OVERVIEW

 

Anxiety, depression, suicidal thoughts, attention deficit and hyperactivity disorders, loneliness, self-injury, and sleeping issues are common mental illnesses seen on college campuses, to name a few.

TEAM

Janet Dai

Katherine Smithroat

Joshua Morris

DATE

Sept, 2019 - Dec, 2019

DIH_edited.png

ROLE

  • ​Mainly contributed to user research, service blueprint and user interface.

  • Leaded concept definition, ideation, and helped in storytelling. 

DESIGN PROCESS

THE CHALLENGE

Anxiety, depression, suicidal thoughts, attention deficit and hyperactivity disorders, loneliness, self-injury, and sleeping issues are common mental illnesses seen on college campuses, to name a few.

How might we use the space in the restroom to develop strategies for stress management, create opportunities for student-run therapy, and/or decrease the sense of loneliness and isolation?

RESEARCH

Our users are college students so we focused more on students’ stress problems. We conducted a multi-methodology research effort to better understand how they manage their stress and what’s the connection between stress and the space in the restroom? Also, we tried to look for a better stress therapy for students from the professionals.

· What kind of stress do students usually have?

Students’ stress mainly comes from their studies, like exams and homework deadlines. However, it’s interesting that this kind of stress usually will relieve after deadlines.

#Graffiti Wall 

· How do students manage their stress?

Stay alone

Venting

Stay with close friends

Ask for advice

Take medicine

· What’s the relationship between stress and the space in the restroom?

Some students will stay in their own restroom for a long time when they are stressed.

However, most of them won’t go to the public restroom when they are stressed.

   The public restroom:

  • Dirty

  • Smells bad

  • Can be heard by others

  • Others are waiting outside

  • ...

Ideal Restroom

# Collage # Interview

Then...

We went to the Institute for Mental Health Research(IMHR) and the Counseling and Mental Health Center (CMHC) for more professional insights.

Students usually think stress is a negative thing and want to escape from it.

However, the best way to deal with stress is to challenge it or to think about it in a different way.

“Stress will not threaten your life. In fact, if you think about it in a different way, not negative, stress can also be a motivator.”

-- Annabelle Divita

   Clinic/Research Coordinator in Anxiety & Health Behaviors Lab

It takes just a little self-evaluation and a lot of courage exposing yourself to those fearful but otherwise safe situations, which you can work up to by asking yourself these three questions:

What is causing the stress?

Is it a false alarm?

What can I do to fix it?

If self-evaluation is inefficient, it's good to look for professional help, like CMHC. What's more, CMHC is free.

CMHC has spent a lot  on publicity. CMHC's flyers can be seen everywhere in schools.  But according to the staff there, there are still many students who do not know this good resource. At the same time, people think that going to CMHC is to admit that they have mental illness, so they will not actively seek help.

​Meet Marco

HOW MIGHT WE ...

- MAKE THE RESTROOM A BETTER PLACE TO DEAL WITH STRESS?

- HELP MARCO THINK ABOUT STRESS IN A DIFFERENT WAY?

IDEATION&PROTOTYPE

We found many opportunity areas based on the research. Then, our team decided to do several rounds of brainstorming. In a limited time, we generated large volumes of ideas. Our team voted for the three most interesting but also feasible ideas for the next round of exploration.

In order to test our ideas, we did the first round of prototyping. They were simple but they were enough to show our design looks and functions to users. We think it’s the quickest and cheapest way to learn (and to fail).

Our users gave us a lot of feedback to our prototype. However, the idea of FRUSTRATION PRINTER received the most positive comments and was also considered the most effective and interesting idea.  So we decided to launch a concrete design on this idea.

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DESIGN