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友 (tomo)

redefining our relationships with our mobile devices

This project started with a personal experience.

One day, my friends and I visited a restaurant. The meal started off amazing with everyone
laughing and having a good time. During the meal, I excused myself briefly to use the restroom.
Upon returning, I felt disappointed by what I saw. All of my friends, who had been enjoying
themselves just moments before, sat in silence.

The reason: every single person was staring at their phone.

This experience frustrated me because our phones had dismantled a fun moment. It prompted me
to examine the role that our devices play in our lives.


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defining the problem

User Research:

"Everyone knows that we shouldn't be on our phones as much as we are"

"When I get a notification, I need to check. I can't not look!"

"You can't digitally replicate all aspects of human interaction."

Pain Points:

People feel disappointed when phones interrupt private moments (e.g. shared meals).


People have a constant urge to check notifications on their phones.


the design objective

Facilitate healthy phone use in private spaces.

Facilitate healthy phone use in private spaces.

lotus flower form exploration

change in direction

Through testing with users, I learned that my initial design took up too much space.

I decided to change the original design to fit underneath tables.

testing prototypes

The prototypes endured rigorous testing in various settings. I spoke with users about their thoughts on the product and used their feedback to streamline the user experience. During this step, I received valuable insights for evolving the design.

streamlining user experience

Jerry Manock, former Chief Design Officer at Apple, helped me process user feedback to improve the design.

We allowed the users' input to dictate the design decisions.

final product

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友 (tomo) creates phone-free spaces.

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Less time on our devices,

more time for moments of value.

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