A client of mine approached me with his startup idea for an autonomous sensory meridian response (ASMR) app, and I helped turn this concept into reality. The app doesn't just play a calming, whispering voice (though it can). It isn't another audio player to get users to sleep. The app wants its users to be social.
A NEW/OLD SENSATION
I helped conduct research among meditation app users concerning their familiarity with ASMR. This was to find three things: whether the user was familiar with ASMR, what his or her impression of the technique was, and whether he or she found it helpful. The research showed that, among the users who had heard of ASMR treatments, most had not tried it because they found it, well, creepy. The few who had tried it found it to be beneficial. My challenge was explaining ASMR in a simpler way while eliminating all aspects of the design that could be perceived as sexual.
THE MENTAL STATE OF FLOW
On the original wireframes for the home screen layout, two options were presented:
Record an ASMR session, or listen to an ASMR session. Later on, users could schedule a session with a friend or request a session with their favorite type of ASMR. My first task was to eliminate all the elements that could potentially be interpreted as creepy or with a sexual connotation and replace them with avatar illustrations. I also had to allow the overall information to be digestible at a glance.
Consistency is King
A HAND CRAFTED ADVENTURE
In the space of six months, three leading ladies have taken the spotlight: Jaina Proudmoore, the Alliance mage who will act as the final boss of the upcoming Battle of Dazar’Alor raid dungeon; Sylvanas, the undead Warchief of the Horde; and Queen Azshara, leader of the serpentine naga and big-bad-in-the-shadows. Each got her own Warbringers short this summer leading up to the launch of the expansion. These are definitely not your girl-next-door storylines either.
Surrounded by Sound
THE GOOD FEELING NO ONE CAN EXPLAIN
Users could choose their favorite ASMR sessions or experiment with new ones. The recording section of the app taught the user how to get the best out of his or her home equipment when recording a calming session.