As part of my bachelor in information studies, I completed the course “Design” in spring 2013. The focus of this course is not on developing a product, bur rather to reflect on the design process. Every year, the course has a theme, which acts as a constraint – that year the theme was “Communities of Need”. This meant, that we had to design a digital concept within a frame, where we should aim to add value to a group of users, who had some sort of special need.

Through a design approach founded in the scandinavian design tradition, we worked with methods founded in terms of, amongst others, Donald Schön, Participatory Design, Löwgren & Stolterman and Donald Norman. By applying fieldwork methods imported from anthropology we gradually framed and re-framed our concept through a number of iterations, including users in all aspects of the concept development.

Our work resulted in the concept myStory, to which we created an interactive prototype for an iPad application and a reflective report. The purpose of the app is to digitalize as well as mobilize the pedagogical term “social stories”, which was primitively used in the school we cooperated with. The pupils on this school have a range of mental challenges, to which these social stories help them remember what the deal is between the given pupil and teacher, regarding how to react, when an unmanageable situation occurs. The stories are outlined as sorts of comic book illustrations with small captions attached. Out prototype expands the ways this can be used, by making it more ‘fun’ to design these stories between pupil and teacher. We also added a styleable avatar to make the stories and feel of the app more personal and connected to the user.

For further information on either the design course or project, feel free to contact me. In case you seek in-depth information on the course, contact lecturer Peter Dalsgaard.

If you wish to see more of our design process you can do so by clicking this link. Also, the report is available for .pdf download here. Note, that both are in danish.