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Helping users to correct their neck/head posture for better health.


PM: Azhar
Dev 1: Dapo
Dev 2: James
Product Designer: Me


8 Weeks
(Sept- Nov 2021)
2 weeks- Design


UX Research
User Testing
UI & UX Design
Usability Testing


Pencil& Paper


This case study is a quick overview of my experience through Co.lab's cross-functional team program. Within 8 weeks time, our team of 4 was tasked to create and develop a working MVP of an app. Due to some team member challenges, our team had to complete this challenge within 6 weeks instead.

We wanted to focus on developing an app that was relevant to today's current situation. Phone usage is increasing during the pandemic and we've noticed people around us (and sometimes ourselves) looking down at the phone for long periods of time. Repetitive use over long periods can have serious consequences. This was the problem space we dedicated ourselves to solving.
Fufluns (fuh-fluns) is an app which gamifies and rewards behaviour that is beneficial to health without making it feel like a chore. Through notifications and a growing plant, our goal is to target text neck and help improve one's posture.

Case Study Process- Challenge Cont'd

For this case study, I followed Stanford D School’s Design process.

As mentioned earlier, our original 8 weeks went down to 6 due to some unforeseen circumstances. We were restricted with time and the developers required at least 4 weeks to develop our MVP. This meant I had the challenge to complete the design process cycle within 2 weeks. With that in mind, I had to make some adjustments and go lean with the design process. Read on to learn more on how I handled this:


Defining our Problem Space

To understand the behavioural patterns and motivations surrounding smartphone use, phone notifications and game motivation, I kept in mind the following questions during my research:

  • What (physical-related) pain points exist during their day when using their phones?
  • How often do users use their mobile phones?
  • How do they respond to neck pain/strain when using their phone?
  • What prevents them from holding their phone up? (rather than keeping their heads down)
  • What tools (digital or not) do they use to alleviate or fix their habit?
  • How do users usually respond to iPhone notifications pop-ups? (What do they usually do about it)
  • How much do users care about their health and wellness? (Body, physical exercise)
  • What aspects of games make them feel happy/positive reinforcement?
  • What position do they hold their phones in the most?
  • How aware are users of their neck posture causing potential health consequences?
  • How would users want to be notified?
  • What are some ways for them to fix their hunched neck problem?

What is Text Neck? Why should our users care?

I conducted secondary research to understand Text Neck, which is a health condition that may affect people who have prolonged, improper posture during smartphone use.

Presenting the findings to my team helped us develop a clearer idea of the topic and direction of our problem space. Some key research findings include:

70% of Internet Users
Especially the young generation, are using smartphones as a direct result of lockdown due to the pandemic.
3.5 Billion Smart phone users
Worldwide! Overuse or excessive use of smartphones is prevalent in today's society
10-12 pounds
The weight of the average head.
Each additional 15 degree tilt forward places more than double the amount of strain and weight on the neck.
Overuse or Excessive Use
The upward trend may lead to the development of physical and psychological health issues.
Text Neck
An increasingly common health condition amongst the population. This may cause stiff neck, soreness, radiating pain on the shoulders and neck.
Prevention is key
Treatments include exercise, stretches, and improving postural habits when using the smartphone.

Many competitors were health focused or expensive- not attractive to the general user

While secondary research, I noticed that many of our competitors were:

- Health focused; beneficial and the main goal for users, but in turn, slightly difficult to identify strongly with.
- Expensive; high initial investment barrier with a wearable or in-app high-spec features. This requires a high upfront commitment from new general users who may just want to explore solutions.

Seeing that most apps in the current market were within these two categories, we saw an opportunity to address this for users who were interested in health but may require a more fun, economically friendly, and attractive solution.


Understanding our Users

To learn more about our users' motivations and thoughts on smartphone use and posture, we conducted remote, moderated user testing over Zoom with 9 participants aged 25-55. As our plan was to build on the iOS platform, we selected participants who used Apply smartphones.



‍Once the interviews were completed, I t the information into virtual sticky notes and began clustering similarities.

I presented and updated my team with the following key findings:

- Holding up the phone is uncomfortable
- Users notice neck/head looking down often in a day
- Notifications can be annoying and invasive/distracting
- A reminder or assistant to help keep users' head up and neck straight (health) for long term would be nice
- Health driven
- Comfortable positions
- Users don’t want to have crooked posture
- Users don’t want to experience discomfort
- Apps that add value, are Beneficial, helpful, to the user
- To use their phones with the least amount of discomfort or distraction while still being ‘healthy’ (posture)

Meet Chloe, the Text Neck Millennial

Taking into account the key findings from the secondary research and our users so far, I broke down each category further in Chloe's persona profile below:

“Holding my phone up looks awkward, it feels more comfortable to look down. When I’m in the middle of doing something important, I don’t want to change my posture.

When my neck hurts, I stretch quickly and then continue whatever I’m doing. I don’t always notice it, but I do care about my health....so I want to do something about it. I wish there was something to remind me." - Chloe

  • Grow self awareness in posture habits
  • Feel happy and safe about posture during phone use
  • Learn a comfortable/healthy way to hold the phone
  • Prevent neck and body posture from getting worse
  • Maintaining good health for her future
  • Wants to alleviate neck pain
  • Having a nice posture to feel good about herself
  • Doesn't want to look hunched over in front of others
Jobs to be done
  • Raise the head up when hunched over
  • Develop healthier posture when using the phone
  • Spread text neck prevention with loved ones
  • Develop healthy habit in easy way
  • Holding the phone up looks awkward
  • Dislikes annoying notifications that don't matter
  • Unaware of hunched posture
  • Dislike being interrupted during tasks

How might we help Chloe improve her posture in an engaging way?

Chloe is a Millennial who cares for her health but would rather not disrupt her usual routine with new inconveniences. Keeping this in mind, I focused on ways to address her frustrations and jobs to be done.

Problem 1:
When deeply invested in her phone activity, Chloe can become unaware of her posture. This sometimes results in strain and soreness of her neck after.
Problem 2: Chloe knows her texting posture is not good at times and wants to fix it with the least amount of effort and inconvenience as possible.
Problem 3: Chloe often feels frustrated by phone notifications that are not important to her and swipes them away.
How might we..
increase her awareness and decrease the frequency at which she crouches over?
How might we..
help her improve her posture in a fun and engaging way?
How might we..help manage her expectations and motivate her with notification interactions?

Brainstorming with Figjam

For one of our team meetings, I facilitated a Crazy 8's brainstorming session over Figjam. Each team member wrote down their ideas in their virtual post it notes, and then we discussed and voted on the proposed solutions.


Organizing the Task Flows

Once the features were determined, I created the main task flows for our MVP. I presented them to the team and clarified any questions the developers had to ensure we were all on the same page.



Why Fufluns?

The app's name is Fufluns, inspired by Fufluns the Italian Roman god of Nature, Growth, Health and Wine. We decided on this name as it was unique, sounded playful and represented well the idea of health, plants and growth.

Fufluns also became the inspiration for our mascot and the guide in our app.


Jumping from Initial Sketches to
High Fidelity Prototypes

In order to meet our deadline of completing the MVP in 8 weeks, my developers needed a month to create the MVP. With this in mind, I made the decision to skip over the mid-fidelity mockup and straight to high-fidelity prototype. I was able to conduct usability tests and pass on the prototype to the developers on time.


Validating our Designs

I conducted virtual, moderated usability tests over Zoom with 5 participants, 25-55 years old. Users were able to complete our tasks successfully and liked how friendly the app was.



We completed our app MVP by the end of 8 weeks and could be showcased to our cohort and peers.

Flexibility: Over the six weeks, I was able to adjust my design to the capabilities of the team to ensure we still retained the look and feel while working around the roadblocks faced.

Prioritizing Features: While working with the team, I was able to synthesize user research and build out activities to help prioritize our features to ensure we deliver the most impact to our users.

Collaboration: Working with a team helped me realize that varying perspectives bring new insights to a problem and usually results in an idea which goes beyond the initial requirements.

Future of Fufluns: Our team has decided to continue with the development of the application, with the goal of shipping it live in the App store. We continue with our work cycles and meet weekly for scrum and updates. Current status: On Hiatus, picking up in December 2022.

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