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Phygital design project

Physical therapy platform


How might we instil elements of fun to rehab and reduce the burden of caregivers?

Project scope: Design a physical and digital solution
for therapy

During the course of this project, we were situated in AWWA Rehab and Day Care Centre (RDCC), which offers structured rehabilitation for seniors who have recently injured themselves.

Collaborators /


13 weeks


  • I conducted primary research with users
    in therapy to understand the issues with
    the current device that helps with
    pinching actions

  • I designed the wireframes for therapy overview using Figma

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01 | Problem


Through our weekly observations at AWWA, we noticed an elderly patient performing a simple pinching and arm exercise using a wooden device. Despite the emitting flashing lights and beeping sounds, the elderly patient seemed disengaged while holding a clothespin in his hand.

Building on this observation, we conducted additional research, interviewed therapists and tested the device ourselves to identify 3 key shortfalls:


The physical therapy tool is too repetitive, resulting in a lack of engagement


Due to the nature of the equipment, some patients tend to only use their good hand rather than practicing on the area of injury.


There was no platform to track patients' progress, which was hard for the therapists to remember.

Existing solutions lack engagement and good user experience

We conducted a series of benchmarking exercises to assess available options in the market for pinching-related exercises. Our findings revealed that many devices lacked engagement as they did not prioritise improving the user experience, similar to the one in the therapy centre.

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02 | Research process

We asked ourselves, “How might we design a sustainable system which maintains users’ engagement in the long run?”


While considering the action of pinching and playing, we went through a series of iterative process to develop a new game, only to realise that our focus was on creating something physical and repetitive, similar to the original device.

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Examples of the ideas which were similar to the original device.

Rather than designing physical games, we eventually delved into the idea of curating pre-existing digital games, which provided more flexibility to cater to the different needs of patients'

03 | Physical solution


Interactive gaming controller

Perry, the pinch controller, was then birthed to work in tandem with the Xbox Kinect. Utilizing a USB Bluetooth connection, the wireless controller can be activated with any computer devices with Kinect tracking to play various mouse-based games.

04 | Digital solution

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(+) Prioritising patient information at the top
To accommodate therapists' busy schedules and multiple appointments, I prioritised placing the day's upcoming appointments and essential patient information at the top for quick and easy reference, enabling therapists to access them at a glance.

(+) Filter chips for quick access
Filter chips were chosen as the visual option for therapists to filter through the injury type as they provide quicker access to data compared to a dropdown menu.

(+) Curated information to identify patients who require more attention

The displayed information were carefully curated with the intention for therapists to identify patients who require more attention compared to the others. 

(+) Importance of information
follows natural reading direction

In terms of information hierarchy, I placed the most important details — the patient’s basic information — on the left, followed by the detailed data on the right to follow the natural reading direction.

(+) Data visualisation complements numerical data

The data visualisation is placed together with the numerical data for therapists to refer to and make sense of it.

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(+) Inclusion of calendar to prepare for upcoming sessions

The calendar is included so that therapists are able to prepare ahead for the patients' sessions.

(+) Bright Call-to-Action button

I chose a bright blue colour for the Call-to-Action button to ensure that it stands out.

(+) Breakdown of summarised data

The breakdown of summarised data allows therapists to identify which game type works best for their patients.


05 | Reflection

The screens shown above are an updated version. Below are the issues with the previous screens that I have identified and improved upon. 

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Skills required: Figma, UX research tools and processes

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