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7-Design Week in Review

This past Friday I presented my final project concept to the class and received feedback that ultimately led me to change the direction of my project. While I started my focus on computer/human empathy, I eventually pivoted to look at the ways in which I could push the Tamagotchi design to see how it might be applied to mental health issues.

I began the week by storyboarding my concept and starting some initial sketches, which can be found here and here!

In order to ensure that users felt that their anxiety was soothed by the experience, I made sure to stress that the experience was very much a personal one. By asking the user whether they are in fact anxious at the start, users can start interacting with their pet from a place of anxiety, or calm. Additionally, the items that users could choose from to soothe their pet are a mix of subjectively soothing mechanisms, and mechanisms based in empirical evidence. For example, deep breathing has proven to help many suffering from anxiety, but the smell of lavender may only help some people. It was also important to show that the chicken does move from anxious to calm through the users concrete actions. Though the chicken is visibly upset, the soothing tools always end up calming the chicken down. I wanted this to be evident by the ever-increasing ‘Calm Meter’ located at the bottom of the screen, coupled with the chicken changing over time from anxious to calm.

Over time I iterated on the final concept and was able to narrow down the tools that users could use to soothe clients, as well as hone the user experience.

By the end of the week I had a final prototype of the design, in addition to a solid concept that backed it.

Check out my website site here!

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