--Designed for CHI2016 Student Design Competition
About the project
The main theme of this project was based on CHI 2016 student design challenge.
We were asked to design Assistive Technology to "doing good" by helping the Unexotic Underclass in a team of 3.
We decided to focus on teenagers with depression.
I was the facilitator of the team.
I participated in user research, ideation, usability testing, sketching and documentation.
Lack of Sleep
Teenagers who are depressed may suffer from many different pain points. One of the pain points is insomnia. Depression makes teenagers hard to sleep, while lack of sleep results in poor performance and health. The poor physical and emotional status will make depression even worse.Tennagers with depression have to face this vicious circle everyday.
Can we do something to help them?
How to use assistive technology to help teenagers with depression to break this vicious circle?
UNDERSTAND OUR USERS
“Approximately 20% of the teenagers in the United States experiences teen depression before they reach adulthood.”
-U.S. Department of Health & Human Services
“After my parents’ divorce, nobody cares about my feelings. I cried a lot when I am lonely, especially at night. I kept feeling depressed so that I cannot sleep very well.”
-Alyssa, a 12-year-old girl
“My family moved to this country when I was 5. I don’t know how to communicate with others. I always feel sad so I decided to talk with myself at night. It's very difficult for me to sleep at night.”
-Chen, a 14-year-old boy
“A lot of depressed students cannot sleep well at night. Lack of sleep will do harm to their performance and health. Poor performance will let them feel much more depressed. I don’t know how to help them. ”
-Andrew, a teacher
FIND THE PAINPOINTS
Attending Social Activity
Being Taken Care
There are three basic methods that people can use outside therapy:
Being taken care;
Attending social activity.
However, these methods all need other people to support them. When they are alone at night, there aren't any methods for them to deal with difficulty by themselves.
To provide a comforting and calming environment for teenagers who had trouble sleeping due to depression through the sense of touch, sound, movement and fragrance.
We were not sure about the things we listed. Then we sent out questionnaires to let our target users choose what is their favorite stuff they want to have when they are alone at night.
Our question is: what makes you feel good when going to bed. Here are the top-5 options which the users like to have when they are alone at night.
Our users love music and also American Medical Association found out that music reduces anxiety and helps medication process.
Teenagers like soft touch. The hug gesture which is similar with how dog comfort their puppies can make teenagers feel safe.
The concept is designed in the shape of a puppy. Teenagers like pets and they don’t want to be treated as someone with special needs.
The concept can spray aromatherapy fragrance to create a comforting environment .
We chose to design a puppy-shaped pillow for our target users. We added some cool features to the pillow to give physical comfort and use body language to communicate with the teenagers to calm them down and make them easier to sleep.
Our team built a high-fidelity animation to show our final design.
Respond to voice
This pillow has voice sensor that makes the pillow react to user's voice. The movement is restricted to tail and ears as shown in the picture.
Teenagers who are under depression treatment are encouraged to reflect on their day, and acknowledge what they think and feel.
The pillow starts playing music when user's lying on it. Speaker is built inside to play calming music that would help teenagers to fall asleep quickly.
A sleep tracker is also built inside the pillow to detect user's stage of sleep(early sleep, light sleep, deep sleep). The music volume can automatically be controlled by the pillow or users can control it manually by the button in the bottom side of the pillow .
When the user taps on its leg, the puppy will change its shape to hug the user.
When the user pushes it away, it will move back.
By hugging the user, we want to provide the user with a feeling of being protected and a sense of comfort and warmth.
Apart from calming music, this pillow can spray aromatherapy fragrance like grass, lavender, orange when user pushes its nose.
We expects that in the future the fragrance can be replaced or customized based on user's preference.
This is the last project of Interaction Design Practice. It's the first time to be the facilitator.
Firstly, we kept changing our core because at first we did not have enough research. Only enough research can lead you to useful insight and research is always not enough.
Secondly, our teammates travelled to different places during this project because of Thanksgiving break. It's a little bit hard for me to schedule a meeting for our team. However, it is basic skill for designers to work in different places.
Thirdly, sketching is the most important thing during the process of design. When you have no ideas about what is the next. Try to keep sketching and you will find some useful insights and even useful ideas.
Last but not least, there is no right or wrong in design. Design is more like a process to make a choice. When you work in a team, be open to others' ideas and speak more" Yes, and", less" Yes, but". You have to learn how to iterate new ideas through both agreement and critiques.