Hammocking is considered one of the perfect summertime activities, laid-back and effortless — which makes it seem like a ridiculous research and design topic.
But trying to hang hammocks leaves people frustrated, giving up before they even get started. They walk away or resign themselves to an uncomfortable hang, not getting any benefits of relaxation or being in nature.
Hammock sales may be trending, but hammocking has barriers to entry that keeps people from participating. How can we match the experience to the expectation?
We learned about hammockers by conducting surveys, interviews, and observational research. We mapped and modeled their environment to better understand human factors and immersion potential.
We identified some known hammock hanging problems like tension and distance, and explored intuitive and spatial mental models. Most hammocks are adjusted once they are hung, no matter how experienced the hammocker.
Hammockers take hazards seriously, and search for dangers when they search for hammock spots.
The experience of finding a hammock spot should not disrupt the experience of being in nature. We defined a series of goals that focus on user needs and respect for the user's environment and time.
We explored the usability of different interactions models and wireframed potential flows and interfaces.
Paper iterations were refined into primary flow, then moved to low fidelity prototypes to share and collect feedback.
Scoping and wireframing the full intention of the application can help make better interaction and flow decisions from the start, instead of trying to fit features later.
This is where current documentation ends while I develop prototypes and conduct user testing. If you would like to participate in user testing or prototyping, please add your email to the form below.
Prototyping and testing includes exploring prototyping tools, developing prototypes, defining flow criteria, creating user testing plans, participant selection and requirements, field test planning, implemention, and outcomes.
Would you like to participate in hammock user testing and field studies? Subscribe to the participant list for more information about participating, and also recieve an email when the next section is published.
This project began as a personal exercise to learn augmented reality and how it might be utilized to improve human experiences. I want to thank the wonderful hammockers that I have met and interviewed who shared their hard-earned experiences and patiently answered my questions.
Good design can't be achieved alone, and I'd like to thank Bruno de Carvalho, Stephanie Rewis, and Matthew Oliphant for offering their knowledge, feedback and guidance through the duration of this project. Without them, it would be a mess in a google doc.
I hope you have enjoyed reading through this as much as I have enjoyed learning and sharing. Please stick around and lets see how it ends! You can email me any thoughts on the project — and perhaps participate in user testing the next stage of the process.
Eris Stassi is an experience designer crafting resilient and kind human interactions. She provides insightful flows & product strategy for startups and creative teams. Previous head of product for a food startup, UX director at Morgan Stanley, and interaction designer at Apple.
Available for medium and long-term projects with a focus on civic, climate and authentic engagement. Please contact me for resume and case studies.