Duration: 1 week

In team with: Katerina Gavrilo, Ruud Zandbergen

My contribution: brainstorming, ideas generation, prototyping, writing scenario for video shooting, an actor in the video  


This was the project 'for fun' with an assignment to recreate any existing mobile app in a 'tangible' way.


While thinking about the apps, we noticed that almost all of them were actually created based on a tangible variations: messengers, calendars, contacts, email, uber, wallet, music etc. But among the list of apps we found two quite interesting:

  • LinkBubble is an app with a 'playful' way of a progress bar looks like bubbles while waiting of loading Internet pages.

  • Forest is an app helping you put down your phone and focus on what's more important in your life by planting a tree.

We decided to combine two ideas: a bubble (balloon) interface with growing a tree.


For shaping our ideas we focused on situation when phone use is not encouraged, such as gathering friends or family together.

For further inspiration we got some craft materials for possible prototypes. We came up with an idea of a tree with balloons. Each balloon represents someone’s phone. Each time if a person is using a phone — the balloon will change its status, like make a noise, change a shape, etc., so that everyone else in a group would notice who is being distracted with a phone.

We were thinking about the closure of the interaction, to create more motivation by having a ‘reward’, without making this the complete (extrinsic) motivation for the users. This gave us the idea of a message inside the balloon, similar to the fortune cookie wisdom. We added the concept of having the secret message inside the balloon, which you can get only if you didn’t use your phone. The type of a message that you would receive could be chosen personally beforehand from the following categories: funny fact, compliment, eco tip, intellectual fact, eastern wisdom, etc.

Afterwards we have set up a user test. We asked users what do they think about the concept and what is their overall experience. The feedback from users was very positive and together we were thinking that the concept can have a more broad usage.

All the ideas ended up in a video: