Phase 3

One concern that shows from the design challenge of phase two is that it is not fully clear what the reason is for the texting. Therefore, it is also hard to understand and get a better grip on the thinking process of the actions. This way it is still a challenge to create an activity that will fulfil the needs of the case owner instead of the texting. In order to get a better grip upon this reasoning, more forms of co-design are executed.  

Co-Design methods

1. Google forms

To get a better understanding of what Laura does at her weekends and how she feels at moments she is texting people, a second Google Forms has been created. Laura responded really well to the easy open-ended questions and the more difficult close-ended questions. 

2. Meeting Guidance Daycare

In the meeting with the guidance, the main goal was to present the concept and ask their opinion. The guidance was positive on the concept, of a long-term ‘rewarding’ system. As they have positive experience with such systems, they are enthusiastic that this might work even better in a bigger concept. Additionally, the concept is applicable for the day-care, and feasible to use.   

When talking to the guidance at the day care it became clear that the expressions of the case owner are not always to be trusted. As it is hard to explicitly talk about the feelings, it is difficult to read what the real feeling behind certain behaviour is.  

3. Meeting Parents

The general feeling over this meeting is good. The interviewee told a lot of usefull information and really opened up. After evaluating the meeting, the following findings seemed relevant for the continuation of the project: 

  • The parent gets texts every day, though this to the parent is not a problem. 
  • A reward for a certain action is a system they have been using for years and she is sensitive for. It always had a positive result. 
  • When choosing between games at home or on the phone she would choose games on the phone. 
  • When suggesting another activity, she would easily leave the phone as it is. 
  • She likes pink. 
  • She doesn’t like too much physical activities with her parents. The market for example. 
  • She does the texting because she is bored and has lack of companionship.

4. Texting with group member

To know what kind of messages Laura sent to people, one of the project group members gave their number to Laura. This was done with thorough consideration on the feelings of the case owner. Consent was asked and the rules were explicitly discussed with the case owner. After that week, both phone numbers were deleted from both their phones. The group member’s number was given in the afternoon, and in the evening, Laura started texting. She sent a lot of text, and it was very hard to respond to her every few minutes. In the example on the left, there can be seen that the rate of texts is fast. Additionally, the text repeats the same sentence but then differently written. In the example on the right, our group member did not respond for a long time.  

These examples shows that she really tries to grab the attention and get a response. It might indicate the reason behind the texting, which could be loneliness. The texts do not show interest on one certain topic but just come at random. This is also a sign of need of attention and search of a friend. 

(these messages are a representation, not a copy) 

Re-Evaluation concept


Firstly, an important thing to evaluate is that the system can create an imbalance of power between the reward giver and Laura. Especially when the reward is something Laura really likes to get. This can cause persuasion for Laura to act a certain way (even if she doesn’t want to), without even knowing it. It would manipulate her to change her texting behaviour by giving her a reward when she doesn’t text. 
Secondly, the focus is now on the reward itself, instead of focusing on the underlying reasons for her texting behaviour. Which may only be a temporary solution for the problem. Besides, the reward system may let the case owner think that she is performing ‘wrong behaviour’ while in reality the texting itself is not bad behaviour. The first prototype is focussed on the problem of the day care which was not ethical as there should be focussed on Laura. Indirectly, restricting Laura (by deleting or restricting certain apps) is not ethical. With the current prototype the freedom would only be restricted more. The focus should be on the case owner’s happiness, that can happen by discovering the real reason for the texting behaviour.  

The first design challenge was focussed on the problem of the over-texting. Which makes the goal just to prevent the over-texting. However, by just the ‘not texting’ the urge of texting doesn’t get taken away. Therefore, it is of importance to identify the feeling behind the texting in the weekend. The overlapping story of the guidance and the parents conclude that this is mainly loneliness and missing of company. This point of view of the problem has been shifted resolving this underlying desire instead of preventing the texting. 

The scenario on the right shows a first direction of when the prototype must act, what the prototype could do and to what actions this might lead to. Though, this scenario can be ethically discussed as well, it does show where the problem might occur and where to act on. 

Final Problem Definition


The boredom and need of a friend (and so the texting) takes mostly place in the weekend at her mom’s and dad’s place. 



The boredom and need of a friend (and so the texting) usually happens on Friday, Saturday and/or Sunday evening(s). This can be seen from the objective data. By looking at Laura her screentime from several weeks, it could be seen that her screentime on WhatsApp was the highest on Saturday of week 1. 


It was concluded that the reason why Laura does the texting is because she is bored and in need of attention/companionship in the weekend. During the week at the day-care, she has a packed schedule with fun activities and a lot of structure. She is very busy, has a lot of people around her and does not need her phone at all. The weekends, on the other hand, are much calmer with less structure. She does not have a lot of people around her. 


It became clear that in this case a cause-effect relationship is taking place. The cause of the problem is that Laura is bored and has lack of companionship. The effect of that is the over-texting. By finally knowing the cause of the problem it became more clear what the solution of the problem could be.  


Final Design Challange

Our design challenge is to develop an interactive product which fulfils the urge of texting, provides entertainment and social communication which keeps the co-designer company and motivates to do physical activities.”

Brainstorm session

This scenario is the main decision-making process of the case owner and how the prototype would act on it. The main decisions moments are Whatsapp and My Bunny Friend, and what to with the bunny app; should it be an activity or a chatbot. When opening my bunny friend, the goal is to first motivate Laura for a physical activity, to reduce the phone use. However, this is not a must and therefore other options are also given which might meet her needs more in the moment. The idea is that even though the app acts on the behaviour, the case owner still does real-life activities and has a physical product as reminder, motivation and to track her process.