Anti-Scrolling Shop︎︎︎ 

Speculative design that mitigates the endless scrolling behavior



        This collection of work reflects my studies of the correlation between Infinite Scrolling feature and Smartphone Social Media Addiction. It discovers the intention behind this habit-forming feature, questions the attention-based business model of these platforms, and investigate the negative influences on the users.


in 7 DAYS

In a week, I tried to discover a new solution to mitigate the habitual behavior every day. It helped me to brainstorm and prototype quickly, and explored innovative and fun experiments for further development.

Day 1: Scroll Stopper - Ring Set

Goal: Making the scrolling behavior uncomfortable by constraining hand in an open gesture.

Day 2: Physical Interventions  - Screen Treadmill

Goal: Physically intervene in the scrolling behavior and replace it with other beneficial behaviors.

Day 3: Physical Interventions - Screen Hamster Wheel

Physically change the browsing tool of social media platforms, and represent the behavior in a dramatic visual.

Day 4: Psychological Interventions - Knitted Phone Case

Goal: Data visualization that reveals the time spent on scrolling by showing the reduced stitches.


Day 5: Psychological Interventions - 4 minute Scrolling Screenshots

Goal: Represent the content seen in 4 minute infinite scrolling in an intuitive way on the same page.

Day 6: Psychological Interventions - 4 minute Scrolling Toilet Paper

Visualize the 4 minute scrolling content in the form of toilet paper roll and change the way users access them.

.    .        

Day 7: Psychological Interventions - Walking into Screens

: Show layers of hidden intentions (dark patterns used in app design) behind the design of social media apps on an enlarged cell phone screen.


Iterations & User Tests

Project 1 ︎ Ring Weight

Iteration 01 Goal

Provide physical intervention of the infinite scrolling behavior and make it functional.

The redesigned ring will be connected to an app that is set to lock the selected apps and unlock them when the user wears the ring. The design focuses on making the user consciously think about their purpose of using their selected apps and shorten the scroll time by constraining the hand’s gesture. The user tests were around the experience design on the app and the feedback on the ring’s constraining ability.

User Feedback ︎︎︎

︎  “Not as uncomfortable as the previous version”
︎  The “ok” ring was less favored during the test.
︎ “Is the app necessary?”
︎ “How could it fit everyone?”

︎︎︎ Iteration 02 Goal 

Criticize the relationship between user and the apps by putting on physical restrictions.

This new set of rings is inspired by the straitjacket for the body, in two sizes. The helix of aluminum wire not only stops the user from folding their fingers and holding their smartphones but also visually represents the infinite scroll behaviors. The zip ties connect the 5 rings and form them as one set. It is also customizable so that the rings would fit on the left hand. My intention for this round of user tests was to see how restricted the wearer could feel in terms of scrolling on their phone. Through this experience, I wanted to ask the wearer to rethink their connection to the technology, and the power they give to the digital tools.

User Feedback ︎

  • Users felt the discomfort and aggravation from this ring set and efficiently wanted to reduce scrolling
  • “These rings feel political - a response to the post-internet age we are living in when almost all of reality is a casino feeding off our attention.”
  • “For me, it demonstrates how absurd this infinite scrolling gesture is and at the same time how normal and incorporated into daily life it became.”

Project 2 ︎ Attention Printer

Iteration 01 Goal

Visualize the hidden purposes of infinite scrolling and visualize the amount of content.

It’s an idea of a animation clip showing the scrolled page being printed out from the top of the phone case like a print of an analyzed receipt of each page. The print-out content will be black and white that reveals the hidden layer and message behind sponsor and suggestion posts, and degraded page performance of what the users follow to view. The user test was testing if the viewers could get the sense of how much information has been fed to them within the scrolls and how much content is presented out of their choice.

User Feedback ︎︎︎

︎ Most users aren’t aware of how much content they receive everyday. Translating the scrolls to a physical object would help them be more aware.
︎ “The surprisingly large amount of sponsored content is the reason why I quit the Instagram platform.”

︎︎︎ Iteration 02 Goal 

Visualize the scroll times and content; demonstrates the hidden message behind the content from the algorithms.

This animation clip shows that once one screen has been scrolled over, the degraded version will be printed out from the top of the phone, where the digital screen disappears. The printed content is a record of scrolling time as well as an information feed. Through the user tests of this video, I wanted the users to be aware of the quality and quantity of posts they tend to scroll through quickly. I hope that it reveals the purpose of infinite scrolls that the apps are designed to keep the users spending more time on.

User Feedback ︎

  • Seeing the actual content out of infinite scrolling could help people rethink their behavior.
  • “It makes me to view my consumption time as waste and I would want to stop wasting more paper/time.”
  • “This animation confirms for me the wastefulness of scrolling through content that is without any significance. It shows a critical mind and playful spirit in the designer.”

Project 3 ︎ Social Wheel


Present a metaphorical motion video of how people nowadays browse fragmented information on social media applications, and potentially provide an alternative behavior of browsing.

I hope to be able to visualize the meaningless infinite scroll on social media pages and how time passes by without noticing. This project intends to show the ironic image of how human behavior on social media is projected in the natural world. We are continuously running for a limited amount of insights.

This 3D animation idea discovers the irony behind the human-sized hamster wheel that demonstrates the current social media dilemma. Users tend to spend more unplanned hours on social media platforms and do mindless infinite scrolling because the tech companies are making a profit from users' engagements and time on their platforms. Thus, the users are trapped into the hamster wheel, running mindlessly and endlessly, devoting their time, and creating economic value for the companies who designed the applications.  

User Feedback ︎

  • “ I feel strongly that social media is overpowering our lives.”
  • “ It made me realize how we all are following this robotic pattern and it pushed me to think about how to get away from this.”
  • “ This animation is critical without using language.”
  • “ The video is very dystopian and dark even with the bright colors.”

©  Lynette Huang 2023

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