Engage People with their Posture
People spend many hours sitting and over time face serious back and health issues. Backbone trains people to achieve better posture. The scope of this design included creating an experience to help 6,100+ people track their daily goals and their sitting habits easily.
As the first designer, I laid the design foundation, facilitated user interviews and worked with the founder and a developer to prototype an MVP.
We were on a tight deadline due to the shipping date Backbone promised its first backers. Also, the app pairs with a sensor so the design also had to match external interactions.
Understanding the Customer
Backbone was preordered through Kickstarter, which allowed me to get a better sense of the customer and their expectations of the product. After diving into cognitive empathy interviews with these early customers, I discovered people didn't understand well the benefits of good posture and the time commitment and how to measure their progress.
"From day 1 we want to set the customer up for success."
A lot of the solutions in the market offer only "alerts" when the customer is already having bad posture. I explored several solutions to help people to be more self conscious of their posture for a specific goal time before they hit the bad posture mark.
Challenge with Posture Visual
During the monitoring session it was important to let people know how they are doing. I explored creating a 3D representation of the spine while people were sitting. However, the app was being built in ReactNative which constrained us in terms of how many sprites (animations per degree of movement) we can load in a few seconds. Also, after presenting this prototype to customers, I discovered we also needed to reconsider how the spine visual made people feel. People who had Scoliosis, Acid Reflux and Sciatica found value from the product but the spine turned them off. Hence, I turned to the concept of a gauge (more neutral and universal for people) and continue iterating on it.
Unlike it's competitors, Backbone's approach towards posture is unique. My challenge was to make the Backbone brand visually striking but not too aggressive to alienate people. The gradient is a metaphor for the transformation people using Backbone will go through from pain to strength. I dialed up and down the energy of the Backbone brand across the end to end experience to make sure people are not overwhelmed by the gradient.
Posture One Step at Time
The Backbone brace and sensor will be available on Amazon soon.
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A selection of visual samples
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