Dates: October 2017
Team: Scott Dombkowski, Joe Hines, and Katie Herzog
Work Type: Academic

Asterisk ia an interface designed to encourage habit change by disrupting consumer behavior. Instead of the fast convenient service they expect from a vending machine, users are forced to confront the hidden costs of their behavior.

Asterisk Concept Video

Early Ideas

With the project only being two weeks, we had to come up with a concept quickly. Early on, we focused on how showing a product's true cost could lead to habit change.

We also explored:

  • how vending machines could be placed in strange/outdoor contexts.
  • how an interface can act as a mirror.
  • how users could interact with that "mirror" and how that "mirror" could change based on some kind of environmental metrics.
  • how snacks could have prices based on a number of different variables.
  • how a vending machine could vend brandless products depicting the environmental cost of that product.

We also explored potential vending machine forms and screens.

User Flow
  1. A user walks up to the machine. The machines instructs the user to select a snack.
  1. The user selects a snack.
  1. The user confirms their selection.
  1. The user is informed their selection has hidden costs.
  1. The user views the first hidden cost.
  1. The user decides to accept or decline the cost.
  1. If the user accepts, they view the next cost. This continues as long as there are additional costs. The background becomes more clear as hidden costs are revealed.
  2. The user pays for the snack and its hidden costs.
  1. The user is informed their hidden costs will be donated and is provided with additional information.
  1. If at any time the user cancels their order, they are given an option to donate the hidden costs already incurred. The user then decides to donate or permanently cancel their purchase.