Forget Me Not
A relationship companion who encourages regular contact with loved ones over long distance.
Research, Ideation, Prototyping, Animation, User Testing, Videography, Film Editing
Today’s technology allows people to communicate across long distances with their loved ones. From instant messaging to video calling, communication technologies help people transcend barriers of time and location in order to reach their loved ones.
However, physical disconnect exacerbates the busyness of everyday life and immediate life may take precedence over far-away relationships, making staying in touch difficult to achieve and leaving emotional fatigue and desire for greater connection.
ForgetMeNot is a virtual relationship companion for loved-ones encouraging regular healthy contact over long-distances. The goal of this project is to alleviate the emotional fatigue of staying in touch by acting as a mediator of communication.
Forget Me Not is a pot with a holographic display of plant assistant alongside a paired phone application.
Forget Me Not changes its mood to reflect the relationship’s communication patterns. using data about communication frequency, duration, and medium.
Forget Me Not glows when the loved one is nearby and available to talk, highlighting a moment for connection.
Forget Me Not provides gentle and timely reminders to communicate with loved ones based on communication patterns.
Pleasing Form Factor
Forget Me Not’s presence is pleasing to the eye and fits easily into the home, allowing for long-term use.
The Forget Me Not app facilitates onboarding and provides a platform to view history, activity, and data in detail.
When getting into the research process for Forget Me Not, we were guided by one general question: How do adults stay in touch with long-distance loved ones?
Long-distance: physical separation requiring effortful transportation to meet in person
Loved ones: family, friends, or significant others
Once we had the question we chose 12 participants of the following:
Relationship types: family, friends, significant others
Distances: Domestic, international
Ages: 21 – 31 years old
For each participant we conducted full length sessions structured as follows:
Momentos: each person brought and discussed artifacts that they found representative or important to their long distance relationship.
Calendar: We provided each participant blank calendars where they could detail the high and low points of communication with the loved ones.
Card Sort: Participants were given various cards representing different methods of communication, and we asked to sort them between various axis.
Semi-Scripted Interview: With the remaining time, we asked participants follow-up questions to get a more detailed idea of their situation.
Through this research we established that there are 3 main stages to communication.
Within this communication model we were able to establish insights responding to the different stages.
Establishing: What determines communication methods and frequency?
Communication method is determined by context and circumstances, regardless of perceived connective potential
Mediums not requiring immediate responses are less intrusive and bypass time mismatches
Experiencing: What makes interaction with a loved on meaningful?
Sensory engagement fosters stronger connection by experiencing loved ones as real people
Focused attention in conversation is meaningful because it’s directed and intentional
Real-time shared activities cultivate communication and deepen bond
Sustaining: How do people keep in touch with loved ones over time?
Mutuality of effort and empathy is required to sustain connection
We then condensed these insights into the following principles:
Help people transcend time barriers and make time for their loved ones, while respecting individuals’ personal schedules
Recognize and appreciate that each relationship is unique and subject to change; consequently, each has their own set of expectations and ideals.
Make it easier to foster greater sensory, real-time engagement between loved ones, breaking down the feeling of a technological barrier
Help people find designated, focused time with their loved ones within given contexts and circumstances, so that they can focus on making meaningful connection together
Looking back, Forget Me Not was a great exercise in deep diving into research. Given more time, I think that this project could benefit into further exploration of various plant states and facial expressions.
While I love efficiency, I personally believe that sometimes design can fall into a rut of being too utilitarian. As a designer, it is important to take a step back and remember that one of the most beautiful parts of being human is our ability to be playful and feel complex emotions. This is the single most thing I am most proud of with Forget Me Not's design.
Will this design change the world? No. However, it could make someone smile– and that is amazing it its own right.