Project by: Sijme Geurts, Christ van Leest, Sanne van den Hurk, Max Eichenbrenner and Yih Shun Ling, and Connie Golsteijn - Project for client 'Philips Research Eindhoven'

Year: 2007

Duration: 14 weeks

My role: This project was done following a 'research through design' approach: employing design to answer the research question: how can we design for well-being? The project was concluded with a publication and a workshop paper, for which I was first and second author, respectively. I presented the first paper at the Persuasive 2008 conference in Oulu, Finland.

Goal: design a product or system that improves well-being of single adults, by encouraging 'seizing the moment' and increasing awareness of happy moments.

Design: the BLB system consist of a number of similar objects, called 'bulbs', that are placed on the wall. A person can put artefacts in the bulbs that remind him or her of a happy moment or of a goal (s)he wants to achieve. Light feedback shows the status of each goal related to an artefact in the bulb: the light has to be activated when the user has worked on a goal and will fade over time. There are two different types of bulbs for personal memories or goals, and shared ones. The artefacts in 'shared bulbs' can be seen in a friend's system through a third bulb-type: the receive bulb, which shows the shared artefact on a screen. BLB encourages to reflect on happy moments and undertake activities alone or with friends.

Publications: This project resulted in the following publication: Golsteijn, C., et al. (2008). BLB: A persuasive and interactive installation designed to improve well-being. In Proceedings of the 3rd international conference on Persuasive Technology (PERSUASIVE '08). Springer-Verlag, pp. 262-265.

And the following workshop paper: Hoven, E. van den, et al. (2008). Analyzing well-being for the design of a persuasive & interactive installation. In Proceedings of the workshop 'Surrounded by Persuasive Ambient Intelligence' at the Computer-Human Interaction conference 2008 (CHI'08), 6 April 2008, Florence, Italy.

See Publications for more details.


The BLB system consists of 'bulbs', which can contain small artefacts, that are placed on a wall.

There are three bulb types in each BLB system: the personal bulb, for personal goals and reflections (left), the shared bulb, for goals and reflections to share with friends (bottom right), and the receive bulb, to display artefacts in a friend's shared bulb (top right).

Two systems were implemented to test the share function of artfacts. This image shows one of the demonstrators used in the user evaluation.

The other system used in the user evaluation.

Example artefacts to place in the bulbs. These artefacts were used in the user evaluation.

The receive bulb shows an artefact in the shared bulb of a friend on a small screen.

Lights around each bulb show the amount of time and attention given to the activity that bulb represents.

Rubic's cube in a bulb.

The electronics in a BLB system.

Cultural probes were used early in the process to collect inspirational data on well-being activities.