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IOM SUGGESTS A SILENT SOLUTION TO PROBLEMS WITH NON-ACTIVE OFFICE WORK. IMMATERIAL DESIGN CONCEPT.

This project was closely linked to Interactive Institute Sweden, and their extensive research on how to solve the problems of sedentary office work. My team looked specifically at possibilities to invite the body and movement in to the office space. The solution manifests in an invisible and seamless interaction. A personal quiet zone activator removes noisy distractions. A raised-desk standing position of the worker and the possibility of having shared quiet meeting zones invites for social interaction. With time, new behaviour patterns between the worker and his co-workers will be established.

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TEAM

James Zhou, Anton Almgren, Etienne Bouron (Interaction Design) 

SKILLS / TOOLS

Behaviour analysis, co-creative workshop, graphical elements (UI), client presentations

PROJECT TIME

3 weeks during the the Industrial Design Intensive year

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Concept Video

 
 
 

How it works

An interactive system connected to your standing desk

 
 

 1. PERSONAL DESKTOP BUTTON

A personal button makes the surrounding noise level customisable. Fine tune levels of noise or music inside your own silent hotspot.

 

2. HOTSPOT NOISE REDUCTOR

A speaker projects a noise reducing hotspot linked to your desk. It only activates when raising the standing desk, to incentivise the proved healthy benefits of standing while working. It only works within a certain range around your desk.

 
 

 3. SHARE THE SPACE BY CONNECTING BUTTONS

Connect your personal silent space with a colleague to create a shared meeting space. IOM enables quiet meeting spaces, in the middle of the office.

 
 
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prototype
 
 
 

Process

 
 

Targeting sitting time, rather than physical activity, is the most effective way to reduce prolonged sitting, according to the first comprehensive review of strategies designed to reduce sitting time.

 
 
 

-THE JOURNAL OF HEALTH PSYCHOLOGY REVIEW

 
 
 

The greatest problem for me is the disturbance, there is never a private moment.

-STAFF MEMBER, UMEÅ SCHOOL OF ARCHITECTURE

IDEATION

Our desktop research gave us results. Research from the public health domain showed a huge concern for a low- activity level in the society. This is especially apparent in office work environments where we barely move our bodies at all. Physical activity is certainly not naturally integrated in our every day environment.

Together with these insights, the most important findings from our user insights was the high level of distraction that disturbed daily work-flow. We posed the question:

How could we motivate people to move in their office environment without disturbing their work flow?

 
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IMMERSION

The picture is showing Anton testing out noise-reducing headphones. We tried to be as bodily aware as possible regarding the problems that office workers meet in their daily work. We mapped out our own weekly moving patterns of time spent walking, standing, exercising etc. We discovered a huge difference in our own moving patterns.

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TEAM IDEATION

While ideating, many initial wild ideas came about, such as objects transforming in your office. We wanted to test these ideas with people.

 

     

 
 

WORKSHOP

We held a co-creative and public workshop at Bildmuseet museum. People got to test out our lo-fi prototypes, such as a moving and interactive lamp, negative brainstorming cards (what would make you sit down more at work?) and also a noise sound prototype as distraction with speakers to observe peoples reaction. 

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WORKSHOP SURVEYS

We put out surveys to understand peoples behaviour in the office. James is showing our "sliders" where people could grade and give their opinions.

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USABILITY TEST

Etienne assists in a lamp concept that becomes sad when you sit for too long. Noise surrounds the office from speakers.

 
 
 

KEY FINDING:

"People do not like to be told what to do, but office noise is naturally distracting and can be used as incentive to move. Our chosen concept therefore became a quiet zone that activates with your standing desk.

 
 
 

PROTOTYPING

We decided to make lo-fi video prototypes to test with users. We received feedback that having a quiet zone is a positive incentive for using your standing desk. Users reported that having a quiet space, while being away of all the things in the office as an added bonus. 

Lo-fi scenario sketching by me and Anton

Lo-fi scenario sketching by me and Anton

CREATING A BUTTON + A "SPEAKER"

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CLIENT PRESENTATION AT CINNOBER FACILITIES

The team presented to Cinnober company right in their open landscape office space as a great opportunity for feedback. The employees told us this would be something that would incentivise them to get up from the chairs and move.

 
 
 

MY ROLE AND PERSONAL REFLECTION

This project was of great interest for me, since I have a background in sports, health and ergonomics. Being an educated yoga teacher I feel passionate about manifesting bodily awareness in to society. I believe I therefore brought a lot of key ideas and strategy in to the concept creation. I managed ethnographic interviews, visualised parts of the research, and did the UI and visual concept explanation.

The concept remains on a conceptual level. Technology wise something like this would be possible. It would still have been valuable to consider how the service would have been conducted and integrated in to daily lives, by providing and testing a more detailed user journey. It could have been connected to your workflow or calendar. This was a wish that many of our test subjects mentioned.

In my opinion, the main important point is that we have created something that can change the way we behave, act and think regarding physical awareness in our offices.

Our concept is making life and work more pleasant for the office worker. It can also increase the social and moving behaviours of the combined employees, as a group.

 
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