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Bring Back The Lights

Digital wellbeing / Service & Interaction design

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Project Overview

"Bring Back The Lights" is a service designed to address problematic phone use. It aims to promote digital well-being by offering practical, tailored solutions and tangible devices in different scenarios. Through hands-on and immersive experiences, we aim to assist users in adopting healthier digital habits that suit their individual needs and help them regain focus.

10 months
July 2022 - May 2023
My Role
Jin, Guan - Xiu
(UXUI Researcher, Designer)
UX Researcher
UXUI Designer
Interaction Designer
Problematic Phone Use in Daily Lives
Initial Problem Discovery

Modern people often struggle with problematic phone use, which has negative effects on multiple aspects in their lives.

As technology becomes increasingly prevalent in our day-to-day lives, our relationship with it has become more intimate than ever. However, despite the convenience that phones bring to our lives, modern people often struggle with problematic phone use, which causes negative effects in multiple aspects of people’s lives.


-Trevor Wheelwright, 2022

Understanding “Digital Well-Being”
Initial Problem Discovery

Before getting into the design process, we wanted to dive into the originate idea of digital wellbeing. I immediately reached out to various students through personal connects and snowballing to know more about their thoughts on their encounters with digital wellbeing. Through this, we found few shocking insights

Students are aware of negative relationships with digital products, but fails to find effective solutions.

Students aim to overcome problems in their own ways but fail to do so, leaving discouraging impacts mentally and physically.



                       of university students

                            experience problematic

phone use, but choose to ignore.



                          of students feel hard to                                 balance the positive features and negative use of digital products.

People struggle from balancing benefits and distractions of digital products.

Students need digital products to help them with various tasks in work, study,...etc. But at the same time, experience distractions throughout the process.


How can we help people avoid unsupportive use of digital products and foster a better relationship with technology?

Peek into the solution
Adaptive approach to the Challenge
Research Planning

We organized our research plan based on the Intervention Design Process, originated from behavioral science, which focuses on combining psychology, design, technology, and creative methods to find out people’s intentions behind their use and relationship with technology, and how to initiate impactful changes in behaviors to help them achieve digital wellbeing.

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Understanding the imbalance
User Interview

“When and why digital products cause disruptions, and the original intentions behind.”

We started off by conducting 7 interviews and 14 rounds of observations to dig into people’s diverse life styles and backgrounds to understand their relationship with technology.

We came down to
3 main scenarios that were mentioned the most and had the greatest relation with unsupportive digital product use.


Interviewing with a doctor who has many experiences towards trying to achieve digital wellbeing.

Scenario 1: Distracted by digital products when feeling bored.
“When I feel bored during class or study, I immediately open up the social media apps on my phone and start scrolling.”

Sabrina Chang, Student, 22 years old

What actions were taken towards the problem?
Insights and Analysis

After analyzing 200+ data points obtained from the interviews and observations, we discovered that while actions might be taken to solve problems under various scenarios, people often face three main problems when trying to achieve digital wellbeing:

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Intention - Action Gap

The timing of one’s intention to make change is often different than when problematic phone use is encountered.

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Unmotivated to seek help

People often think digital wellness depends merely on one’s willpower, preventing them from asking for help.

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Hard to keep up with good habits

Expectation of quick results lead to inconsistency in maintaining healthy digital habits, which can be demotivating.

Affinity diagram (using Figjam)

What do people need? : Meet our Personas

With a great amount of combinations between using habits and styles of digital products, and the problems that people encounter accordingly, we narrowed down to three target personas under three major scenarios where people are most influenced by their unsupportive use of digital products.

Ray’s daily battle with unsupportive use of phones...
User Journey mapping

To develop a comprehensive design solution, we analyzed users' experiences from interviews and pinpointed both challenges and design priorities along their journey. This allowed us to review the design concept and features as a whole, ensuring that users' objectives are met, issues are addressed, and any unnecessary features are eliminated.

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Crafting a Recipe for Success
Intervention Design

We brainstormed possible interventions according to the touchpoints and key moments identified in the journey maps. Looking for any opportunities to initiate a change of behaviour. Then, we sorted out the ideas using 2x2 matrix (x-axis being scale of innovation, y-axis being scale of impact).

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Hide physical appearance

Blocking direct contact with digital products can reduce the temptation to reach for it by 50%.

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Detect exhaustion state

Detecting stress and exhaustion on the right timing can prevent excessive stress to cumulate.

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Interrupt cues

Create frictions between cues that lead to subconscious use of digital products.

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Subtle notifications

Convey notifications in a subtle way that reduces distraction of their goals and intentions.


Final Design

A new life movement to start digital wellbeing
at the right time and place.

After numerous versions of iterations, we went from a simple wellbeing app, to guide books with digital wellbeing methods, and finally to our ultimate design concept, which is a service design combined with tangible devices that triggers intuitive interactions for users to try out digital wellbeing methods under various scenarios that best suites their lifestyle.

Imagining the solution
Tangible Device Form Ideation
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To comprehend with the needs and pain points of our diverse personas, I tested out multiple different forms and structures of interaction devices. Finding the ones that can bring out digital wellbeing practices that best suites the surroundings’ atmosphere and the user's emotional feelings.


Hand crafting the interactive devices with 3D printing.

Upon the development, we mapped out a broad view of service experience map to evaluate wether our service design can lead people like Ray to a better balanced lifestyle with technology use.

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Navigation Website
Explore and keep track of your Light Journey.

The navigation website allows users to establish collaborated stores and locations to find out different digital wellbeing methods that suits their needs. Moreover, keep track of their light collecting journey. 

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Let's Bring Back The Lights with....

Light Pocket
Hide up phone, Gather lights.

Starting Point

Public Libraries

The Light Pocket set available in public libraries provides a conductive work and study environment that improves focus and productivity, resulting in a greater sense of accomplishment.

Target Problem



Distracting phone use

during study

Distracting messages and notifications can lead to decreased productivity and lower quality outcomes.

Hindering mental health


Poor productivity lead to feelings of guilt and shame, affecting one’s mental health when ending up with unexpected results.


Hide unwanted notifications 
and alerts

Helps to reduce interruption and stress of obligation to reply messages, notifications in time.


Accumilate light to trigger a sense of accomplishment

The light bar lights up according to the amount of time that the phone is left in the Light Pocket.

How it works


1. Leave your phone in to start the focus session.


2. Lights up according to your time of focus.


3. Collect the lights/focus you gained back during the session!

Light Ripple
Block temptations, Stay calm.

Starting Point

Cafe, Co-working Space

The Light Ripple found in cafes, offers an intuitive approach to establish healthy phone use boundaries. Promoting feelings of centeredness and focus, while reducing the temptation to turn to the phone as a coping mechanism. 

Target Problem


Using phone to cope with stress


Constant need for stimulation and distraction prevents one  from processing their emotions in a healthy way.


Setting boundaries around

phone usage

Setting boundries of phone usage by covering the physical appearance of screens.

Meditative breathing exercises

Offering users healthy alternatives to relief stress with subtle breathing lights for users to follow along.

How it works


1. Place the phone inside the Light Ripple.


2. Activates breathing exercise at the motion of reaching for phone.


3. Companies the users throughout their time of focus.

Light of Togetherness
Light up companionship

Starting Point



The Light of Togetherness invites couples, friends, families...etc. to put down their phones and focus on the present. By lighting up the time together, peoplecan foster better communication and understanding.

Target Problem


Interuption during

important moments

Excessive use of technology can cause disconnection from surroundings, leading to a sense of isolation and cause harm in relationships.


Bonding exercise for all

Promotes interaction between each other through a wellbeing practice for multiple users.

How it works


1. Located on the tables of restaurants.


2. Put down both phones on the induction area to lighten up the Light of Togetherness.


3. Bring back the connection with people you love.

Recap Session
Reflect on your progress and boost motivation!

The recap session appears at the recap spot of collaborated stores to encourage users to reflect on their experience and changes throughout the process. Also, to offer discounts and gifts to contribute on their motivation.

Testing and feedbacks
Bringing the designs to life & hearing from the users!

At the end of the project, we were able to exhibit our design concept at an exhibition of 8000+ viewers, where users can actually interact freely with each tangible device under different scenario settings.

Alex Wang, Engineer

“This interaction design presents the relationship with digital device in a subtle but inspiring way!”
Reflecting back
Highlights of the design
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​If I had more time, I would...

  • Further explore the structure of devices for more customized experiences.

  • Collaborate with actual stores for further testing and results.

  • Develop more on the online platform to enable more ways to practice digital wellbeing methods.

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