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Mariona Ruiz Peris

Mariona is an engineer and designer from Barcelona, interested in the intersection between the human, technology and design. Formerly trained as a biomedical engineer, she worked as a researcher for neuroimaging of Alzheimer’s Disease before embarking on her experimental journey in the RCA and Imperial College. 

Her projects seek to achieve harmony between the human psyche and technology as an extension of ourselves, thus having a strong interaction focus. 

Besides her final project, she has been most recently working on BrightSide, a device for fibromyalgia patients to communicate their state to loved ones, with three IDE peers. The project is part of the EIT Health Wild Card Accelerator. You can find more info here

At any other given moment, you’ll find her making music, films, crocheting, or hooked to her phone.

Devices have permeated every aspect of our lives: from work to leisure, everything is perceived through the lens (or the display) of a screen. So much that we can consider them to be an extension of ourselves. If a tool (the hardware) is an extension of our body, then the software is an extension of our mind - and this intangible transhumanism becomes tangible at the point of interaction.

Our interaction with devices says a lot about ourselves: our personality, patterns, preferences… can be inferred from data, and could potentially bring insight to our thought processes. However, interaction with devices is affecting our brain and our behaviour, both structurally and in terms of cognition.

What if your computer could adapt to your cognition pace? What if you could establish a more fluid, quasi-symbiotic relationship with your devices through an interface that helps you take control of your interactions?

These questions led to Oona.

Oona is a response to the lack of ethics in the design of technologies, that leverages the use of interaction data for good, and acknowledges our joint future, in order to set the basis for the design of a human-friendly digital environment.

Oona advocates for technology that adapts to us, rather than the opposite, so that we don’t become the tool.

Check www.marionaruizperis.com/oona for more information.

Oona is an assistive user interface that works holistically between your devices in order to pace your interactions and seamlessly introduce behaviour change, to allow you to develop better digital habits and regain control of your mind.

Oona has a 2 part structure: a monitor of the user’s cognition overload or ‘Brain RAM’ representation and an automatization of display characteristics aiming to accommodate the user, or ‘Mind Ergonomics. Data is received from interaction, and assistance and learning is delivered in-situ. The aim is to help the user navigate their digital environment feeling more in control, and to learn good digital habits during usage.

Cognition Overload — Multitasking, within the same device or in different devices, affects the brain's executive function.
Brain Overload — People who struggle with decision making, prioritizing and self-control will be especially impacted.
Oona Usage — With Oona, these users can learn to take the reins.

First, the ‘Brain RAM’ monitor allows users to gain insight on their mind-state and cognition. As the user engages in unhealthy or erratic behaviours, the monitor will signal it through wave agitation and color change. Second, the adaptive user interface, which works under the principle of ‘Mind Ergonomics’ and helps the user take action to improve their digital habits and digital wellbeing.

Problem — Interaction with Screen Media Technologies has been proved to affect the brain even at the structural level. Behaviours we often engage with, such as multitasking, are detrimental to our cognition.
Problem — Our brain is overloaded by our erratic usage, often by things that seem harmless: like having too many tabs open.
Features — For each problem, a solution: each of the 4 recognized problems is counteracted by one of Oona's features.
System Architecture — The system learns from the user in order to adapt to them and deliver assistance in the short and long term.
Modes — The three modes of increasing UI control takeover and rigidity Oona offers.
1. Awareness Mode — The user can see in the panel their unhealthy habits and can choose to drag the wave into their desktop to start the Assistive Mode.
1. Awareness Mode — In the extended version of the awareness mode, the user can access information about their patterns of misuse.
2. Assistive Mode — In this mode, Oona makes suggestions when detecting unhealthy behaviours, and can take control of the UI display characteristics.
3. Restrictive Mode — On restrictive mode, the landing page contains the 3 main tasks selected for the day. Each of the tasks or 'puddles' are organized by priority through visual hierarchy, and they contain both software and documents in use specific to that task.
3. Restrictive Mode — When going into a 'puddle', the user will have access only to a single software or document at a time, with the option to access the other elements in the 'puddle', or globally accessible software.

Oona has three modes of increasing control takeover and rigidity. First, there is a passive mode or Awareness Mode, where the user can decide to access a control panel and the monitor in their own time. The second mode is a guidance mode or Assistive Mode, where the UI changes its appearance and makes suggestions for better use. The last mode or Restrictive Mode rearranges all open software and documents into 'puddles' or tasks that can be accessed only one at a time, turning your device into a single-purpose machine.

You can find more information about the functions as well as a prototype at www.marionaruizperis.com/oona.