Monday, March 9, 2020

Multi-sensory Experience Testing with Focus Group

After refining the prototypes, I proceed to do a multi-sensory experience testing with the focus group.

The participants are from the same focus group for 1st design testing. This multi-sensory experience testing includes:
1. A refined version of multi-purpose blanket with weighted packets and a lavender sachet
2. A new version of pulsing light
3. A refined version of sleepy app background music

Click here to see the earlier prototypes.

This is the set-up for the multi-sensory experience testing.

I haven't build an exterior for the pulsing and spinning light, I will work on it after all testings are completed.

These participants have gone through with the card game (awareness stage), 1st design testing and this is the enaction stage (alternate opportunities for participants to engage and be mindful of recreational screen-use).

Objectives of this multi-sensory experience:
1. Understand how participants feel through this multi-sensory experience, if it is seamless or suitable enough at this stage to be considered as an alternative to adopt for pre-bedtime routine.
2. If this experience is considered non-intrusive and pleasurable by most participants, the set-up will be tested with 3 more participants at their homes as a sleep experiment to see if this holistic intervention can help to induce sleep and minimise excessive recreational screen-use.

Lastly, I will also follow up with these participants in 2 weeks to see if they have made any conscious effort in minimising excessive recreational screen-use since the first card game.
  • Duration of multi-sensory experience testing: 15 minutes
  • Participants are tasked to test the prototypes (tossing with the blanket, synchronising with pulse and music, etc) before taking in the experience as a whole. 
  • Prototype testing takes approximately 5 minutes. 
  • Participants have the option to do what they want in the room for the remaining time. 
  • Participants are allowed to bring their devices in and use at any point of time
  • Testing is conducted at participants' non bed-time hours
  • Participants will take part in a video interview after the test
Main questions asked in the interview:
  • How do you feel?
  • Can you share your thoughts on the experience?
  • Do you feel that this experience is seamless? (all products come together together as 1 multi-sensory experience)
  • What were you thinking about during your time here, during the experience?
  • During your experience, did you use your phone? Or at any point of time, want to use your phone and reached out for it?
  • What do you think of having this experience for a prolonged period of time, like incorporating in your bed-time routine?

Words mentioned by participants for more than once:

Relaxing / Relaxed (12)
Calming / Calm / Calmness (7)
Soothing (2)
At ease (2)
Sense of comfort / Comfortable (3)
Security / Secure (2)
Spa (2)
Sleepy / Drift off to sleep / Getting into mood of sleep / Falling asleep (8)
Easy / Straightforward to use (4)
Serene (2)
Not as intrusive (2)

Other words related to 'pleasure' or 'helpful for well-being' mentioned by participants:
Peaceful, warm, cosy, good to sleep, better mood to sleep, guided meditation, therapeutic.

Key findings:
  • Majority of participants (85%) mentioned that they became sleepy or almost dozed off towards the end, the remaining 1 mentioned that the multi-sensory experience helps to set the mood of sleeping but did not share if he became sleepy or fell asleep. It is important to take note that even if participants fell asleep or became sleepy during their non bed-time hours, it does not mean that the holistic experience may be effective as they might have been tired in the day or might have gotten extra or lesser sleeping hours the night before.
  • All participants felt that each of the individual products has improved, they have no problem with the blanket even when they toss and turn, it is easy to use, the speed of pulsing light is suitable and the music is fitting
  • All participants feel that the holistic experience is relaxing, non-intrusive and it helps them to get into the mood to sleep
  • All participants do not mind having this experience as part of their pre bed-time routine if it is easy to set-up, affordably priced or can be controlled with a single device. 
  • None of the participants used/checked their mobile devices during the test or had the urge to do so. This could also be because the testing duration is only 15 minutes. If testing is 30 minutes or more, participants might turn to their mobile devices out of boredom if they do not feel sleepy at non bed-time hours.

    Conclusion: The multi-sensory experience is considered relaxing, seamless and may help a person get into the mood to sleep faster.

    The experience can be considered Humansic as it allows them to indulge in a pleasurable experience (physio-pleasure), participants feel that the usability is easy and straightforward (psycho-pleasure), and by choosing not to use their mobile devices and immersing themselves fully in the multi-sensory experience, they are taking care of core needs (letting their mind and body rest). This act of mindfulness (of not using phone when they can) can be understood as a meaningful action. 

As part of my methodology which is inspired by The Transtheoretical Model 'maintenance stage', my design process includes 'observe and support',  a follow up interview will be conducted with them in 2 weeks to see if they have continued any mindful and meaningful recreational screen-use - finding balance between their intrinsic needs - pleasure (from the screens), meaningfulness (meaning in the purpose of their screen activities) and health goals - personal wellness / social well-being (more mindful of screen-use and know when to use and when to stop).

Further action after Multi-sensory experience testing: Test the set-up with 3 participants (2 participants from original focus group and 1 participant who has not done the design testing, has not interacted with 1st prototypes and has only played the card game before) at their homes and collect their sleep data.

Full transcription of video interviews can be found here.
Participants have kindly allowed me to publish the interviews, feedback will solely be used for MA research findings and analysis only.

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