Wednesday, February 16, 2011

DEGREE PROJECT | Final Design Solution; Empowerment

Well after meeting with Chris, brainstorming and discussing many of the aspects of my project, I feel comfortable in saying that I have arrived at a design solution. This solution is a rather new consideration so additional research and a field audit will be necessary before defining a specific platform to work with whether it be web, interactive, applications, devices, etc.

The foundation of this concept is empowerment; giving young adults the tools so they know what to ask for in situations such as annual exams and in a way gives them the chance to formulate their exam as they know their body best. The goal is to give them guiding tools and indicator tests formulated in a way the draws intrigue and motive.  

The basics of this interactive system act as as visual tool that will allow young adults to document different aspects of their health, in an appealing way, which will allow us to know what 'normal' is. This is similar to how getting a new doctor works; you would meet with them for the first time and go through a physical exam so that baselines can be established, this idea puts that control in the hands of each individual. This not only allows for personal control and independence, but it also indirectly implies responsibility upon the individual. From here it appears this system would work perfectly, it is much like the unique stage of life for the young adult; individualistic, independent, responsible, etc. The big test here will be determining what gives young adults the feeling of control within the given context of the goal of this project.

Through testing I hope to uncover what it is that I can develop that will create the interactivity that the demographic will want to use, again going back to motive and intrigue.

Another challenge is going to be how to make this information appear and have the appeal of being 'brand-new' and owned by the young adult demographic. This demographic is also of such a unique age in technology; we have grasped hold of so many revolutionary platforms and we want more, something that is uniquely ours, something that our parents and grandparent don't or can't associate with, we own it.

So, as much as the annual physical exams were my focus up to this point, now they have become just a part of the system, in doing more research I hope to find more 'vitals' that will help contribute to the effort. In tandem with overall health and knowledge, family history can tie in quite nicely and serve as an interesting way to document that information; myself included, I am sure there are several of us who don't know the entirety of our family health history.

I envision as the project gains momentum and shows potential I am going to consider the possibility of gaining funding for production from either a grant-based organization or a partnership with local organizations whether they are tied to health care, insurance, non-profit, or college.

From here I plan to spend the remainder of the week searching for potential elements (3-4) that may lend themselves to this system and begin to test them with young adults to gain better insight as to how they are received. At this point in time I am also considering speculative technology as I feel if there was such a limitation it would only hinder the concept. Also, from here I hope to arrive at a platform for my design solution; whether it be an iPhone app or other personal device. 

At this point in time, I have found one incredible comparable, the Nike+ GPS platform that utilizes iPhone apps, remote sensors, iPods, and watches. They have created a way for people to interact, motivate, and challenge via fitness; the images and videos below say it is quite remarkable!

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