LookUp for Good
Controlling excessive smartphone usage
Build an intervention to regulate or break the habit of excessive smartphone usage
Designed and a tested prototype, LookUp, that uses goal setting, management, and gamification principles to control excessive smartphone usage
Excessive use of technology impacts people of all ages, having negative outcomes on the emotional and social well-being. A range of psychiatric disorders has been correlated with excessive use of smartphones, including: social and behavioral problems, social isolation, depression, and anxiety. Smartphone overuse in adults has been increasingly identified to lead to sleep deprivation and obesity. Although smartphone has several positive outcomes such as providing immediate and direct access to others through the use of voice calls, texting, and a range of social media networks, there is a need to overcome excessive smartphone usage, an issue that has turned out to be similar to addiction or substance abuse. Such addiction is fed through satisfying needs such as responding to an alert or notification consequently resulting in pleasure from communication or relief at avoiding missed communication. While some can avoid the vicious link between their needs and smartphone usage, others lack self-control in regulating their needs with respect to smartphone usage.
Adults who acknowledge and want to or need help with controlling/monitoring excessive smartphone use
How it works
LookUp is a mobile, persuasive aide for people who need support and external motivation to fight smartphone addiction or excessive smartphone use. LookUp’s chief market differentiators from usage monitors and “detox” apps are its:
focus on building healthy habits through personalized, progressive goal management support and
inclusion of a charity challenge, a strong motivator for users to: Look Up (from their phones) for Good (causes)
Whereas other applications place the burden of managing mobile phone use on the user, LookUp’s progressive goal management support guides people to gradually increase and monitor performance of a healthy behavior, in this case periods of phone non-use. Goal setting works best when personalized performance feedback is offered; this is implemented in LookUp as interactive visual feedback. LookUp users receive visual feedback on performance relative to their goals. They also earn karma coins for completing goals, which provide a secondary source of feedback and reward, while serving as the currency which users can invest to initiate new, harder challenges. In other words, successful goal achievement is rewarded in a way that encourages users to build on their healthy habits and select more difficult goals.
The charity challenge is a gamefication feature leveraging behavioral economics and social-psychological principles of human motivation, designed to encourage goal setting and goal achievement. Using the charity challenge feature, LookUp users join a karma circle, i.e., a group of other users working collectively on the same goal or challenge. A karma circle has a designated number of members and when that many individuals complete that challenge, every challenge completer enjoys a collective reward in the form of a charitable donation. When the 25 users have successfully completed the 2-hour challenge, the $10 donation is earned and each receives a share of karma coins.
There are two types of users, moderate and heavy, with two types of acknowledgements on smartphone usage: those acknowledging excessive usage, and others that do not believe excessive usage
Persona empathy maps, helped identify “mindful smartphone use” for the identified types of users. Mindful use includes:
Knowing smartphone usage
Motivation to continue regulating smartphone usage over a long period of time
Feeling good while regulating smartphone usage
Using the three constructs of self-determination theory (SDT), such as autonomy, competence, and relatedness can help take advantage of the different levers of mindful smartphone use
Strategized and led product concept and design research
Collaborated with fellow designer to create design probes and prototypes
Led user research and data analysis
Pitched idea at competitions that garnered funding support