How can we deliver the emotion that you get from physical touch?

How can we deliver the emotion that you get from physical touch?

Nudge

My Role —

User Experience,
User Interface
& Brand Design

Nudge is a wristband that allows users to send physical gestures. Sendable physical gestures include nudge, pinch, squeeze, tap, and swipe. The sender will directly perform the physical gesture on to the band, and with customizable duration and location, users can communicate purely through physical sensation. With the mobile app, Nudge opens a new way to establish a personal language and graphical system.

How It Works

Communication

Nudge is composed of a hardware device and a mobile app. The band acts as a bridge that connects different users with touch, and the app acts as a platform to understand and store these communications. The user simply inputs one of five gestures, and on the receiving end, a user physically feels the input of the sender. The fives gestures are received by the band through distinctively different physical touch. The receiver of the touch will also feel five distinctively different physical sensations.

Within the touch that is being communicated with users, a tactile language is built. This intimate contextual language becomes the user’s unique tactile language that only the participants can decipher.

Mobile App

The Nudge mobile app is a true communication hub. While the device allows users to communicate physical inputs, the mobile app acts as the organizer of this personal language. It lets the user define new signals and visually explains existing communications.

Process

Form Study

Physical touch or tactile feedback delivers an emotional sensation that is more candid and intimate. To successfully deliver this secretive and personal language, we explored scenarios based on different forms. The device had to be close to our bodies, but we wanted to explore what exact form would be appropriate for our purpose. What if it was a necklace? What if it was a ring or a wristband? We simulated each forms with a fixed scenario to see how it feels to interact with the device.

Interview

Along with the form study, we conducted a number of interviews with our colleagues and friends. We explained the main purpose of the project and asked them if they think it is a good idea, what kind of form it will be, and who and how they would use this product.

Mobile App Study

We knew that while the Nudge wristband is the main pathway of interaction, we needed a mobile app to really manage the user's language. The app needed to be more than a text message thread. It needed to be a dictionary for my own secretive language, and a manager for my communication circle. We wanted to find the right way on how we maintain this new language without getting overwhelmed.

Scenario Design

With the device and the mobile app, now we had to design a user scenario that truly highlights the usage of this product. The whole process was driven by thinking what would novice, intermediate, and expert user of this product would do? We wanted to come up with 3-5 different scenarios that are not redundant but also shows the depth of different usages with Nudge.

Identity Design

The visual design of this project was highly motivated by the idea of intimacy and secrete. After all, it is a language that only the user him/herself can understand. We were inspired by curves and fluid designs. It is a product that emphasizes physical touch, which invokes softness and warmth.

Presentation