Device of the week 1: Measuring Less To Feel More

Measuring Less to Feel More- Mickael Boulay

 

Measuring Less to Feel More by Mickael Boulay is essentially a type of Glucometer, a medical device that determines the approximate concentration of glucose in one’s blood. How this particular device is different is that the design of the device has a distinct focus on the interaction between the device and its user.

“Tools are supposed to help us. And yet, as Mickael Boulay discovered, that is not always the case.”

Field research showed that diabetic people can actually be stressed out by the device they must use to check their glucose level. Stress releases more sugar into the bloodstream, thus creating a vicious circle. This device aims to drift away from the focus on precise numbers (a cause that causes stress in people as seen in the video) instead of meaning. Hence, this device was created to be more intuitive, subtle and visual. Instead of displaying numerical values, the position of an LED light simply tells the user whether the blood sugar level is high, low or balanced, no exact numbers.

Analysis

Users are definitely more comfortable and inclined to use this devices as seen in the video. Also, the reduction in stress factor of the device also serves to give a more accurate gauge of the diabetic value. I also feel that, it is also good in the way that users would also keep coming back to check their blood sugar level willingly and perhaps even a more regular basis which in turn can help some be more motivated to reduce their diabetes. The whole design by itself is also rather minimalistic and aesthetically-pleasing. It is easy to use and understand (a simple touch with the finger) which is user-friendly for all ages and especially for the more elderly who has poor eyesight, they can tell easier their level simply with the colour indicator. The removal of exact numbers and replacement of three main colour codes allows for users to feel more at ease and with the rough gauge, they can work on their various levels accordingly but this time more determined, more connected and not so affected by the jarring numbers starring back at them as if accusingly. The shape is also rounded where it is easy to hold it in one’s hands and carry around.

Overall, I don’t see much cons in this device other than the fact that users won’t know exactly how high or how low their value is now. However, I guess like Mickael Boulay mentioned, “maybe its not necessarily to be so accurate for those people.” Perhaps another factor was the

 

Suggestion

A change was perhaps in the choice of colours where it is more indicative and reflects the respective range better. For example, high could be of more warm colours like red and low could be of more cool colours like blue, vice versa. I think also instead of having to stick the piece of rectangular block together into the light emitting part of the device maybe it could be made to come out by a push of button or proximity sensor. This is also eliminates the chances of it breaking off or people accidentally losing the part since it is the most important part technically. By adding sounds, for example, levels that indicate low to be more cheerful and higher to be more encouraging could further help motivate users to reduce their glucose levels.

I can see this similar concept being implemented for the many various medical or emotion-detecting devices. It can also be seen implemented in devices targeted at the younger or elder seem it is straight forward and easy to use/understand. It could also be a audio-visualizer or simply a decoration. I think this device has many potential to be developed for other purposes with addition of the various sensors , LEDs and even motors.

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