mindful messaging –

communication concept

university project

Introduction –

problem & goal

Digital media have fundamentally changed our communication behavior. The number of messages we receive every day makes it almost impossible to distinguish which of the information contained therein is currently how relevant to us. We are forced to treat every message equally. This costs a lot of time, attention and often distracts us from other, actually important things in our daily lives.

Our goal was to reduce the flood of information by mutual consideration of sender & receiver without the use of yet another technology. Of course, algorithms & AI assisted filter functions could be built, but we deliberately chose a human, more sustainable approach. We wanted to return the responsibility to the root of the information flood – the human sender.

This is where we as interaction designers come into play. We have the possibility to redesign interactions like sending messages, which are used by countless people every day & thus having an impact on many lives. Of course this comes with great responsibility, which we are aware of. In concrete terms, this means that we have redesigned the small interaction of sending a message in such a way that although the senders user experience is deliberately a little worse, since two more clicks are required, the human/holistic/social experience, which should ultimately be what counts today, increases many times over.

Concept –

brief & quick


According to the method of the Eisenhower Matrix, which was originally used to prioritise tasks, all messages can be evaluated according to the importance & urgency of their content & classified in one of four quadrant.

This prioritization must be done manually by the sender before sending each message. By reflecting on the current relevance of the message content for the recipient, a more conscious sending behavior should develop.


On the recipient’s side, the messages are put into a hierarchical order based on their prioritization. Urgent & important messages come first, followed by the urgent & not important & the non-urgent & important. At the very bottom are the non-urgent & not important messages. This list view allows the recipient to see at a glance which messages are relevant for him at the moment.

life & work

In addition to prioritisation, messages are divided according to their context – life & work. These two inboxes appear as modes between which the user can switch. If the receiver is in work mode, he will only receive messages from transmitters that are also in work mode. Private messages on the other hand are not delivered. Only when the receiver switches to life mode his life inbox is displayed.

The clear separation of these two worlds is a good way, especially in times when the home office has become established, to concentrate on the respective area of life & not be distracted & disturbed by currently irrelevant messages.


After sending a message, the sender receives feedback on the message status. If the sender & recipient are in different modes & the message has not been delivered, the sender is notified. Through this meta-communication, possible misunderstandings can be avoided, because the sender knows why he cannot expect a reaction for the time being.


Messages from important contacts are always put through, regardless of their priority & the mode in which the sender & receiver are located.

focus mode

If the recipient wants to be completely unreachable for a while, he or she can switch to focus mode, in which no messages are passed on to him or her.

Project information –


Interaction Design

Semester 3

University of Design Schwäbisch Gmünd


Invention Design I

Summer 2020


Prof. David Oswald

Prof. Dr. Ulrich Barnhöfer

contact information

Any questions? –

let’s get in touch

If you have any questions about the project or want to know more about it, just write me a short message.
I am happy about any suggestions and comments.

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