Goof Off While You Work? You Might Be Doing Way More Than You Think. Ever notice how people play with a thing — pen, paperclip, stress ball, magnets, marker, etc. — while lost in thought as they work? Maybe you do it too. There’s a powerful link between the hand and the brain. Research shows that our feelings, thoughts, and body are very much interconnected. Our Fidget Widgets project is exploring this behavior and the opportunity for small, tangible, digital interactions to tap into what happens while people fiddle with objects as they work. Think of a Fidget Widget as a new kind of productivity tool aiming to subtly enhance your creativity, or give you focus, or decrease stress just when you need it. Our study requires lots and lots of participation. What we’ve learned so far is that people strongly desire surprisingly specific experiences in their hands. We're using a tumblr page to collect examples of items and materials and ways in which people fiddle with objects while at work. Only with many submissions will patterns emerge. These patterns will provide valuable insights into how people use objects to self-regulate their internal state as they work and will inform just where we go next.
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