Designing with the Mind in Mind (ch.8) mentions using external aids to keep track of what we are doing. These tools can be helpful because our attention is limited. There is a need for reminders when our attention is spread across too many tasks. The book also points out that users prefer familiar, faster, easier paths. For a user to user a breath awareness tool, it must make their life easier in the process. It might not be enough for promises of a future state of well-being after extended practice.
The question that came up recently was does this tool need to live on a screen, if the goal is to help users that work on screens for long periods of time? Another student posted a pin of the Moodstone by AQ design agency. This tool mimics a smooth stone and focuses on haptic sensory experiences to monitor a user’s emotions. What I like about this tool is your mind can feel unimpeded while your hand can calming rub a tool. Keeping this nearby can serve as a reminder without being forceful. It can create relief, rather than interruption, for the user. My only hesitation with designing an external tool is that I did not want users to have to purchase a tool. I wanted to make it easy to download and install—similar to a browser extension.