Shard is a fresh take on exercising and ambient lighting bundled up in one visually stimulating experience. Shard is a concept that aims to create a focused workout experience by creating a non intrusive, immersive environment. With haloed lighting around the cyclist, shard transforms from a functional object to a standalone artistic light installation when needed.
To create this immersive experience, the UX moves away from the prevalence of screen and number based interface systems to biofeedback interaction designs. Shard influences behavior through ambient light that does not demand direct attention for consumption of information In both of its working modes—cycling and standby. Using ambient light to guide interactions based on input from sensors on the bike, data is also collected from the mobile app in the absence of key inputs thus ensuring a complete data driven exercise regime.
Anwesha Bangabash - Lead Designer, Shard
Vyasateja Rao - Creative Director, Artifact Design Studio
Rakesh Balekundri - Product Designer, Shard
Artifact Design StudioShard Banner Image
Artifact Design StudioShard Hero Image
Artifact Design StudioShard- Pristine Material
Artifact Design StudioShard- UX Research Findings
Artifact Design StudioShard - In the Making
Artifact Design StudioShard - Mobile Interface
When we started the project, our main goal was to define a problem that needed a fresh perspective in the cycling industry. Going back to the basics, we looked at various experiences we have grown up with—like how we used to have the privilege of a sports inclusive education, but it eventually slipped away from our lifestyles as we grew older and moved into a more sedentary lifestyle of nine-to-five work life.
For lack of more economical, yet motivating and interactive options, we turned to gyms to meet fitness needs. The team researched and understood Exercise Psychology by identifying the need of self-determination as the key in motivating a user to workout. It was also understood that for a workout routine to be most acceptable, the communication needed to be non-controlling and messages to be informative and flexible.
The UI/UX development had to be seamless, natural to any workout experience and integrated with the user's sensory capabilities and control modalities. The non-interfering (no distraction) and spatial (focus-enabling) qualities of light, along with the informative and mood enhancing qualities of color (with its wide range of shades), made these two elements the core of Shard's user experience.
Shard has two configurations—Cycling Mode and Standby mode. During Cycling Mode, the cycle connects to the user's phone via Bluetooth, and users have the option of selecting training regimes or racing options—both virtually and with other Shard users, integrated with speed indicative lighting. The application connects to other online applications and enables quiet but informative notifications that the user can manage by creating 'if this-then that' conditional statements. The cycle has heart rate and speed sensors which provide the input values to the app. The app, based on analytical algorithm, then gives feedback through light.
Shard also has a feature that encourages the user to step out and enjoy the natural fresh air- in-built google maps provide weather, traffic, and route information to users who can make an informed decision to step out or stay in.
Shard communicates with the user only through colorful lighting that can be adjusted according to intensity, color shades and brightness. The application allows for intelligent lighting where sounds, both ambient and over headset, are captured and reflected with synchronized lighting effects. This feature also enables the user to create their own ambient lighting experience when in standby mode.