Since our intervention did not quite work as intended, we focused our prototype on the following set of questions rather than a single unanswered question that our intervention revealed.
Questions we considered:
- From our baseline study we learned that people often feel unfulfilled after spending long periods of time on social media. How can we design a prototype that offers a more fulfilling alternative?
- From our baseline and intervention studies we learned that many people did not necessarily want to give up their scrolling but rather limit it or establish some boundaries around when they use it. Given that users still want to allocate some time for scrolling how can we use scrolling as an anchor for shifting our user’s attention to a more fulfilling activity?
- From our intervention study we learned that calling a friend to interrupt scrolling was not always feasible. Sometimes friends don’t pick up, or the time of day is inconvenient, or people don’t want to disturb their friends. How can our prototype offer a more feasible alternative activity?
Explanation and reasons behind storyboard/wireflow:
This is one model of our idea, where the user is prompted for questions once they reach their scrolling time limit in order to unlock some more fulfilling content. The model assumes that the user is asked 20–30 calibration questions when they first set up the app (shown in Holden Foreman’s storyboard), and each time they reach their scrolling limit another 3–5 questions are asked, so that the app learns more and more information from the user each time. Once the 3–5 questions are answered, the app finds content based on all the questions they’ve answered so far and suggests it to the user.
Our choice to move forward with this prototype was based on user reports of feeling unfulfilled after spending long periods of time on social media. To address this we had discussed the idea of having users pre-select their own media as a possible intervention, but eventually decided against it in favor of something simpler that wouldn’t require users to search for content. When a related idea came up again as a potential prototype, I was drawn to the interpretation in Holden’s sketch below, which seemed like a great way to gently nudge someone toward an alternative form of media using their inevitable scrolling as an anchor. Answering questions also seemed to require less effort than our original idea of having users search for their own future content.
We decided not to proceed with a prototype modeled on our intervention study because of the many reports that the intervention often didn’t work as intended. We did adopt the idea of the 10 minute timer from our intervention because participants gave positive feedback about simply having a 10 minute limit and seemed more willing to limit their scrolling to 10 minutes rather than quit cold turkey or stop for longer periods of time.