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How to reduce screen time before sleeping doing what you would really like to do.

This project is the result of a collaboration between the Interaction Design and Advanced Product Design Masters at the Umeå Institute of Design.

Outcome of this project was a fully functional prototype, in which I focus my attention mainly on the interactive electronic components. 

How can we promote a 

"no screen-time zone" before going to sleep?

What is Yoro?


Yoro helps you foster your self-control, develop a healthier relationship with your phone, as well as other activities you love, and reduce your screen time before bed, leading to better sleep and wellbeing.


It is a charging device and lamp that supports you in putting your phone away in exchange for reading a book.

About the project

2 week project

Learning outcomes:

• Electronic prototyping

• Sound design 

• User research

• Team collaboration and management 


The team
My project team :

Connie Jehu - Interaction design

Daniel Diermeier - Product design

Jenny Johansson - Product design

My contribution:

I mainly focused on the electronic components of the final product, working with Arduino in order to create the most realistic experience.


My focus

My focus in this project was mainly to bring the prototype alive, dealing with all the electronic components and the translation of the interactions in a fully working prototype.

I have of course participated throughout all the different phases of this project as well, from the research to the final shape development.


The model needed eight different electronic  components to properly work, and all these parts had to work together to perceive the action of the user with the device and give the proper reaction.

This was an absolute challenge. 


The core of the system was an Arduino Uno, connected to a sound board from Adafruit that allowed us to drive an internal speaker.

All was programmed in the Arduino environment, therefore all the interactions in the final model were real and not simulated.

My contribution

Interaction and sound design

Sound was the the topic of this course, but ended up not being the main focus of the project. However sound played a big and important role when it comes to interaction. Every time the user act on the device an audio feedback is generated.

Moreover, we had to consider that the device is meant to be used before going to sleep, and these aspect brought us to specifically design sounds that are suitable for each different situation.

The energy movement

More in detail, the sounds that are played in relation to the phone placed on the "charging-bed" express a shift of energy from the phone to the device (also expressed by the lights turning on).

The same happen when in the morning the phone, fully charged, is removed and an energetic sound is emitted, sign that the energy is "transferred" back to the phone. 

Sleeping time

The core of the system was an Arduino Uno, connected to a sound board from Adafruit. These made possible to read external input from sensors and buttons and trigger the reproduction of sounds that were sent from the soundboard to an internal speaker. All this was programmed in the Arduino environment, therefore all the interactions in the final model were real and not simulated.

Sound design
Final Design

Final Design

For the final design we decided to communicate a cozy and friendly feeling covering the main body with a fabric. In these way we also covered and hide the light. 

In this way the effect when the light shine through the fabric creates a better atmosphere, that invites the user to relax and prepare to sleep. 



We started off interviewing people, mainly students, about their sleeping habits. About how they perceive the usage of their devices during the day and especially before going to sleep.

What came out from the interviews is that people are aware of their extensive usage of mobile devices and the negatives effect that this brings to their sleep.

Therefore they would like to be helped improving themselves without feeling patronized by something or someone. 

" I would not want to have something telling me to put away my phone "
" I'd really like to do something else instead of staring at my phone when I'm in my bed "

The number of people we managed to interview was not enough to have a solid base of data to start ideating.

So we decided to release an online survey that resulted an incredibly useful resource for our project.

265 people replied and the results really helped us to structure the next phases of our work.

Out of the 265 people that replied to our survey...

Uses a screen before sleeping

Check their mobile phones

Store phone close t

o bed

Would like to read a book instead of staying on their phone

Concept development

Good habits defeat bad ones


People are aware of their negative habits but they would like a help, they would like to be able to improve their self control and self motivation in doing better. Helping them introducing new and healthier habits, reading for example, would help them remove those that are badly influencing their lives.

Put the phone to sleep


Having an open and visible space to keep the phone during the night. A bed for the phone.

Hiding the phone or forcing somehow people to give it up is not an efficient solution to the self motivation and self control issues. At the opposite, leaving the choice of whether or not using their phone up to them is necessary. 

Transfer and exchange energy


Using visual and sound feedbacks when the phone is placed on the "bed" could be used to engage people to exchange their phone. 

This exchange would give them something they would like to do, like a book for reading or a guitar pick to learn how to play.

A supportive friend


The idea of a supporting friend took more and more space in the discussion. Create something, a presence, that would be always there for you, available to help but not distractive or patronizing.

Concept development
Second question

Can we use the importance of the phone to promote reading and foster self motivation?

Mockup and testing

Mock up

and testing

The exchange shelf
The exchange shelf

This is the concept that was incorporating most of the ideas that came out from the concept development phase. Here the person using the device places something that will help him or her to stay away from the phone, in this case a book. In this way, we can use the "shelf" as a reminder and  the book as an incentive to leave the phone for something better.

The reverse alarm
The reverse alarm


This mockup was not directly derived by the concept development ideas, but we wanted to test what people think about setting a timer before going to sleep, to give themself the freedom of choosing what to do instead of using their phone. The device would turn on only if the phone is placed on the circular platform.

Wizard of Oz

During the first stage of the ideation phase we quickly tried materialise different ideas to help us develop the concept more in detail.

When the fist mockup were ready we held different "Wizard of Oz" sessions to get feedback from potential users. Seeing their reaction and getting their feedback was extremely useful to start the second phase of the ideation, where we started to explore the shape of the device and how lights and interactions would work. 

Form exploration

Form exploration

After the testing session that helped us to take a final direction for our project, we dived deep in the form exploration phase.

The idea of having both a place for the phone, where it can recharge and "rest" for the night, and at the same time a space for something that would encourage the user to leave the phone, resulted the more convincing. 

Therefore we immediately started to develop the final shape.