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UX Design
August - February 2020

Due to COVID, interactions are mostly limited to video chat, phone calls or texting. With ShrubBud, we want to solidify relationships between people through a shared experience, based on personalized messages through simple and meaningful, yet unique interactions.

ShrubBud consists of a plant pot, which you can fill with any plant you like. In this pot you can plug-in artificial flowers, through which you can communicate. The users can communicate in two ways; either a heartbeat signal or different colored light messages. The heartbeat signal only works if both users are present. Through a low frequency sound they can feel the vibration of the other person’s heartbeat. The light message can mean different things depending on the colored light, but all messages send the signal of someone thinking about you.

This form of interaction will help people form deeper relationships, while not being able to be with each other physically.

The COVID-19 pandemic highly affected this project as everything was online. Seeing people suffer and experience loss was a great wake-up call. I have always been someone who deeply cares about those who love me, especially my family. Now that my grandparents are getting old and sadly my parents will follow, I started to see many challenges they encounter in their daily lives. I started to see many improvements that can be added to the elderly's lives which encompasses both psychological and physical. Consequently, this impacted my professional identity to be a designer who cares about aesthetics but most importantly, creating an impact on the user’s way of life. From this project forward, I shifted my area of focus from Creativity and Aesthetics to User and Society.