We’re all stuck at home. This is not news to anyone. A virus plagues the world, riots and protests fill the streets, and the US has been in chaos ever since. We don’t know how long it’ll be like this; we don’t know what the solution will be if there ever even be a solution. All we can do is sit back and hope the storm passes or take our stand and demand change (depending on which scenario you are talking about). Among all of this, here we are, at our respective homes. One after another, either working or in classes, or just avoiding public areas, inside. We all feel some despair, we don’t get to see our friends, we can’t explore the city like we once could, and our favorite boba place is still closed. But just because we feel despair doesn’t mean our health has to act the same way. We can still spend all day at the computer working and still keep our mind and body somewhat active. And for those who need a little nudge in the right direction, I made Move Minder.
My class and I are all artists, we know the struggle of doing all your homework smack dab in front of a computer screen, not moving a muscle for hours and staring at the bright LCD screen. We also all know how tiring and potentially painful it can be the next day when you realize you sat wrong or didn’t stretch enough and know the whole next week your back kills you. An even bigger threat is carpal tunnel syndrome, a disorder that is very prevalent in the gaming, programming, and artist communities. Move Minder wasn’t meant to be a personals physician, or a diet planner, but just a healthy reminder during your day to day desk work, something to keep your bones and tendons in tip-top shape. But how do we reach that audience and encourage them to follow Move Minder?
I took inspiration from apps of a similar nature, specifically, Duolingo, Fitbit and Home Workout. Duolingo is know as a great resource for those trying to begin with a new language and offers many courses, mini-games and in-app rewards. It also features a loyalty system, giving more progress for day streaks and reminds you via notification when to use the app. Fitbit is one of the best fitness tracking software’s out there, tracking your movement, heartbeat, paths and more all in one place. It sorts them by importance and dates and shows you your fitness progress over any amount of time. Home Workout, or any similar app, is a beginner’s way of exercising at home, with no equipment or prior experience, especially useful now that all gyms are closed. Combining these 3 apps, I wanted the idea to gently remind users of when they should stretch their hands or arms or readjust their back. Using phone sensors and location data, the app can sense when you are at a known location or inactive and remind you every X minutes. The app would give you daily tasks among the overview, such as, confirm 10 adjustments or use the hand stretch tool 3 times. These “dailies” would be tracked in your progress calendar and rewards would be given justly, whether that be in-app or connected to a 3rd party. A focus is that this should be user friendly, accessible to any and everyone. The tasks aren’t meant to be challenging, so dependent on your selected age group, they should be quite easy.
I believe this kind of app would be a god send to many heavy desk workers, but the appeal just isn’t as strong as I’d like. Really any person could say I need to stretch my hands and search how to quickly do it. My purpose to begin with was for those with maybe a bit more forgetful personality. Someone who needs to be reminded of their duties and may get lost in their work for long periods of time. My app would serve to wake them from their slumber and make sure they stay healthy. In the end, the less people affected by carpal tunnel, the better, though if the app becomes too good, chiropractors may be a bit upset with me.