The primary benefits of using a fisheye lens and smartphone instead of a traditional microscope are greater mobility and the ability of the user to directly document artifacts. While addressing those two aspects, I focused on increasing the deliberateness a person would feel when using the microscope through the force of tension.
The interaction felt precise and deliberate with this design due to the friction between the wedge and phone as well as the tension from the rubber bands, resulting in kinesthetic feedback while focusing the microscope. The larger, more coarse, human movement was translated through the wedge into a smaller, more precise, phone movement.
I was faced with the question of appropriateness and complexity when considering the combination of the moving and fixed pulley, which translated a large, relatively easy human movement into a small microscope focusing movement. However, as a microscope which should afford quick transportation and effortless exploration of the physical world, this design solution was fundamentally flawed.
Microscope Usage Demonstration
I iterated through making a large number of prototypes for much of the design progress.