October 18, 2018Comments are off for this post.


Today I had a review with externals that included Arunima, Shruti and an unknown personality. I showed them my presentation which was basically the work that I have done so far. Some of the points that they mentioned are as follows:

  • I need to weave a stronger narrative to share the story. There needs to be a bridge between the gaps in research to what I have conceptualised as ideas.
  • I need to test my assumptions (like productivity) through very small prototypes.
  • Does sleep need technology?
  • What are the other things in the markets doing? How is mine different than others? What’s the additional value that I am providing?
  • Figure out Why? How? What?
  • Reaching 100% productivity might not need 8 hrs of sleep. Different people have different sleep requirements.
  • Figure out from people other value sets than productivity.

October 17, 2018Comments are off for this post.

Machine Behaviour

My inclination towards devices has been clear since the start of the project. While scanning through all the ideas, I concentrated more over the ones that could give me the possibility of making things.

I quite liked the ideas of being mischievous. As a child and being the youngest member in my family, I used to be quite mischievous, sometimes even to a point where it can affect people in not so good way. This behaviour in me as a child found small pocket of joy and fun.

I thought what if the objects around us also behave to prank us or act mischievous. In today’s world when people work, they work with a lot of anxiety. They value productivity but easily overlook the ill-effects on their body due to overexertion. People, in general, are resistant towards change and but what if they get tricked for a change. It’s also important to analyse if the change proposed is more important than the cost inflicted by the bearer which is a result of changes. If the result of the changes in the longer term is more beneficial than the cost of the changes then it will be more acceptable for people to embrace the object. The relevance of the object on a daily basis is quite important too. The object needs to have incentives that are built-in that calls for adherence and instant gratification. A good example which David gave me was a toothpaste. It’s very likely that if we don’t brush, we might lose our teeth in few months (not sure) and that’s the long term effect but the short term incentives are added to the toothpaste by adding flavours like mint which keeps your breath away from smelling foul.

October 16, 2018Comments are off for this post.


  1. Keep it productive
    In today’s world, we value time and want to make the best use of it in whatever we do. Using technology has changed our behaviour in the way we interact with the world. What used to take a day to get done few decades ago, happens in the matter of few seconds today. In a way, we like to get the maximum out a day. Sometimes that happens so at a cost of our own health. People who have erratic working schedules usually get carried away with their work and people in such jobs stay in them because they are self-driven and motivated to succeed in their line of work. Since there are very few patterns for them to fall back on, they do things keeping their work at the centre of their life and in the process hamper their health.

    They value their success and measure it by the amount of work done in order to get closer to their goals. This is specially relevant to remote workers where time is not the best concept for calculating productivity whereas the amount of work done is. Productivity is an intangible quality which is subjective to everyone and works differently in different types of jobs. For both an employee and an employer, productivity is an utmost desired quality. There are many traits that affect productivity but one of the most overlooked and underrated one is sleep deprivation.

    What if this could be solved by products that are unobtrusive but yet effective, not visible but yet present when needed. One inputs the level of productivity you felt on a day and the level of productivity you desire for the following day. Thereafter one sets an alarm for the next morning. This is repeated for several days for the machine to learn your habit. After the machine completes learning about your habit, you repeat the same process but now the machine wakes you when it thinks that your sleep has matched your desired productivity level which often is after the time you set the alarm for. However, sometimes, it also wakes you up at the intended alarm time but displays lower productivity level for that day than you had desired. Doing this over a few weeks induces some desired changes in one’s habit and now one matches their expected productivity level and the role of the machine gets dissolved to a mere clock.


  1. Induction
    We rely on technology for an unthinkable amount of time of our lives and use them on an everyday basis to fulfill our tasks and make our lives easier and convenient. However, technology has become such an intrinsic part of our lives that they seem to know our habits better than we know them ourselves. Social media websites are good examples which thrive on curated algorithms that is trained to deliver what we like based on our activities.

    What if we reversed the process, what if technology trained us. The people who fed Pavlov's dogs wore lab coats. Pavlov noticed that the dogs began to drool whenever they saw lab coats, even if there was no food in sight. Pavlov wondered why the dogs salivated at lab coats, and not just at food. He ran a study in which he rang a bell every time he fed the dogs. Pretty soon, just ringing a bell made the dogs salivate. Pavlov said the dogs were demonstrating classical conditioning. He summed it up like this: there's a neutral stimulus (the bell), which by itself will not produce a response, like salivation. There's also a non-neutral or unconditioned stimulus (the food), which will produce an unconditioned response (salivation). But if you present the neutral stimulus and the unconditioned stimulus together, eventually the dog will learn to associate the two. After a while, the neutral stimulus by itself will produce the same response as the unconditioned stimulus, like the dogs drooling when they heard the bell. This is called a conditioned response.

    B.F. Skinner showed how positive reinforcement worked by placing a hungry rat in his Skinner box. The box contained a lever on the side, and as the rat moved about the box, it would accidentally knock the lever. Immediately it did so a food pellet would drop into a container next to the lever. The rats quickly learned to go straight to the lever after a few times of being put in the box. The consequence of receiving food if they pressed the lever ensured that they would repeat the action again and again. Positive reinforcement strengthens a behavior by providing a consequence an individual finds rewarding.

    Using the same theory a person can condition themselves to sleep. For instance, white noise gets played over few days when you feel naturally sleepy and music starts getting played earlier by few minutes after few days. There comes a time when music starts playing and one starts feeling sleepy because now the mind associates music to one’s sleep.


October 15, 2018Comments are off for this post.

Clustered Ideas

Clustered ideas based on the themes that emerged. There were as following:

  1. Home appliances
  2. Devices
  3. Monitor/Tracking
  4. Machine Learning
  5. Technique/Programme
  6. Buddy system
  7. Planning
  8. Incentives
  9. Public Spaces
  10. Pills

While sorting ideas, I realised that there are many lenses through which this problem can be re-looked at. As deduced from the research, people are resistive to change and are already aware that they are not doing so well. The need for change can be either be pushed through provocative awareness or nudging behaviours through external stimuli.

From some ideas that I have selected, I will try framing them in a scenario to understand its context and add some missing pieces to form an ecosystem.

October 10, 2018Comments are off for this post.

How Might We?

HMWs in the morning.

I felt that the HMWs that I framed were very uni-directional partly due the talk I had with Jeff earlier this week. They mostly focused on productivity and creativity. I asked David for his input and he made the same point. HMWs need to be distinct from one another to allow the audience to think about varying possibilities.

Sat with Aram to discuss final project and HMWs and he helped immensely. He said that the meaning of productivity, creativity and alertness vary with the job sector you are in. Choose a sector to focus on. A good approach to follow would be The Minto Pyramid Problem which lists down the steps in order of situation, complication, question, answer.

October 9, 2018Comments are off for this post.

Insights and HMW

We measure all the ingredients to the best employee against productivity, creativity, and alertness which is highly dependant on how much you sleep. The problem with these variables is that they will be directly proportional to the amount of sleep that you get. And we know that the amount and quality of sleep aren’t the same. These variables are also affected by the quality of sleep.

And if you know you can’t sleep much, the answers will be very discouraging and they might linger in your head the following day and affect you even more. The artifact should be uplifting and encouraging so that it lets you forget your wrongdoings.

Reworked on insights and formed HMWs


October 2, 2018Comments are off for this post.


I realised while reading a classmate’s documentation that she’s looking for an extra layer of design or that’s how I interpreted it. When I watched a college boys tennis, it was brutal hard hitting battle but with no touch, no volley, no making use of the depth and shortness of the court. They just ran left and right. They were solid in their skills but that’s where the pros show how good they are. They draw out the maximum potential of the court and make the play like a poetry and do so naturally. That’s what I need to do in my design solution. Can I narrate a story through my artefact? Like the ones from Alex Webb from Magnum photos.

September 20, 2018Comments are off for this post.


I put up the quotes of the respective people and tried to cluster them based on themes.

  • unseen/uncovered traits
  • lifestyle choices
  • offsetting/migrating
  • mentality/behaviours
  • routine/commitment

Following insights emerged after clustering:

  • Being sleepy is a mental hurdle and not a physical problem for people.
  • People think they are now a better versions of themselves compared to from the past.
  • People can sense the problem but are indifferent to it.
  • People cannot trace back their problems to sleep.
  • People give in to their vices.
  • When one does something to a big stretch to help their body, its called passion but when if they do so while harming their body, its called addiction.
  • Quality of Sleep in an immeasurable (intangible) part of one’s life and therefore is taken for granted.
  • People’s psychology get them through the hard times.
  • People point to their life’s situation for their physical state of being.
  • People put work before their sleep.

While conversing with David, he told the tools used for the artefact is less important than what they used for (paraphrased). It’s a known fact but I told him about my concerns of building confidence in my skills and abilities and choosing this topic as a vehicle to achieve that.

September 19, 2018Comments are off for this post.

Research: Tools on machine Learning

September 18, 2018Comments are off for this post.


Neil is a Head Flight Attendant of an Indian airline firm. He has been in the job for 26 yrs and has a role both up in the air and ground. He recognises the value of sleep and takes responsibility of assigning sleep to his subordinates. Each flight depending on its travel journey has mandatory rest assigned to its staffs and a unchangeable schedule is quite important.

Went through the various things going on in the sleep field.