Haptic Branding - Alexander Moser - User Experience Design - Grafikdesign

Aktive vs. passive Haptik

Aktives haptisches Feedback basiert auf elektromechanischen Komponenten im Inneren von Geräten. Die häufigsten Anwendungen sind Gaming-Controller, die virtuelle Umgebungen simulieren, oder das Summen Ihres Smartphones. Anstatt ein Objekt aktiv zu erkunden, wird das haptische Feedback durch passive Erkundung/Körperkontakt wahrgenommen.


Aktuell liegt das Hauptaugenmerk der Branche darauf, Bildschirminteraktionen und virtuelle Umgebungen greifbarer zu machen. Gleichzeitig macht die Materialwissenschaft große Sprünge bei der Veränderung physikalischer Eigenschaften von Objekten wie der Steifigkeit oder der Oberflächenstruktur. Aktives haptisches Feedback hat sich in der Unterhaltungselektronik und bei Alltagsgegenständen neben Smartphone-Anwendungen erst seit kurzem durchgesetzt. Die Liste zeigt unterschiedliche Anwendungsgebiete und verdeutlicht gleichzeitig die Schwierigkeit, gemeinsame Begriffe und Definitionen zu finden.

Taktile Displays

Technische Anwendungen lassen sich in zwei Bereiche unterteilen: Taktile und haptische Displays. Taktile Displays simulieren taktiles Feedback an den Benutzer, das in drei Arten von Eingaben an die Haut erfolgen kann: Vibration, statischer Druck, bei dem die Haut eingerückt wird, und seitliche oder tangentiale Hautdehnung.

Haptische Anzeigen

Haptische Displays simulieren kinästhetisches Feedback (= Force-Feedback) und lassen sich in resistives (Begrenzung der Bewegung des Benutzers) oder aktives Feedback (Unterstützung/Führung der Bewegung des Benutzers) unterteilen. Beispiele sind motorisierte Slider oder Zifferblätter wie der BMW iDrive. Haptische Anzeigen sind im Vergleich zu taktilen Anzeigen komplexer und erfordern leistungsstarke Aktoren sowie ein geschlossenes Regelsystem.

Alexander Moser

Meditation for Mental Health

“According to the National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health, meditation can help reduce stress, chronic pain (such as headaches), and blood pressure, as well as help you quit smoking and better navigate a variety of mental health conditions” (CANNING, 2020).

The new direction of my thesis topic brought with it some things that I had to thought about. As I decide on meditation for helping people improve their mental health by preventing anxiety, stress, and depression. The first thing that I decided to do was user research for preventing that there is no interest in users from using something like this. As a second step, I look for what is available in the market, and what people liked about the existing app. As the last step for this semester, I thought about the app structure. With all these steps after a hard semester, I can say that I am on a good way to continuing with the main part of the project that is developing.

            After choosing the new topic for the project the first thing I decide to do was user research to find out if it was or not a good idea. For these, I decided to interview different people that are into the meditation practice, most of them gave me positive feedback on an app. The first thing that I was interested to ask about was if they think that is helpful to use an app for meditation, circa 85% of the interviewers told that yes and that some of them already use an app for it. The user explained to me that they do not want an app that teaches but more an app that has different content for different purposes. The main reason for this is that most of the user doesn’t have much time spend it on the learning process. User expectancies of the app are guided to information capsules for different purposes like sleep, focus, anxiety, stress, depression, mindfulness, and more all these capsules must be thought to improve mental health or to keep it at good levels. The research also shows that having time, difficulties level, and guides meditations can be useful for the app. Another result of the research was that most of the users find the app they use confused and not friendly for using, this means that here I can have an advantage in developing the app. This gave me the impulse to look for what is available on the actual market.

            As soon as you look for the meditations app in your smartphone store, this one will give you a recommendation about which one can be the best for you. These recommendations are based on the number of downloads and reviews, so most users expect that the app they choose is good. In the meditation and mental health market, there are a few apps that show app first when you look for meditation. It is hard to give each app a specific position so I will just mention the app and its main purpose. Calm app lets you choose between your meditation practice. After all, the app provides guided sessions ranging in time from 3 to 25 minutes. And with topics from calming anxiety to gratitude to mindfulness at work—as well as sleep sounds, nature sounds, and breathing exercises—you can choose your focus. Experts across the board agree that Insight Timer is primo when it comes to choosing a meditation app.

“This app has many of the most experienced mindfulness teachers on it, and allows you the freedom to pick and choose depending on how long you have to practice, what style you’d like (e.g. body scan, loving-kindness, anxiety/stress-reducing, etc.), or just set a timer and sit without guidance,” Tandon says.  On the other side, the Headspace app offers the widest variety of meditations, with the best-guided sessions for beginners, as well as less-structured programming for pros. Its easy-to-use interface was also the most streamlined.

            Many different sites recommended different structures and base things that this kind of app should have. Now I am still investigating which structure combination can be the best for a rough prototype for trying out with users. In many sites they recommend different structures and organizations but, I look through it and I find things that can be improved to something better. Even due for the moment I can not says clearly what will be or how it will be organized.





A new approach for Mental Health

By the disappointing results from the user research in VR therapy, I got into a crisis point in my research. Where I should decide which direction will be the best for my topic and what I want to have as a result of it. During this rethinking process, I got different approaches to get into a good path for developing the project. The first decision I took was to stay or not into the topic of mental health. The second point I thought was to decide how I want to help, and which way is the best to do it. The last point is to decide on a new starting point to start developing the project. All these processes took weeks to pass through and the result is something that I am happy about.

            As I describe in the last topic of my thesis research I got not the best results during my first user research, this impulses me to think about reapproaching the topic. During the process, I realize that I do not want to get out of the field of mental health. But it was difficult to find something where I can help people without being involved directly in medicine. To be a part of medicine is tactics that prevent me to get into certified permissions, medical regulations, and for that moment the users that will manage the app. This decision put me in the position of prevention of mental illness in a state of treatment. At the same time, it opens the ways to alternative methods.

            As I just mentioned before alternatives methods to prevent anxiety, stress and depression are often used by people to keep their mental state positive. There are various methods in the world that people use some like sports, hobbies, religion, and more. Each method has a different perspective of helping through the process and each of them has different efficiency and effect on our mental health. After a small research, I decided to focus on meditation because it shows the best results on preventing and improving the mental health of people. As it says in the article Effect of Transcendental Meditation on Employee Stress, Depression, and Burnout: A Randomized Controlled Study “Studies indicate that practice of TM reduces the psychological and physiologic response to stress factors, including decreased sympathetic nervous system and hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis, and reductions in elevated cortisol (stress hormone) levels” (Perm, 2014).

            Meditation is a kind of practice that has hundreds of years of existence and has a different cultural background. Each kind of meditation has a different purpose on our minds and bodies, which is important to be considered. A meditation process is simple to be taught and to learn what is hard about it is to keep yourself constant on the practice. The meditation practice brings multiple benefits for your health but, it is important to organize the way to do it to get the right things you are looking for. In the next part, I will focus to explain how I will look to achieve this through the use of an app.

Meditation App in the Market

In this blog entry, I am going to analyse a few apps that I considered the best examples for my project, with the purpose to see why they are successful in their market. Looking through these apps will also help to be critical with a possible app design and to think what could be the best fit for my project.

1. Headspace

Headspace isone of the most well-known meditation apps out there.

“There are hundreds of guided meditations, mini-meditations, sleep sounds, SOS meditations for emergencies, meditations for kids and animations to help you better understand meditation,” says Lindsey Elmore, PharmD, a pharmacist turned wellness expert (she’s known as “The Farmicist”).

2. Calm

Calm app lets you choose between your meditation practice. After all, the app provides guided sessions ranging in time from 3 to 25 minutes. And with topics from calming anxiety to gratitude to mindfulness at work—as well as sleep sounds, nature sounds, and breathing exercises—you can really choose your focus. “There are new meditations every day, progress trackers, and seven-day and 21-day programs for beginners,” Elmore says.

3. Insight Timer

Experts across the board agree that Insight Timer is primo when it comes to choosing a meditation app.

“This app has many of the most experienced mindfulness teachers on it, and allows you the freedom to pick and choose depending on how long you have to practice, what style you’d like (e.g. body scan, loving-kindness, anxiety/stress-reducing, etc.), or just set a timer and sit without guidance,” Tandon says.

the app is a go-to because, in addition to the variety of guided meditations, the app has a tracker that allows you to chart your progress and earn badges that keep you coming back for more.


Fans of Aura like it for its daily meditations, life coaching, nature sounds, stories, and music, which are all personalized based on the mood you select when you open the app. There’s also an option to track your moods and review patterns in how you feel, and set reminders to breathe and take breaks for mindfulness throughout the day.


Sattva is a mindfulness app that draws its mediations from ancient Vedic principles. In addition to 6-minute-plus guided meditations, the app features “sacred sounds, chants, mantras and music by Sanskrit scholars.”

Sattva is perfect for anyone looking to get more in touch with the history and origin of meditation in addition to starting their own practice.






Comparative Analysis of fake and proper Fact-Checking Sites #P3

In the third blog entry of this series fake-news websites will be shown to be compared later on. After doing some research, I found a list of websites, who spread fake or misleading news on wikipedia. Most of them were already taken down by the authorities, but some of them still exist and others are just there to redirect you to another weird news or advertisement website. Here is an overview of some of those pages:

70 News.


The first thing I want to mention about these websites is that there is not only false or misleading information on there. Most of the stories published are true to some extent, but every once in a while you will find misleading content on there. 70 News, for example, published a false news story, stating that Donald Trump had won the popular vote in the 2016 United States presidential election; the fake story rose to the top in searches for “final election results” on Google News.

Before It’s News.


This site claims to be a people-powered news site, which published news way before the mainstream media does, but a lot of the content is misleading or completely bogus information. Before It’s News and InfoWars were described as “unabashedly unhinged ‘news’ sites” in 2014 by The Washington Post following its promotion of conspiracy theories relating to Malaysia Airlines Flight 17.



So it does not take long to figure out what this site tries to achieve with the way they present their content. InfoWars is an American far-right, conspiracy theory and fake news website owned by Alex Jones. It was founded in 1999, and operates under Free Speech Systems LLC.

Fake Bild.de


The picture shown above is also a real common way of hoax and false news spreaders (this time in germany). It is really hard to distinguish between the real and the fake news site. This is called mimicing, where they take a real trustworthy website and just recreate the design under another domain. Most of the time you will not get this site in a google result. To get there you enter another seemingly normal news site and get redirected to a certain domain. Here is a picture of the real Bild.de website to make it more clear:


Daily Buzz Live.


This website is dedicated to bringing bizarre stories for the sole purpose of getting traffic to its website. They work with PopUps, as you can see in the picture and these kind of sites create mostly bogus stories and claims. To be fair, if you have some experience with the world wide wed, you will not take this website seriously.

Global Research.


Last but not least, this is the most dangerous form of false information websites, because it mimics other fact-checking sites and creates a common disbelieve in every website there is. Wikipedia states: “Principal website of the Centre for Research on Globalization, which The Economist in April 2017 called “a hub for conspiracy theories and fake stories,” and NATO information warfare specialists in November 2017 linked to a concerted effort to undermine the credibility of mainstream Western media.” Despite this information the website is still online and still spreading misleading content through the world wide web.

So these are just a few examples of what is actually out there and everyday I find something new. This is not a new phenomenon, as I already explained in a prior post, but it is a massively growing industry and it is just there to manipulate people. Next up is a comparison of these pages with real fact-checking sites and how there are differences in their design language, usability and so on.

If you want to know more false information spreading sites, here is a link to a list:


Using meditation for reducing stress, anxiety and depression

Virtual Reality Should Be Considered As a Helpful Tool for Mental Health – Virtual  Reality and Mental Health

In the last months, I have research VR in medicine, in specific into the psychotherapy field. I wanted to design environments to treat stress, anxiety and depression using VR as a method. Despite the VR technologies demonstrate it is effective for these kinds of treatments is barely use. Making me think about what is wrong with it.

What I use to reduce stress levels

Trying to get away from the medicine to get a clear view of another way to help people using VR, I decided to ask my self “What I do to reduce my stress and anxiety?”.

7 Tips To Get Started With Meditation - Key Person of Influence

The answer is simple I use meditation. I have practised meditation for more than 5 years and it helps me to keep my stress levels down and it gives me time to cure myself in a different way.

The main problem of these is that people don’t know how to meditate. What I want now is to make a guide VR app for meditation for people that have the intention to learn and to calm down.

Benefits of meditation

There are a number of benefits that come from practising meditation. These can include:

  • Reducing stress. One of the most popular reasons that people meditate is to lower stress levels, and according to science, meditation does just that. According to a 2014 study,Trusted Source practicing meditation can lower levels of psychological stress and is helpful for overall well-being.
  • Improving sleep. If you have insomnia, one study shows that people who meditate are able to improve on their sleep schedules.
  • Helping with addictions. Since meditation typically requires a fair amount of self-awareness and discipline, researchTrusted Source shows that the practice can help acknowledge and avoid triggers.
  • Decreasing blood pressure. Meditation is very relaxing, and that relaxation may helpTrusted Source to lower blood pressure since your body is not responding to stress as often as it usually would.

Types of meditation

Meditation is an umbrella term for the many ways to a relaxed state of being. There are many types of meditation and relaxation techniques that have meditation components. All share the same goal of achieving inner peace.

Ways to meditate can include:

  • Guided meditation. Sometimes called guided imagery or visualization, with this method of meditation you form mental images of places or situations you find relaxing.You try to use as many senses as possible, such as smells, sights, sounds and textures. You may be led through this process by a guide or teacher.
  • Mantra meditation. In this type of meditation, you silently repeat a calming word, thought or phrase to prevent distracting thoughts.
  • Mindfulness meditation. This type of meditation is based on being mindful, or having an increased awareness and acceptance of living in the present moment.In mindfulness meditation, you broaden your conscious awareness. You focus on what you experience during meditation, such as the flow of your breath. You can observe your thoughts and emotions, but let them pass without judgment.
  • Qi gong. This practice generally combines meditation, relaxation, physical movement and breathing exercises to restore and maintain balance. Qi gong (CHEE-gung) is part of traditional Chinese medicine.
  • Tai chi. This is a form of gentle Chinese martial arts. In tai chi (TIE-CHEE), you perform a self-paced series of postures or movements in a slow, graceful manner while practicing deep breathing.
  • Transcendental Meditation®. Transcendental Meditation is a simple, natural technique. In Transcendental Meditation, you silently repeat a personally assigned mantra, such as a word, sound or phrase, in a specific way.This form of meditation may allow your body to settle into a state of profound rest and relaxation and your mind to achieve a state of inner peace, without needing to use concentration or effort.
  • Yoga. You perform a series of postures and controlled breathing exercises to promote a more flexible body and a calm mind. As you move through poses that require balance and concentration, you’re encouraged to focus less on your busy day and more on the moment.





Comparative Analysis of fake and proper Fact-Checking Sites #P2

This blog entries will be about user experience. To achieve a qualitativ result, a survey about fact checking websites and their credibility, design and overall usability will be conducted later in the process.

First, questions need to be defined and certain fact-checking sites need to be evaluated. After doing some research and according to ISTE and LWF the following sites are some of the most used and trusted, especially for students and journalists:

Fact Check.


This nonpartisan, nonprofit project of the Annenberg Public Policy Center of the University of Pennsylvania monitors the factual accuracy of what is said by U.S. political players, including politicians, TV ads, debates, interviews and news releases.

Media Matters.


This nonprofit and self-described liberal-leaning research center monitors and corrects conservative misinformation in the media.

Truth or Fiction.


This nonpartisan website where Internet users can quickly and easily get information about eRumors, fake news, disinformation, warnings, offers, requests for help, myths, hoaxes, virus warnings, and humorous or inspirational stories that are circulated by email.

Open Secrets.


This nonpartisan, independent and nonprofit website run by the Center for Responsive Politics tracks how much and where candidates get their money.



This Pulitzer Prize winning website rates the accuracy of claims by elected officials. Run by editors and reporters from the independent newspaper Tampa Bay Times, Politicfact features the Truth-O-Meter, which was already mentioned in previous posts, that rates statements as “True,” “Mostly True,” “Half True,” “False,” and “Pants on Fire.”



This independent, nonprofit newsroom has won several Pulitzer Prizes, including the 2016 Prize for Explanatory Reporting. ProPublica produces investigative journalism in the public interest.



This independent, nonpartisan website run by professional researcher and writer David Mikkelson researches urban legends and other rumors. It is often the first to set the facts straight on wild fake news claims.

The Sunlight Foundation.


This nonpartisan, nonprofit organization uses public policy data-based journalism to make politics more transparent and accountable.

Washington Post Fact Checker.


Although the Washington Post has a left-center bias, its checks are excellent and sourced. The bias shows up because they fact check conservative claims more than liberal ones.

AP Fact Check.


AP Fact Check from one of Media Bias Fact Check’s least-biased sources, focuses on fact checking political claims and publishes. IFCN Signatory.

Lead Stories.


Lead Stories uses the Trendolizer to track story trends and debunk fake news before it becomes viral. They are often the first to debunk outrageous claims with “hoax alerts.” MBFC rates it as dead-center least biased and very high on factual reporting. IFCN signatory.

Media Bias/Fact Check.


Media Bias Fact Check (MBFC) is a fact-checking page, which relies strictly on signatories of the International Fact Checking Network (IFCN) when evaluating the political/factual bias of 3,100+ media sources (left, center-left, least biased, center-right, right, pro-science, conspiracy and pseudo-science, questionable sources, and satire). It includes the methodology used to classify each source. Sources rated very high or high on factual reporting have proper sourcing and a clean fact check record. 

Next step is to find Fake News Sites and then conduct a few interviews with participants following a schematic questionnaire about the previously described propper fact-checking sites and the in the next post listed hoax, misleading or false information spreading sites.

Clumsy Interactions through everyday objects 09: Culture influences our interactions

Have you ever eaten with chopsticks? I’m pretty sure you have, but if I ask you if you’ve always known how to use them, your answer will certainly vary depending on your culture of origin… As a westerner living in Europe, I did not have to use chopsticks on a daily basis to eat when I was a child. In my family, we ate very little Asian food and when we did I preferred to take cutlery that I knew either knife, fork, or spoon because it was simpler and required less effort for me. My interactions with chopsticks were for a long time very awkward and I had to face the problem by eating in a Chinese restaurant where having no choice but to use chopsticks I learned how to use them. This awkward interaction that I experienced with chopsticks is specific to my Western culture and is reversed for Asians when confronted with a fork and knife. Let’s try to understand how our cultures frame our behaviors and interactions.

The influence of our cultures

Each culture has its own conventions, these are cultural constraints that generally induce specific behaviors. These constraints define a set of authorized or prohibited actions in social situations as well as the use of specific objects whose origin may or may not have evolved over the course of history and may depend on the climate, the environment…. When we go to a foreign country and we are not familiar with the cultural norms, we can have awkward behaviors that will be badly perceived by the inhabitants of the country. Any designer whose ambition is to design new objects that will be used all over the world must therefore integrate these cultural constraints.

The examples that will follow are mostly based on cultural habits that can trigger awkward interactions for foreigners, the easiest cultural differences to identify from my point of view, exist between the West and Asia.

Why do we drive on the left in almost a third of the countries in the world?

Let’s first try to understand why this disparity in traffic. To do this, let us go back to antiquity to see that men already crossed each other on their right. The reason: most human beings being right-handed, our ancestors carried their sword on their left leg to draw it easily. When the horse became the mode of locomotion for noblemen and men-at-arms, the use of left-hand traffic continued for the same reason. Thus, when two knights crossed each other, their swords could not touch. This would have been clearly interpreted as a duel provocation.
It is said that right-hand traffic dates back to Napoleon, although the theories on this subject differ. Before the appearance of the French emperor on the international scene, soldiers attacked first from the left and then only from the right. Legend has it that Napoleon reversed the direction of the attack to cause confusion. Then, he would have imposed right-hand traffic in all the countries he had conquered. Another theory is that Napoleon was left-handed. This, it is said, is the reason for this great reversal: putting his opponents in difficulties, he could more easily attack them and thus optimize his chances of victory. Master of Europe, Napoleon then imposed right-handed traffic on the “national roads”. Everyone, except… the undefeated English. This disparity in traffic patterns today forces us to build different cars but also to adopt different driving behaviors depending on the country. It generates awkward interactions for any foreigner who has to integrate codes and behaviors contrary to his own.

Did you know that the Chinese are tetraphobic?

Indeed they do not like the number 4 because in the Chinese language the pronunciation of the number 4 is very close to the pronunciation of the dead word this number is therefore considered a symbol that brings bad luck. This could be an anecdotal fact yet it has its importance including in the design. In 2017 the OnePlus phone brand was changed from OnePlus 3 to OnePlus 5, thus avoiding the creation of the OnePlus 4. Why did this happen? Precisely for this reason, the Chinese company did not want to name its phone after a symbol of misfortune. It could be said that changing this name in reference to a superstition could be considered silly, yet it is certain that many Chinese would not have bought the model if it had contained the number 4 in its name, this would not have been the case in another country. We can therefore deduce that any interaction including the number 4 is doomed to failure in China.
This shows us that even if an object can be considered perfect, the symbolism it will have from one country to another, for example through its name, will have an impact on the use that people will have of it or even on the willingness of people to have it.

Hygiene, did you say hygiene?

I have a friend who has often been to Japan, it is a country she loves and whose inventions and culture she loves to discover. However, there is one thing she has never gotten used to Japanese toilets. The first explanation I had in mind when she told me about this toilet was that she didn’t understand how to use it. Then, while researching, I realized that the way Japanese people approach hygiene is different from ours. Indeed, for Japanese people, toilet hygiene includes a washing ritual. Thus, toilet washing features are considered essential for them and ¾ Japanese households are equipped with washing and drying toilets. While for my friend these functionalities are more of a gadget, funny to test once or twice but then she would come back to her use of the toilet as she does in France. So the object is not clumsy but the vision of the use we have of the object is different from one culture to another, so my friend was interacting clumsily with the object but this clumsiness was voluntary because she did not want to use the object in the same way as the Japanese.

Tea or coffee?

The Chinese who make our coffeemakers, however, hardly drink any coffee, at least not for the older generations. So they don’t have a coffeemaker in their homes.
Everybody knows that they are big tea consumers, but this goes beyond the consumption of a local product because over the centuries a strong tea culture has developed and has become a very representative element of Chinese culture. The practice of tea culture elevates the spirit and wisdom of human beings. Tea has a very close relationship with Chinese culture, and the study of this tea theme, with its rich content, covers a wide range of disciplines. Tea not only embodies the spirit of Chinese civilization, it also embodies an ideological form. There is no doubt that it has been beneficial in strengthening the social realization of the people and the appreciation of art.
This culture is, therefore, a major brake on the increase in coffee consumption. And despite the installation of Starbucks coffee shops the Chinese drink an average of 1 cup of coffee per year. I found it interesting to learn that in order to increase coffee consumption, a Chinese inventor developed a bag that allows coffee to be brewed in a cup, thus mixing the culture of tea and coffee. Will this attempt at interaction be successful? We will see.


Clumsy interactions can have cultural origins and take place during our travels abroad. However, cultures are increasingly moving towards a common or mixed culture. So what will happen in the future, what will be the place of our cultures of origin in our behavior and interactions?


  • A Clumsy interaction doesn’t happen at the moment we use the object, it was there before and can come from the designer and his personal vision of the use of the object.
  • A Clumsy interaction can depend on the conception of an object and more specifically on the design of the experience related to this object when trying to manipulate it, activate it, make it work, and understand it.
  • A Clumsy interaction has several causes, one of which is mostly conceptual. When the origin of the awkward interaction is inappropriate and deliberate behavior, it is then a human error of the user.
  • A Clumsy interaction can be the result of a lack of curiosity.
  • A Clumsy interaction depends on the level and type of emotions the object will generate in the user before, during, or after its use.
  • A Clumsy interaction can exist and not exist at the same time all depends on the society and culture in which one lives.

Book: The Design of Everyday Things, Don Norman, 2020
Article: De l’art des toilettes au Japon, Saniclean.fr
Article: Pourquoi les Anglais roulent à gauche et nous à droite, lePoint.fr