Backbone Labs

 
 

Project Details

Design a posture monitor

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.

Role

I worked with the founder, 2 developers and the director of product at Tandem Capital.

Constraints

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.

 
 

How Backbone Works

Early Concepts

 
 "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. The wearable and the app is not a quick solution but an enabler that requires time and effort. It was important to convey this across the journey. 

 
EXPERIMENT - Sketcching .png
 

Challenges

 

We didn't want people to treat posture as a chore or as a one-time activity. From a design experience, I faced 2 challenges: (1) how to create a universal measurement of posture and (2) how to motivate people to continue improving.  After presenting prototypes to customers, I discovered we also needed to consider the perspective of people who have Scoliosis, Acid Reflux and Sciatica. 

 

Improve Posture Visual Cues

Find an alternative for progress

 

We decided to save the dashboard feature for another release due to the constraints of the sensor on storing data. 

 
 

Backbone Branding

 

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.

 
brand 2.png
 

Posture One Step at Time

 

 The Backbone brace and sensor will be available on Amazon soon. 

 
 

Learnings: Low-Fidelity Wireframes

 

In this project, I sacrificed low fidelity wireframes. I thought it would be much easier to go straight to high fidelity wireframes and juggle decisions related to the structure and visuals at once. However, I discovered they are essential to the process, the designer and the stakeholders. 

Low fidelity screens make it easy for the designer to create a tangible prototype quickly. In this case, visuals and interactions took time away from structure when I developed the high fidelity prototype. Pen and paper sketching somewhat compensated for this shortcoming. I also became aware of how much I rely on low fidelity, in addition to task flows, to think through the logic of structure.

Every time I presented to the founder and engineers, I noticed the feedback was unorganized even when I said, “Today we’re only going to focus on structure.'" Low fidelity wireframes put that invisible wall that narrows the point of focus for stakeholders. It's best to tackle one point at a time rather than all at once.

Going forward, I will keep them.

 
 

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