With the common rhetoric of the ‘digital detox’ and ‘switching off’, there is an assumption that mindfulness and technology are mutually exclusive. Challenging this assumption, this project built a manifesto for designing technology which takes care of the people who use it.
Embedding ourselves within the Mindfulness Everywhere team, we tapped into their extensive knowledge and experience of the mindfulness and technology industries. Using this as a basis, we engaged with relevant literature, and interviewed relevant industry experts. Building on this we conducted case studies on a range of well known digital products, identifying their mindful (or not-so-mindful) characteristics, and building an understanding of how various elements across graphic design, search algorithms, notification structures, UX, UI, and service models can influence a user’s state of mind.
Synthesising our learnings, we generated a series of principles for designing technology that looks after the people that use it. While these were ‘design principles’, we recognised that design is impacted by several external factors, and therefore the principles speak to not only design processes, but also a company’s culture and mission. Accompanying these principles, we developed a series of design concepts, to illustrate and communicate what these principles might look like in practice. The full list of these can be seen on the Designing Mindfulness website