Useful information

Team members
Alina Holovatiuk Polina Bobrova Rusla Pitula Dmytro Kriviy Nellia Leshchenko
app phygital game hardware software panic attacks ux/ui design phone case mobile

Short Description

A rhythm-based app and a phone case as a preventive measure against panic attacks

Detailed Description

InTempo solves the problem of psychological nature - panic attacks and anxiety disorders. Panic disorder is diagnosed in 6 million adults every year. However, less than 30 % of panic attack sufferers receive treatment.
Antidepressants and tranquilizers have side effects. High prices for visiting psychologists and the lack of a community lead to a situation where young people are not aware of the problem.
InTempo is a phygital game that involves several senses - a combination of
auditory, tactile, and visual sensations. Playfully, attention is shifted to calming and concentrated on music and rhythm. Brief workflow of the game: a person listens to his/her favorite music and tries to follow the rhythm, beating it on a special case or the phone screen, then an app indicates how well it turns out. InTempo app has two main modes: Play (tapping on the screen) and Beat (tapping on the case's back). InTempo consists of hardware and software parts – an app and a case, connected to the app.

Project Details

Does your design take social and cultural challenges and human wellbeing into consideration?

If we pull up the statistics around the world, every third person on earth has experienced a panic attack at least once in his or her life. A person's quality of life worsens dramatically when he or she deliberately avoids places or situations that provoke panic attacks or are in constant tension, waiting for the possibility of another panic attack.
Each design decision for both the app and the case was based on consultations with musicians, psychologists, and psychotherapists (CBT and EMDR techniques), as well as existing research on the effect of music and rhythm on human physiology. According to them, the nervous system and muscles can assimilate the rhythm. Research has found that music that you love (which creates a pleasant mood) can synchronize with your brain waves and influence their frequency. Breathing and heartbeat change depending on the tempo and key of the piece of music. Under the influence of music, muscle tone and motor activity can also change. In general, every cell of the body resonates with music, that you like.
For a panic attack or an anxiety state, only sound exposure will not be enough, so the idea of InTempo is to involve several senses - a combination of auditory, tactile, and visual sensations when using an app and a phone case.
Against the background of the coronavirus epidemic and war in Ukraine, the mental health problems only spread faster, so a physiological and bio-oriented solution would be an excellent way out of the situation. Hence, the InTempo app and a particular case were designed as a preventive measure against panic attacks and as a general relaxation treatment for everyone.

Does your design support sustainable production, embodying circular or regenerative design practices?

The InTempo cover is made of silicone and, as a result, it is wear-resistant, not easily soiled, and will keep working for a long time. In addition, the case is monochromatic, which simplifies production. Silicone is flexible so you can store it in easier ways. From InTempo, silicone can be downcycled into various products, such as an industrial lubricant or mulch.

Does your design use principles of distribution and open source?

One of the main tasks of InTempo is to inform people who suffer from mental illness, as well as their relatives and friends, about the problem itself. Very often a person loses a lot of time and money consulting 4-5 different doctors before diagnosing a panic attack because the symptoms of panic disorder are purely physiological. Because the stage of development of InTempo provides educational videos from psychotherapists about the nature of panic attacks, and the causes and course of the disease. The videos will be freely available within the app. Since the project lives on the properties of music, potentially soothing playlists compiled by musicians and therapists will be freely available. An InTempo user will also be able to create his rhythm and playlists, to offer them to other users of the game later - again, openly and for free. Thus, a community of like-minded people will be formed inside the game, who are connected by musical preferences and a common mental problem.

Does your design promote awareness of responsible design and consumption?

InTempo was created at the intersection of physiology, music, and psychology/psychotherapy.
There were consultations with experts, mentors (famous designers from different parts of the world), and several tests on focus groups. As a result of consultations and analysis of more than 5-6 variants of embodiment of the idea (from the original gloves to the patch, shoes, and finally a case) we came to the most appropriate and comfortable solution. Among the tests, in particular, were conducted experiments on how one perceives the rhythm, how comfortable it is to hold the phone, and how comfortable it is to beat the rhythm of the music. There were also surveys related to the game's design, with the primary colors chosen as soothing. Particular attention was paid to the tactile pattern on the back of the case and the location of the tactile surfaces, boards, batteries, and other necessary electronics inside the case. The solution turned out to be the most organic and human-oriented.
Not a single decision about InTempo was made purely for the sake of design - it is the optimal use of funds and the most human-friendly physical embodiment of the product that does not use unnecessary natural resources.