Go Touch Grass
A Wellness Application for Gamers
In this day and age, video games play a huge role in many people's lives. Whether it be from playing professionally or as a way to wind down to conclude their day. With so many people playing, some play for too long. Because of this issue, the challenge was to create a wellness application catered to the gaming audience to help them find a balance between their gaming sessions and to "Go Touch Grass"
Gamers are known for their unhealthy habits; not exercising, playing for periods that are considered too much, and the decline of a positive mind when they are doing poorly.
Implemented a Discord compatible system that encourages you to take breaks depending on the gamers' session length while giving them educational content.
We began our research by looking for the articles that would answer the questions we had at hand. We wanted to learn from articles were both the negative and positive effects of taking breaks, too much gaming, and emotions.
Three articles helped us answer the questions we had; they were acer.com, health.harvard.edu, and platinumparagon.info.
We wanted to learn from consistent gamers. Based on their gaming sessions what were their preferences, behaviors, habits, and preferences for an application that would help with finding that healthy balance.
The results we gathered helped us confirm the preferences of the ideal user we wanted to target. Most of those surveyed answered that they play daily, don't have a specific time for them to take breaks, and they would like a system that monitors; the win/loss ratio, time spent in-game and heart rate.
Because there is no direct competitor for the kind of application we were aiming to make. We decided to compare the capabilities of applications believed to have features we would like to use. Pokémon Go incentivizes its users to go outside by giving them achievement badges. Both iOS and Instagram give you details regarding the amount of time you spent on your phone and give you a visual representation. The accessibility for these both is also hard to find, we wanted to make sure that we did not have that same issue.
When playing video games for a long period, I want to be able to get smart notifications on when it is a good idea to take a break so I can have a better gaming experience and improve my mental and physical health.
After finishing my research and competitive analysis, I started crafting "How Might We" statements and chose one that I could remember and stick to when developing a solution.
How might we create a system that notifies users when to take a break based on the amount of time they spend in front of the screen?
With the results we gathered, we came up with our primary user, Alec Holder. A software engineer that likes to play competitive games in his free time but tends to get upset very quickly when gaming. Some of the pain points were that he doesn’t know when it is a good idea to take a break from gaming and sometimes he feels that he can be doing other productive things, but feels committed to gaming.
We analyzed Alec’s journey to look into what his goals were through each stage, and how the experience could improve with the implementation of our wellness application. We noticed that the lowest points in the journey are after the “breaking point” when Alec blows upon his teammate and decides to storm off.
What does Alec want to accomplish with our application? What steps need to be taken to get to that goal? The user story formulated was:
As a user, I want to monitor my in-game time so that I can be notified when to take a break to stretch/eat/hydrate.
We then went into detail as to how Alec would navigate through the application to meet those goals.
Where it explains that the user would:
1. Open the Go Touch Grass application
2. User is logged in by having their Discord account linked
3. Redirected to the home page
4. Game session is started automatically through the Discord game detection
5. GTG starts tracking the user's current gaming session
6. User goes through his gaming session
7. Depending on the amount of time spent in-game, the user is recommended via push notification to take a break
8. User logs off the game to take a break
9. GTG records completed game sessions and posts stats about the recent game session
To begin the ideation process, we clarified features, styles, and options that would and would not work well with the application. We agreed that the application must have discord integration to track the gaming sessions and for it to be a simple and quick process, we did not want the user to spend too much time on the application but rather on their gaming session. It should have a user profile, settings page, and proper navigation. Could have an educational section, a win/loss monitor, and overall stats for in-game vs. breaks. The won’t haves were focused on the idea of not having the user on the application too much time, we would do this by not having a lot of information on one page and having a lot of screens they would need to navigate through.
We wanted to portray a comfortable, fresh, and appealing design for the users since those characteristics are found in the gaming world. With our mood board, we tried to replicate those themes and had a survey where people had a list of words and would give us 5 words that they felt it portrayed. Those surveyed felt the same way about the themes.
Keeping in mind what we had put down for the Moscow Method, our Low-Fi iterations demonstrates how the application would be centered around one page. The main page would have a gamified call to action button to start/stop your gaming session and give you reminders as time went on.
We added an informative scroll-up page where you would see things like stats, gaming sessions, and educational articles. The settings and profile page could all be accessed from the top corners of the main page.
We began transferring over our ideas from drawings to designs and decided to keep the process as simple as possible. The power button would either be turned on automatically through the discord integration and the gaming session would start, indicated by the timer.
Once completed, you would be prompted to take a break and not be able to log another gaming session until the break is complete. We focused on creating most of our component assets during this phase to start our testing.
For our usability tests, we had 5 users go through 7 different tasks.
These tasks included:
Accessing the profile and settings page
Locating Today's Stats
Start your gaming session
Complete your gaming session
Start your break
No user gave up or had trouble performing what was asked. The other qualitative piece of data we collected was the average time the user spent completing all the tasks which were 1 minute and 16 seconds. The results solidified the focus of keeping it simple and quick for the gamer.
We used the research results to create the style, theme, and all other elements for the application. We came up with the name “Go Touch Grass” as the application name. The reason for the name is because, in the gaming community, that is used as a negative connotation to tell gamers to stop playing. We decided it was a perfect way to take something negative about the community and turn it into a positive thing. The colors we chose were inspired by the mood board and the ambiance a gamer feels when it’s just them and their screen. The typography, buttons, and badges all helped gamify the application and experience.
For an application to have a reach and be successful, a marketing presence is important. We designed a landing page that highlighted the features and benefits of using “GTG”. As well as adding call to action and social media buttons.
The final product shows all the gamified features come together to create the gamer experience. Making the transition from gaming to your check the application seamless. The power button has a color change that goes from green, yellow, and then red throughout the longevity of the gaming session. All articles would help educate the gamer if they wanted to be more health-conscious and are themed with either game or pro gamers references. The applications break feature lets you know when it is smart to take a break while also giving you stats regarding the game you played. Time to review your gameplay and adjust or just take your mind off the games?
Since our application is focused on not having the user on it constantly, we felt it was important to show how the push notifications would alert the busy gamer. We created multiple messages depending on what “GTG” is trying to tell the user.
Users and gamers in particular, are interested in maintaining a healthier balance between games and health but can use some guidance — hence why we created this application.
Gamers like to optimize their time, so we designed our application to fulfill this need. We focused on an experience that requires minimal investment (as seen from our usability tests) while providing plentiful data.
Our initial research findings were crucial to the evolution of our application.
Implement a heart rate monitor system.
Add additional screens to the base of the application to make it fully fleshed out.
Keep iterating the product!