Stakeholders: Parents in Delft, TU Delft
When a person becomes a parent they tend to focus on the required care they provide for their kids, while forgetting about their own needs. Consequently their social mobility decreases and they start to experience more structural stress. For this project I, therefore, investigated how becoming a parent influences a person social mobility and how this would impact their well being.
User interviews / Research communication
Breaking the vicious circle of parenting stress
The presence of stress within a household has been shown to negatively influence the development of children. Mothers are often aware that they take to little time for themselves. Despite this they expressed feeling guilty when doing so.
Motivating moms to plan time for themselves to spend in a social way.
To break this vicious cycle of stress, the design should decrease the feeling of guilt mothers have when taking time of. I chose to do this by creating a design that engages other moms and allows them both to reach out for help .
To faciltate a social interaction between to moms, the interaction should feel comforting for a mom experiencing stress. While the design should communicate urgency to the supporting mom and make her feel motivated to reach out
BREEK is an interactive beacon, that motivates moms to meet up and take their mind away from their frustration.
Whenever moms feel frustrated or distressed BREEK allows them to express how they feel and through this reach out to other moms within their network. This should motivate other moms to reach out and plan some time off together. For this they are able to make use of an app.
Concept development / Interaction prototyping / UI Design / User testing
Responding to stress
Evaluating interactive prototypes, showed that moms would like to deal with stress in two ways. Firstly through a subtle act of violence, that could help them to deal with intense frustration. While to calm down they expressed a need for a hug or embrace.
Making time to meet other moms
Users can interact with BREEK in two ways, through taking out their frustration on the ball on top of breek or embrace the sides of the vase shape. Both these actions result in a programmed lighting effect, mirroring the users state of mind. This means that while the ball on top starts to slowly stabilize the light slowly fades with it. While an extended embrace triggers a pulsing effect, that guide users in a breating exercise.
When the main user interacts with BREEK, the supporting users receives an urgent lighting signal that should active them to reach out and check on the main user
To help moms to actually spend more time for themselves, I created an app that nudges them to make appointments with other moms.