A study in psychological responses to sensory stimulants
Physioflex is a wearable experience that encourages those suffering from neuro or spastic muscle disorders to perform at-home maintenance exercises without the aid of a therapist. And want to!
stretching can be crucial to maintain basic life functions
This is no joke. Neglecting to regularly preform at-home maintenance can reverse years of progress and result in permanent damage. The biggest challenges are (1) preforming exercises properly without the aid of a therapist and (2) motivation or incentive to actually start…. because it’s not fun!
Indicate ankle is in a neutral position
The stretch is engaged. An embedded bend sensor measures the degree of flexion and outputs a light sequence accordingly.
The further the stretch, the more LED's light up. Beginning near the bend point, the ankle, and ending near the toe. A flex sensor is programed to measure a standard 20 degree bend.
user journey and research elaborated HERE
Users include those without communicative abilities, neuromuscular, chronic, and spastic muscle disease sufferers, and those with sensory impairment or aversions (ie. autism).
green light, blue light
The first concept evolved into a touch screen interval timer that transitioned between colors to indicated the amount of time to hold and release stretch.
Blue versus green is more intuitive then numerical or countdown data.
but it’s supposed to be fun
This concept eventually developed into a wearable after user research favored the idea of applying the stimulant to the exact bend point on the body. This is more interactive, personal, and narrows the focus from an external object to an attached one.
Driven by UX Research with a focus on health and accessibility
The Physioflex user journey is ultimately an evaluation of communication strategies rooted in sensory responses, opposed to language or numerical data and can be applied to other areas.
Perceptual response to sensory instruction, like light, may be easier to register and generate a more enthusiastic response.