Thursday, March 24, 2011

DEGREE PROJECT | System Development + Interaction

Over the past several weeks, with Spring Break in the mix, I have began to heavily consider interaction and how the user might work through this system. Most of these thoughts began with revisiting the sitemap, looking at areas that overlap or have potential of being combined in addition to how the system breaks down. From other areas developed such as using 'vitals' that are informed by the individual's physical exam as a driver for the system; making comparisons and prompting new results and improvement.

In developing this unique strategy I have presented the idea of utilizing 'friendly competition' as the driver for motivational appeal and pushing improvement in problematic areas of their personal health. With this idea I hope to develop social interaction as well, working with this competitive aspect and creating health awareness as an engaging topic through such an approach.

Developing the initial interaction began to give form to how each of these elements interact with the individual. Experimenting with what information is displayed, how it might be displayed, and what is communicated to the user.

At this point there are many different ideas beginning to surface and putting focus on interactive experiments should help to further streamline the interaction to better suite the individual with the main goal in mind. Aiming to empower the user through a non-evasive tool that give them the knowledge and power to positively effect their health and ultimately their lifestyle. However, with all of these ideas floating around it has been somewhat difficult in trying to slim them down to where they can have the most effectiveness.

I feel the structure will play a large role in how the system develops as I want to break free of the intimidation factor that most medical information carries; putting it in layman's terms that are easy to understand and easy to use.

After making some explorations of interactivity I found myself somewhat losing sight of the ultimate goal and how I am going to portray it in an engaging and dynamic way. Refocus began on the notion of taking advantage of and further facilitating the patient/doctor relationship; creating a unique strategy that takes advantage of this relationship. I am creating a platform to discuss, document, and create effective plans of action; it facilitates documentation and personal empowerment versus verbal discussion.

The essence of the project aims towards tracking, recording, and improving health through the duration of a year between physical exams; giving a personal platform provoking responsibility of one's health.

With this refocus I began to flesh out the elements of interaction at a more specific level as well as beginning to speculate with technology and the unique interactions it may provide.

– heart-rate monitor
– stress level indicator
– 'health number' – overall health
– barcode scanner / fruit stickers – food diary
– photograph – social sharing
– 'places' – check-in, local partners
– 'tag' – send challenges/trends to friends

Now that I have defined potential elements and their values I have started to wireframe interactive scenarios. With these scenarios I have taken into consideration offline needs that could be better facilitated by this platform, finding the ultimate goal of tracking and improving one's lifestyle.

goals Young adults take responsibility/action for their own health; facilitate empowerment.
Improve patient/doctor relationship; communication.

From these wireframes I pushed the idea a step further and have considered giving the medical information a backseat while the front-end is presented with challenges, and the ability to track and document. This approach gives a bit more simplicity to the system and takes a step in the right direction in regards to making the information less intimidating.

Track = follow progress throughout the year between exams & observe patterns through multiple years.
Document = ability to complete and store family history & document notes, questions and concerns for your next doctors visit.
Challenge = action plans to improve personal health and lifestyle.

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