Our strategy is to reduce anxiety by evoking feelings of “rainbows after rain.” The song and headphones are not for everyday use, nor they items you bring to a raging college party. Instead, these are uniquely designed for users who are currently under stress and need a little hope that they will make it through this tough time. Our products are designed to help them see the ‘light at the end of the tunnel.’
Our headphone design resembles a rainbow: the earphones are clouds and the headband is the multicolored rainbow arc. Rainbows elicit positive emotions because they symbolize the silver lining after a storm, the calm after chaos. From a visual standpoint, rainbows represent harmony and unity among myriad colors and elements. Rainbows are a throwback to childhood excitement, and symbolize a promise for a magical pot of gold. The clouds surrounding the rainbow give users the feeling that they are no long on Earth, but that they can escape to their own world in the sky (i.e. the Wizard of Oz phenomenon).
When building the headphones, we originally planned to print out 3 separate colored bands for the headpiece (lengthwise, like the arc of a rainbow), but they would have been too brittle to piece together, and likely would have broken. So instead we printed out 1 headpiece, and painted it the 3 colors from the rainbow.
As for the paint hues, we decided to go with lighter hues to give it a softer touch. Lighter hues are associated with relaxation and anxiety reduction because they do not heighten our senses as much as bold colors do. We added cushions to the headphones to make them comfortable. Anyone who has ever cuddled up in a snuggle and slippers understands that physical comfort is essential for anxiety reduction.
As far as the song, we started out with the sounds of bells in order to resemble raindrops. As the song goes on, we add a strong bass and sounds of actual thunder. The song gets happier and lighter over time in order to reflect the user’s changing emotional state, and eventually ends with light raindrops that reflect a sky that is clearing up and making room for the rainbow. This gives the user the feeling that they are getting through the tough storm while listening to the song. If you look closely to bells at the bottom, the visual notes actually resemble the arcs of a rainbow. If people use our headphones and song when they are feeling down, the combo will give them hope that better times lie ahead.
The song can be viewed here: https://soundcloud.com/daniel-chen-78904446/rainclouds-and-rainbows