Automated music therapy for mental wellbeing
Smart Therapeutic Earphones + Mobile App
Combining biometric technology, neuroscientific principles and design thinking to offer automation and interactions with music for better mental wellbeing - supporting three key pillars: Mood regulation, exercise and sleep.
Experts at local mental health charities were approached for interviews for insight into the problem domain
‘‘Its better to prevent the problem than to firefight it’’
Key insight from mental health experts, changing the focus from a reactive to preventative.
What’s influencing mental health in the UK?
Millennial workers are uniquely effected by modern trends leaving them vulnerable to an inability to recover from work stress.
Targeting the worst effected user group means the product will have the largest impact.
Interviews with Millennial Workers
Key Expert Insight
A review of the wellbeing market revealed an unfulfilled need and a strategy to differentiate the product: Passive therapy.
This, paired with user and expert insights, forms a design specification to evaluate ideas against.
3 Key Pillars of Mental Wellbeing
How can we improve the mental wellbeing of millennials to reduce stress levels holistically throughout the day, allowing them to switch off after work, as a preventative measure against mental illness?
Concept Generation & Evaluation
Concepts were generated around sensory therapies for mood regulation, modern sleep rituals and incentivised exercise.
Sensory therapies was the most fitting to the design spec, as it can be made passive through automation.
After creating concepts around sensory therapies; it was clear music has the potential to support and enhance all three pillars of mental well being therefore the clear direction to develop further.
ISO-Principle Music Therapy: The Neuroscience
Emotional or Physical changes using musical frequencies
The discovery of ISO principle gave the methodology for how music will be used to alter emotional states, for mood regulation, and physiological states, for sleep and exercise.
ISO-principle music therapy for mood, exercise or sleep product scenarios visualised.
Primary Need Discovery: Co-Design Workshop
Primary User Need: Mood Regulation
The workshop revealed the users top value through an exercise of marking what was most important to them, then these were related to features of the product which they were asked to put into order of importance as a group.
Mood regulation proved to be the users primary need, so will be the main feature of the solution with biofeedback and automation.
How can we automate mood regulation for passive therapy?
Human emotion and music emotion can be read and plotted on the same 2D valence-arousal graph of emotion.
Metaphor of Colour
The metaphor of colours will be used to break down a complicated system into an easily understandable user interface.
Colours semantic value allows for a colour wheel to represent the 2D graph of emotion. This may differ between cultures so an initial set up process will be needed in the app.
Creating a system which continues to learn and become more effective and personalised, the more the user wears the earphones and interacts with the interface.
Emotion Sensing Using Biometrics
Emotion sensing using low-cost sensors with ‘synchronisation’
A scientific paper states teaching the system which physiological signs relate to which emotions for that specific user, a ‘synchronisation process’, will result in 85-95% accuracy of predicting the users emotional state.
A mini system was developed to create a simple stress circuit, using a neo pixel ring to simulate the interface.
Prototyping & Testing
Full interface mockup: Tap through app interface screens with optional tutorial
App simulation with music: Animation simulating the UXUI, automation with music
(Click for prototype pop-up)
Electronic component consideration:
Focus Group Feedback
Sketch models representing different methods of receiving the music therapy were presented to a focus group of users who gave feedback on their preferences.
Earphones were the most preferred and suitable, therefore will be taken forwards to develop further.
3D Development & User Testing
Travel Case & Speaker Base Ideation
A travel case for portability and optional conductive charging base for sleep activities created the product family.
The chosen CMF has the same visual language as the mobile app, to create a coherent brand.
The design language incorporates curves organic to reflect waves, a theme throughout the branding, to represent both sound waves and the biometric waves registered by the sensors.
Muzi User Experience
Made In Brunel Exhibition
Accessibility and the mental health crisis among teens
Without the wearable element, the mobile app enables interactions with music for mental wellbeing. This is a highly accessible way to support vulnerable people, for example, teenagers who are currently facing a mental health crisis. The apps low price point and the widespread appeal of music, makes it an ideal element to continue to develop after the hand in to create a positive impact.
Thanks for looking, hope you found it as interesting as I did :)