Pusterum VR is a Virtual Reality application for Google Daydream-ready smartphones. It was designed and developed as part of my master's thesis in collaboration with Thomas Pedersen and Aate VR. Pusterum is designed for adults diagnosed with ADHD and acts as relaxing space to escape from daily stress, clear the mind and regain energy. Scientific studies have found out that mindfulness and deep breathing can have a positive effects on the symptoms (restlessness, inattention, hyperactivity, impulsivity) people with ADHD experience. However many people diagnosed with ADHD have problems to access meditation as a daily routine because its requirements of staying focused over a longer period of time are overwhelming. Pusterum helps through both visual and auditive guidance to make meditation more accessable.
A visually guided user experience Pusterum is structered as a day cyclus goint from daylight to nightsky and back to daylight. The first phase is focused on getting the user's attention while isolating him through the VR-technology from outside sources of stress and stimuli. The second part introduces a big red ball through which the user can synchonize his breathing and thereby relax the nervous system furthermore. The experience is both guided by nature sounds and meditative music inspired by binaural beats.
Design process with focus on the body Through the use of different design methods, we tried to distance ourselves from classical storyboard-sketching and brainstorming and activley involve the body in the generation of conceptual ideas. Through the use of different materials we were able to recreate a mocked-up VR environment. As a result we could explore possibilities of engaging and influencing the body and came up with a guided ritual of focusing on objects and the implementation of a breathing exercises.
Developed and tested with experts and potential users We worked in close collaboration with CSV-Aarhus, a learning center for mentally vulnerable adults. Thereby it was possible to get valuable feedback from experts and the possibility to test the application with actual users and secure the appliaction's success.