Application and Interaction
The idea of innovative design thinking isn’t the way you research the facts of an issue that you want to rise to the challenge. It’s about getting to those that have their story to tell about the issues and problems they’re dealing with on a day to day basis. We need to research for the people, not the product, and look at the user experience that the product will be built around. So these lead to ways for innovative ideas through strategic research models to help solve problems and develop a successful outcome. Through this process, you can evaluate and reflect on your ideas and work towards an idea that everyone can agree on with the evidence you have and shared along the way. This allows the opportunity to tell stories from others through the product which shows more empathy and authenticity to an idea that can be useful for the world and make a change to the cause.
Timothy Prestero thought he’d designed the perfect incubator for newborns in the developing world, he even won awards for it. But he and his team learned a hard lesson when their incubator completely failed to catch on. Hear his hard-earned manifesto on the importance of designing for real-world use, not accolades.
This talk was such a great inspiration and great insight into designing for an outcome than for the purpose of designing something that is beautiful. The newborn phototherapy device is a product that perfectly designed for the user to make changes for low-resource hospitals around the globe to successfully treat otherwise healthy newborns for jaundice. He really made a great point about the way the product is used by the user and people would identify the misuse of the product by the user is at fault if not used correctly. Prestero says there’s no such thing as a dumb user, but in fact, a dumb product and he used this as a turning point in the development of the Firefly phototherapy device. So if the research is done correctly to the point of understanding the human center of the design we can identify the areas that are complicated for the user than rather blaming the user that uses the product. So we need to make it the right way to use a product than thinking people will use the way we want them to use it.
For the product, I’m developing I have to completely think about this approach in my direction than rather the beauty of the design. I need my product to be directed for the user and help them to simplify the way they use the method so they can get the best use of the application for their everyday need. Possibly looking at this as an aid as well as the opportunity to give simple CBT techniques for when times can be very stressful and find the motivation to progress.
From last week’s crit talk, I got some really useful feedback on my concept development, and reflecting on what was said in my direction was really positive and gave me the direction I need to achieve in my product.
Week 8 Critical Feedback
- What is successful about this project?
- Good range of references and research – surprised/shocked only one counseling service
- Huge room to play about with the type functionality aspect i.e. how important typefaces are to read on paper / digital platforms
- The personal connection is a very strong way to build on this project
- Agree with the community – people can share experiences, self-help, feel like they are not alone
- Personal experience – perfect to understand the problem
- Super important project and linking to your personal experience is vital
- Love everything about this project. I prefer the idea of an app more than wearable – there could be two directions on the app whether it’s for you (tools to help) or for someone else (education piece)
- Love the app idea!
What could be improved and how could it be improved?
- Could the use of illustrations be a good way to tackle the text issues?
- Develop an app. I don’t think there are many out there.
- Something to help people know what to do if they think they have it
- Deffo use an app to focus on community and counseling, it’s about supporting adults
- Real personal and well thought out, very raw, and something I feel I would use.
- Could you break the support down into sections e.g. at work, friends and family, shopping/restaurants?
What help/references/advice could you offer?
Hey Paul, great presentation mate. It’s clearly a subject close to your heart and that came across really well. I think that you need to take a moment now that you’ve pulled everything together to think critically about what your findings are telling you. Ask yourself, now that you know what you know – how you can design something that meaningfully improves life for the dyslexic community? The point you made about there only being one dyslexia-focused support service in the UK screamed out to me as being the most important issue. There’s clearly a lack of available support and you have the opportunity to fill that gap in the market really well with what you make. I’d focus now on how you can make use of the various tools that have already been developed to help dyslexics (specific dyslexia-friendly fonts, coloured screens/paper, specific ways of working for example) to create a space that dyslexic people can support each other, get information about their condition and vent their frustrations. If you can successfully create something like an app or a website that achieves these things I think you’ll be on to a winner.
Not dyslexia but saw a link with feelings
- Breeze is a nice app that’s quite similar.
It’s clear I have a lot of evidence to help with my direction and getting user research is key to get a better understanding of what I can achieve with this concept. As Callum pointed out through the crit that I should really focus on an application to can give on-demand support that clearly shows in my research. According to my research, I discovered there is only one counseling service in the country that deals with the mental wellbeing of people with Dyslexia and having an application that can help with simple CBT methods, tools, and a support network can really benefit people and create a conversation about their experiences, which is what I chose to focus on in my strategic plan at the beginning.
My Chosen Design Concept
Application on the go with the essential tools to cope with your everyday challenge
The research behind design thinking for Mental Wellbeing Apps
This research on Designing Mindfulness written by Rohan Gunatillake has a few great pointers in designing mindful apps that are created around principles to develop for the people. Rohan’s work shows a very strategic method in his approach with principles in mind to designing mindfulness apps and argues the point that people see technology as a distraction and can be more harmful than good for anyone leading to the digital fashion of detoxing from mobile devices. We need to learn about how to use apps and our devices more mindfully and it’s the idea of digital detox and mindful use of technology is to blame the user as the problem. He completely disagrees with this factor and points out ‘ They imply that all the technology we use are broadly neutral and if we are addicted to them or they are causing us anxiety then that is our fault. This is simply not true.’ This goes back to my previous research on Timothy Prestero, Design for People, Not Awards when he talks about there’s no such thing as a dumb user, but a dumb product and we need to research and fix the issue in service we provide in the product.
I really enjoyed reading this article with the principles he sets out in mind are very original and targets the impact a mindfulness app should apply. This research will give me a great direction in solving my own outcome and future projects for service design even if it isn’t an app that I’m creating. With this in mind, it led me to other new knowledge n the manifesto that created by Rohan called Designing Mindfulness with more detail in the principles to be aware of for an app that can help peoples wellbeing and also the government guidelines on design system service that advise you about design patterns that are evidence-based solutions to common design problems. This shows some interesting evidence in the research and experience of other service teams and avoids repeating work that’s already been done. Hopefully, this research can further my knowledge in my direction to creating a well establish app for the wellbeing of those with Dyslexia.
Additional reading material:
Relevant Company and Project that may help towards my outcome
The Buddhify app is a great example of an application I would love to achieve with my project. It’s something that’s been built passionately, but its service design is very strong and successful for people to use. Very simple and easy to navigate on-the-go mobile meditation for people not to be addicted through this therapy, but happy to use on a daily basis to create those moments of self-reflection and coping with their busy lifestyles. Plus this project has been improving and changing throughout its development to its launch and still things are being changed, due to feedback and research in making a positive application that’s a service for the people.
The guys working on the Buddhify app are the founders of Mindfulness Everywhere (Rohan Gunatillake) who came up with this great app. They also have other products within the field of Mental Wellbeing, but also work on many other projects for their business.
I have developed my concept development over the last couple of weeks and here are a few sketches and notes to my development in putting my ideas straight onto the paper, far away from the computer so I can think a little clearer.