Ben Alpers - Selected Work
banner_mindful-02.png

The Mindful Light

 
DSCF3771_brighter.jpg

The Mindful Light

SMART PRODUCT DESIGN RESEARCH

I contributed:

  • Design research - in-context user interviews
  • IxD - rapid prototyping
  • protoboard fabrication and assembly
  • Arduino API integration

 

Our team solved the following problems:

UX: find compelling use case, form, and user interaction for delivering circadian rhythm lighting

Tech: implement automated "circadian rhythm" color change LEDs with respect to time, geolocation, and UI.


DESIGN RESEARCH

Through interviewing potential users, I learned that cubicle dwellers are always looking for better lighting solutions, both in quality of light and useful form factors. I also found that students who stay up late use circadian lighting not just for the light itself but as a visual cue to nudge them to go to bed.

I hate my overhead ambient lights, but I don’t mind using them because it clears up my desk space
— university administrator
F.lux reminds me that it’s late without me having to set an alarm or something like that. It’s nice that I can delay it for an hour too.
— student

Synthesizing these findings, we determined that while desk-dwellers say that desk space is at a premium, they mean that they want desk objects to be of high value. We set out to answer:

How might we allow desk-dwellers to have natural lighting in a useful, intuitive way?


INTERACTION PROTOTYPING

UI_prototype2.gif

Many lo-fi prototypes later, we found satisfying interactions using functional metaphors - the "flipping" of a light switch to turn on – the "snoozing" of an alarm clock to delay – and the "rising" sun to dim. The overall form of a light bar for the back of the desk would be low profile and able to provide natural, ambient light.


FABRICATION


FINAL DESIGN

22hcxi.gif

The Mindful Light

giphy (1).gif
giphy (2).gif
DSCF3771_brighter.jpg