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Overview

Our research study focused on building a tool to support people to manage bipolar disorder by using image-making and data visualization as a form of social interaction. We aimed to create a meaningful association of their experiences with visualizations. By adopting a co-design method of design research to ground our understanding of the practices, experiences, and tensions of personal health data of the population.  

Our aim was to create a way for people to reflect on their experiences, communicate with their caregivers, and help them open a conversation with their family and friends about their mental health.

Soundscape

Prototype Building

I along with my teammates went through a rapid 5-days design sprint immersing ourselves in the process from research, and ideation to concept testing and designing.

 

Our prompt was to design for urban accessibility. We worked to rethink and redesign how interactive maps/tools can support people with disabilities to navigate, explore, and understand cities.

Urban accessibility is a wicked problem involving multiple stakeholders with varying and potentially conflicting priorities and perspectives, including people with mobility disabilities, caregivers, policy makers, disability advocates, transit department officials, ADA coordinators, civil engineering surveyors, etc.

Overview

Our research study focused on building a tool to support people to manage bipolar disorder by using image-making and data visualization as a form of social interaction. We aimed to create a meaningful association of their experiences with visualizations. By adopting a co-design method of design research to ground our understanding of the practices, experiences, and tensions of personal health data of the population.  

Our aim was to create a way for people to reflect on their experiences, communicate with their caregivers, and help them open a conversation with their family and friends about their mental health.

Timeline:

5 day (Design Sprint)

Team:

2 Researchers 

2 Designers

Role: Full Stack Design Researcher

Contributions

  • Perform user and background research to identify needs and opportunities. 

  • Analyze data to inform and generate design concepts.

  • Downselect and prototype the most promising solutions.

  • Evaluate and iterate based on critique and lightweight user study methods.

Research Objective

What are the enablers and barriers in an urban sound landscape for a highly sensitive individual?

Location: U-District, Seattle

University-District, known more commonly as ​U-District. Is a lively part of Seattle close to the University of Washington, Seattle Campus filled with college students and young adults. The neighborhood is home to, "The Ave", a street most famous for its innumerable restaurants and boba shops is always hustling and bustling with people.  

Notes from the Field 

Bipolar disorder(BD) is a Serious Mental Illness (SMI) characterized by severe and unpredictable mood swings(i.e., episodes of depression, mania, hypomania, and mixed states). People managing BD experience heavy mood swings and energy flux that can be difficult to control. 

While there are prescribed medications and therapies for bipolar disorder, self-managing bipolar disorder is essential. This involves documenting behaviors and daily patterns of sleep, exercise, and social interactions. Self-management involves not just self-reporting but also evaluating and recognizing shifts in your pattern that might happen. This requires a very personal and deep understanding of factors and its impact on oneself.

Experiences with bipolar disorder are classified into three types, based on the changes in mood, energy and activity levels.

  • Bipolar 1 Disorder: Person experiences sever manic episodes that last longer than their often, shorter and milder depressive episodes. 

  • ​Bipolar 2 Disorder: Person experiences a sever pattern of depressive episodes and hypomanic episodes but not sever manic episodes. ​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​

  • ​Cyclothymia: Person experiences hypomanic as well as depressive periods that each last a long period of time. When a person goes through these in short periods of times, it's called rapid cycling. ​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​

Primary Research

Contextual Inquiry

After understanding the possible triggers and impacts of exposure to an extreme sensory experience for our participants. We walked through the U-District, including the Ave, 15th Ave, and perpendicular streets on a busy Thursday evening. 

The goal of this activity was to observe possible auditory and visual triggers on the street.

What I learned

  1. Research is constraint by time and budget

  2. ​Research is sensitive​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​

Noise Disturbance can be temporal or long termed

Road under repair can be a unexpected but temporary but building construction is predictable but long term.

Observations/ Synthesis

Notes From the Field

After understanding the possible triggers and impacts of exposure to an extreme sensory experience for our participants. We walked through the U-District, including the Ave, 15th Ave, and perpendicular streets on a busy Thursday evening. 

The goal of this activity was to observe possible auditory and visual triggers on the street.

Noise Disturbance can be temporal or long termed

Road under repair can be a unexpected but temporary but building construction is predictable but long term.

Road under repair can be a unexpected but temporary but building construction is predictable but long term.

Noise Disturbance can be temporal or long termed

Road under repair can be a unexpected but temporary but building construction is predictable but long term.

© 2022 by Nikita Nerurkar. 

Education

Other Projects

Design, Technology & Social Innovation Workshop 2020

MIT India Initiative | 2020

Inchin Hackathon

Makers Asylum, Mumbai | 2020

Master of Human Computer Interaction and Design (MHCI+D)

University of Washington, Seattle

Bachelor of Technology in Electrical and Instrumentation Engineering

Birla Institute of Technology and Science(BITS), Pilani

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