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Project RESeT

Product Design

Design Challenge

How effective is virtual relaxation at reducing stress for teens over time?

Tools: Figma, Sketch, Premiere Pro, Blender,
Unreal Engine, Bodystorming, Whiteboarding

Methods: User Testing, Ideation, Prototyping,
Visual & Interaction Design

Team Size: 12 members

Duration: 7 months (Ongoing)

Funding: National Science Foundation & University of Washington Reality Lab

Location: Momentary Experience Lab (RESeT), Human-Center Design and Engineering, University of Washington

One of the Co-Design sessions where a participant is experiencing a virtual environment


RESeT (Relaxation Environment for Stress in Teens) is the design and development of a self-administered, school-based stress intervention aimed to increase access by minimizing school personnel and student burden.


Through a participatory approach to human-centered design, we have collaborated with teens as co-designers to design and develop mindfulness-based interactions in a virtual environment.

Carrying out a contextual inquiry while the participant is experiencing the virtual environment

The Problem

81% percent of teens report school as their primary stressor. Recent evidence shows the cumulative impact of everyday sources of stress is highly prevalent and impactful on teens. Chronic stress is a known risk factor for both physical and mental health problems affecting the developing adolescent brain.

The following paper presents a participatory, human-centered design process utilizing teens as co-designers to develop a VR interaction intended to reduce stress. Virtual-reality (VR) has been shown effective at treating post-traumatic stress disorder, phobias, and pain due to its immersive experience.


Through our co-design process teens were given clay, sharpies, paper, post-it notes, and were asked to storyboard their emotions when they felt stressed.




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Co-Design process in action

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