vector illustrated line of data visualizations

AURA

social mood tracking for emotional health, 2015

Aura was a term-long project to design a product and its digital interface, touching on user research, persona and scenario development, market strategy, formal product design, system architecture, wireframing, and user interface design.

The product is a biometrics-based wearable that tracks and applies mood data to interpersonal relationships and vice versa. The system displays visualizations of this information via OLED screen jewelry. In spirit, its a high tech mood ring.

LED screen jewelry prototypes piled together

UI flowchart

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fifteen interface screen designs for a smartphone app, with lines showing how the user would nagivate between them

system diagram

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Aura's top-level components are the LED jewelry, a smartphone app, and an optional stick-on finger-based sensor. Through the smartphone's microphone, the system listens for mood indicators such as tonal stress or laughter.

The stick-on circuit senses electrodermal activity, a physiological stress and excitement indicator. The app occasionally prompts for manual confirmation of mood status. All this raw data is aggregated and then visualized on the jewelry.

product (the gems)

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The idea here was that a user could feed different visualizations to differently sized and housed gems - so you might have one displaying your mood and another showing your partner's. The cases play with different materialities and engraving.

I tried to design a piece of technology that could be precious, not because it's expensive in the way an iphone is precious, but because it's beautiful and meaningful.

photo is of the jewelry prototypes arranged in a line

data visualization (the mood constellation)

It was important to me that the app include a traditional data visualization (a graph) for viewing the mood data as well as the abstract version. That said, the data constellation is intended to be something a user would quickly learn to interpret.

New data appears in the center and fades outwards so that a glance can give you immediate history of the past few hours as well as a snapshot of the whole week, for example.

design criteria

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icon design for aura's app - data, mood, social, journal, energy, all icon sketches - positive, negative, neutral, low energy, high energy, menu
image is a closing decoration - a simplified system diagram