week clearly.
1. How to understand biofeedback graph clearly ?
Each half circle represents left and right shoulder respectively.
The pointers (left and right) will move with user’s muscle activity.
Green, yellow,and red, stand for three different statuses-good,ok and danger.
The transparent circles stand for the whole history data from the first time when user starts to use this app.
The transparent circles will expand with time goes by.
User can get realtime data of today by holding the live graph for 2 second.
User can get the specific time that he or she has been different statuses by tapping the different areas.
If their muscle activity is under the limit percent (2%), they will be in green area which means low muscle activity.
If their muscle activity is over the limit percent (2%),but no more than 2 minutes, they will be in the yellow area which means they are ok.
If their muscle activity is over the limit percent (2%) for more than 2 minutes,they will be in the red area which means they will, get neck problems if done over a long period of time.
The transparent circles are user’s history data. User can see how much time he or she has been in the danger status, ok status and good status by tapping the different areas.
2. How to remind people when they have high muscle activity（in danger) ?
If the users have high muscle activity, how to remind them? The context is that for most of time ,the phone was on the desk while users are working , they will not hold the phone all the time when they focus on their work. so notification is very important which would help people to get their realtime status and change their wrong posture.
Brightness of screen
The solution is using the brightness of the screen to remind users. The brightness of the screen will change with the change of the muscle activity. It will be dark when they have low muscle activity(green area). With the increase of the muscle activity, the screen will gradually get bright. It is a gentle and effective way to remind users,
The existing app does not have the tutorial to teach people how to use the sensor and how to connect the sensor with the app. For most of the users, they don’t know what to do with the sensor and app, especially the first time when they use it. So It is necessary to teach people how to put the two electrodes on the right place,how to connect the sensor and do the calibration.
Desk Mode is on the right corner of the live graph. When the phone is put on the table, User can turn on the Desk Mode.The phone will remind user by changing the brightness of the screen when he or she has high muscle activity.
Users can not only get their data of muscle activity of whole week,but
the specific data of one day from the time they turn on the sensor to
the time they turn it off .
Compared with the existing Neckgraph app, the re-designed app has
more new features of setting, like export data to the doctor, send the
feedback to neckgraph company and get help from them.