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InFrequencies Reaching out to the other 80 per cent

Bryce Tayleur


InFrequencies


InFrequencies

Preface This DVR booklet is a summary in full of my Industrial Design Honours Project, InFrequencies. This book contains the journey that was undertaken in getting this assignment from concept to a physical project, and the trials and tribulations along the way.


Acknowledgements Throughout my process I have engaged the input from many external parties, and so I have many people to thank for helping to bring this project to fruition. Firstly to my app designer and my potential future business partner, James Bertschik, your incredible contribution to this project is something that I cannot fully express my gratitude towards. For those sleepless nights and constant driving back and forth, I thank you so much. The energy and enthusiasm you brought to this project was simply outstanding. To Chris Martin, another potential future business partner — thank you for your contribution to the photography and filming of the project, not to mention your assistance during the construction phase and especially applying the graphics, my sincere thanks goes out to you for your massive contribution to this project. To Lexie, who assisted in the filming, food delivery and general positive morale — you’re a star! Many thanks. A massive thank you to Peter Santos from psbikes. Without your contribution of the Christiania bicycle I could never have achieved this project in the first place. Thank you so much for your generosity and patience. To Kath De Reus, my DVR graphical advisor, thank you so much for your guidance and the effort you have put in towards making this DVR a reality. To Madeline White, a constant source of compassion and levelheadedness who kept me going in the right direction for this project. Thank you so much for your endless support and being the one who had to hear all the frustrations along the way. I couldn’t have done it without you. To my sister, Caitlin, for being my taxi and somewhat personal assistant, I couldn’t have got here without you (literally). To my father, Chris, for the over-extended stay in your garage and for possibly ruining half of your tools — my apologies. Thank you for your construction advice, financial support and support for my prototype. To my mum, Karen, for editing this entire book (at short notice — any mistakes are fully my own), and also helping to financially and emotionally support me over this project. I wouldn’t be doing Industrial Design if it weren’t for you, and I thank you for that very opportunity to begin with. InFrequencies has been an extremely collaborative project, and such an exciting and vibrant one at that. I look forward to its potential future, and I hope I can share this journey with you all. To anyone else who I may have left out, thank you, thank you, thank you.


InFrequencies .....................................................................................................Page Chapter One — Establishing Context.....................................1 Self-reflection...........................................................................2 Setting the Tone...................................................................... 12 Chapter Two — Research..................................................... 25 Reflection of Research............................................................. 26 Project Statement.................................................................... 32 Research About Design........................................................... 39 Research For Design................................................................ 56 Research Through Design........................................................ 71 Chapter Three — Framing the Project.................................. 81 Designerley Project................................................................. 82 Ideation Matrix....................................................................... 83 Goal Setting........................................................................... 89 Proposing and Critiquing Projects.............................................. 91 How Will This Work?............................................................... 93 Project Description.................................................................. 97 Product Service System Approach............................................. 98 Chapter Four — The Service.............................................. 103 Introduction to Service.......................................................... 104 Day in the Life...................................................................... 105 Location Exploration.............................................................. 106 Personas.............................................................................. 111 RMIT Health Services............................................................ 142 Prevention Technology.......................................................... 146 Behavioural Change.............................................................. 148 Vicdeaf and Hear Service....................................................... 153 Chapter Five — The Products............................................. 159 What Are My Products?......................................................... 160 The Application.................................................................... 161 The Mobile Kiosk.................................................................. 172 Chapter Six — Prototyping................................................ 201 The Importance of Prototyping............................................... 202 The Application.................................................................... 203 The Mobile Kiosk.................................................................. 219 Chapter Seven — Conclusion............................................. 241 Infrequencies Conclusion....................................................... 242


InFrequencies

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Chapter 1

Establishing Context

Image 1.1 : Adjustable glasses for people living in developing countries


Chapter 1 Establishing Context

InFrequencies

Self Reflection Introduction In an attempt to define myself as a designer, it is crucial I define who I am as a person. We rarely take the time to step back from ourselves and assess where we have come from and where we are going; to examine our core values and the way they affect the way we live. What is it that sets me apart as an individual, and gives me a perspective that only I can see? In this piece I wish to talk about what has influenced me to become the person I am now, how my values and personal experiences influence my design practices, as well as assess my own design strengths and weaknesses.

“what is it that sets me apart as an individual, and gives me a perspective that only I can see?�

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Observing My Actions I am not comfortable writing about myself. I don’t handle compliments well, and I often deflect praise to others, or redirect attention to something I may have not done as well. I have struggled with this semester of self-reflection. After countless attempts at describing who I am in many short bios and a lengthy capability statement, I feel that I am less confident about who I perceive myself to be than when I first embarked on this journey. To be honest, I’m more interested in watching the people and world around me. I feel as though I have always been outwardly observant. Whether it was a change in the density of leaves in the liquid amber trees over my house, or the lengthening shadows that stretched across the horizon of my family’s farm, I have always noticed the subtleness of life. I could always tell when my mum was in a bad mood because she would rearrange the furniture or do the ironing with a certain vigour, and I could pick up on when my dad was in a good mood because of a particular way he would frown (which was different from his angry frown). Maybe it was a skill I developed in my early childhood. At Kallista Primary, most classes had an hour of most days with an activity labelled “free time,” where students were permitted to draw or make obscure things. I remember

walking into class every morning and scanning the box of materials for what I would use, spending most of my morning deciding what I could make and possibly not paying attention in class as I sketched out my creation. Sometimes my observational skills would backfire. One year I noticed that there was something different about the contents of the garage, and spotted a present (a bike) three days before Christmas. But most times these observational skills have assisted my creative side, adding attention to detail and difference to orientation that sets me apart as an individual. So when I think about what sets me apart as an individual, I think of a few key areas in my life. Areas where my observational skills have been acutely tuned to the social and technical workings of the immediate environment, and the influence this has had on me personally.

“whether it was a change in the density of leaves in the liquid amber trees over my house, or the lengthening shadows that stretch across the horizon of my family’s farm, I have always noticed the subtleness of life”

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Chapter 1 Establishing Context

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Chapter 1 Establishing Context

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Family, Friendship and Belonging Firstly, my family has been a huge influence on the person I am today and the values I possess. I have an incredibly close and supportive family, who collectively value compassion, honesty, empathy and acceptance. Individually, my father has given me the value of hard work, my mother has given me the value of humour and my younger sister has given me the value of adventure. However the most important value I have derived from my family life is the importance of friendship, with my family being a mixture of extended family and a close knit of family friends. Family friends that sourced from my kinder or school friends, neighbours and parents’ close friends. Having such a tight knit support group gives me a sense of belonging, and a certain confidence with my place in the world. The best example I can use to explain the importance of family, friendship and belonging is at my family’s farm over Easter. This involves an annual pilgrimage of a diverse range of people to a property belonging to our family located in Rupanyup, in north-western Victoria. On the property we have one house, one small shack, a couple of caravans, a games room (that usually sleeps all us kids) and plenty of tent space. During the day we collect wood for personal woodpiles or for the nightly bonfire,

work on the house, or play a bit of footy or cricket to pass the time. At night we have some amazing meals, sit around the bonfire on hardrubbish reject couches and watch the stars burn brightly in the cold dark sky. At times we have had up to 40 or 50 of our family and friends at the farm. The coming together of so many close people is something that influences me as a person greatly and gives me ideas of the world I want to create.

Image 1.2: Me , 3 years old, at the farm

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Chapter 1 Establishing Context

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Image 1.3: Myself at the age of 4..

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Chapter 1 Establishing Context

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Individual Experiences Secondly, I am influenced by the value of experience. To me, life is all about those unique reflective moments that make you feel inspired and energized about being alive. This could be an encounter with nature, like standing on the peak of a mountainous range looking down on the thousands of layers that make up an agricultural community, or sitting in a dusty fold out chair as the sun sets in the middle of the desert with the horizon as far away in every direction that you can see. Maybe it’s the interaction with something new, like a new electronic gadget that disguises its function or a new culture that invites you into a new way of existing.

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An example of this was a trip that I undertook in my high school years through a company called World Challenge. This trip was to Vietnam, and students were required to raise the individual fees (over $5000), team funding (for extra activities) and plan the entire monthlong trip. This was the first time I had been overseas, and I had no idea what to expect. The first thing I experienced stepping out of the airport was a complete cultural shock. A sensory overload of loud and busy noises, strong and distinct smells, and a sudden smack of humidity. Throughout the trip I experienced many of


Chapter 1 Establishing Context

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Image 1.4: Ha Long Bay, Vietnam.

those unique reflective moments I was talking about earlier. Whether it was during the rest we took upon a cliff face that overlooked the valley during a steamy jungle trek; or the moment before I jumped from the second storey balcony of our house boat into the pure turquoise water of Ha Long Bay; or a quiet moment at an orphanage our group worked at, watching my friends playing with children, laughing and chattering with excitement and enjoyment. These types of experiences influence greatly who I am, and strengthen the values I posses.

“these types of experiences influence greatly who I am, and strengthen the values I posses�

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Chapter 1 Establishing Context

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Image 1.5: Child transporting water using Hippo Rollers

Image 1.6: Using mud-packed clay pots to prevent spoiling food

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The Value of Design Finally, the influence that the act of design and creation have on my identity is paramount. As I mentioned earlier, I have always been interested in making things. I have always had a passion for creating something out of nothing, and getting people to use what I have created. It is no surprise to me that I have ended up studying design at a university level, and I indeed feel extremely lucky for the opportunities I have received that enabled me to do this. What inspires me most about design is not the technical side — not how something is made — but the influence it has on the people it is made for. Social innovation projects by designers can create affordable products with the ability to drag people out of poverty. A simple product that highlights the value of design is the Hippo Roller, essentially a plastic drum with a handle that enables the user to transport 90 litres of water at a time. This increases the amount of water transported in a single trip, and reduces the number of trips taken. The flow on affect means that the person fetching the water has more time to do other things,

such as pursuing education or employment opportunities. It also reduces health problems associated with carrying water by hand or balanced on the head, which often leads to spinal damage and deformity. To me, design isn’t about how sexy or sleek something looks, and it’s not about what it does for your social status. It’s about working with people to improve the way things are done, and the quality of life of those you affect.

Image 1.7: The life straw allows the drinking of potentially contaminated water that would be otherwise unsafe

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Chapter 1 Establishing Context

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Chapter 1 Establishing Context

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Image 1.8: Balsa lemon juicer was my first studio project

What are my skills? During my time at RMIT I have tried to maintain a balanced approach to my skill development, trying to be competent across a wide range of abilities and not pigeon-holed as being good at one thing. In the dynamic field of design it is too risky to specialise in only one skill in case that skill is superseded by another person or new technology. I personally see myself as a design facilitator. I know that I am good with people, and that I am able to listen to their needs and interpret this into design language. I feel as though this is my greatest strength, and am comfortable being the communicator between client and project. I have always been a socially confident person and value the exchange of ideas verbally rather than through dense text. I am a confident sketcher, able to communicate my ideas clearly on paper. I prefer using sketching to explore form and functional alterations, as well as brainstorming and documenting my ideas. This wasn’t always something I was good at, initially struggling with the way I sketched my ideas. But this is a skill I have worked hard on, and I am proud of the sketches I now produce. I am also confident in my CAD abilities. I have no problem taking an idea into Solidworks and manipulating it into a workable concept. I also have confidence in using these files for rapid prototyping, be it files for three-

dimensional printing or drawings for laser cutting. This is also a skill I struggled with early on in my studies, but I have worked hard to bring it up a more than acceptable level. By far one of my favourite skills is my interest in prototyping. I love the visual fabrication of ideas, and the ability to measure their effectiveness, gaining feedback to develop the concept further.

Image 1.9: Pieces laser cut for a game created for a studio project

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Chapter 1 Establishing Context

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Image 1.10: Hedgehog light made for a job interview with Mance Design

Personal Intentions My aim for this project is to create something that will showcase my values and my skills, creating a harmoniously-working design project reflective of who I am. I hope that the passion I bring to this project shines through in the presented elements of this final year, and that my ideas and thinking are communicated in a way that not only demands the audience’s attention, but also engages their imagination. I hope that compassion, empathy, hard work, humour and adventure are championed by this project. That it acknowledges our need as humans for a sense of belonging. That it encompasses those moments of unique experience that resonates with the audience emotionally. And that it demonstrates the true value that design has to offer.

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Chapter 1 Establishing Context

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Setting The Tone I came into the social and sustainable space reinvigorated and energized by my newly discovered appreciation for social design. My explorations of social innovation, coupled with a feeling of purpose and importance (and maybe a relaxing holiday period), saw me enter the classroom with an eagerness to get started on the most important project of my Industrial Design journey so far. But maybe I should mention how I got here to begin with…

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“...maybe I should mention how I got here to begin with...”


Social Innovation Halfway through last year I was suffering from a terrible design depression. I lacked motivation towards my design projects, a direction as to where I was going within the design world, and above all else, I lacked a greater purpose. I questioned if I wanted to spend the rest of my life designing shiny consumer products that would facilitate the richest percentage of the world’s population, who potentially don’t need anything at all. My anxiety only grew as it came time for us to consider our futures in the subject Design Methods, where we had to write about design methodologies related to a field we wished to pursue. I spent a lot of time listening to what my peers wanted to do. Some wanted to be transport designers, and design the next sexy model for Holden or Ford. Others wished to be furniture or lighting designers, passionate about creating elaborate sculptures made for sitting or lounging, or possibly no function at all. Some even wanted to move into the realm of sustainability, claiming that design was leading to the manufacture of too many pointless variations of the same product, and that they were (ironically) going to design a new product that didn’t do this. But nothing seemed worth doing to me. Nothing seemed to ease my anxiety for my desire for merit. I personally refused to design a project without a purpose that I deemed important enough to put my heart and soul into.

It was while I was pouring over the mountains of books I bought on Amazon.com about design discourse and movements that I made the biggest discovery of my university career to date. It was a book I had purchased out of random curiosity, with a glossy cover bearing an African woman crouching over a shallow river. With her yellow flower-patterned dress dipping beneath the water’s murky surface and a look of absolute concentration on her face, this woman sucked at a bright blue plastic cylinder tied around her neck, one end connected to her mouth and the other into the shallow stream. This blue cylinder (a personal water purifier which makes water safe to drink) was by no means the prettiest object I have ever seen, nor did it disguise any great complexity to its make-up as to hide the purpose of what it could do. But it appeared to be functionally effective, affordably acceptable to this woman, and most importantly, in my mind, it appeared to be potentially lifechanging. Below this image was the book’s title: Design For The Other 90%. This text opened my eyes to what is being done in design for those who live within relative poverty, particularly those living in developing nations. The book’s main author, Cynthia E. Smith, talks about the growing design movement towards socially responsible design practices. She highlights that the designers within this movement aim to work directly with the end-user to develop low cost technologies, promoting economic growth and a way out

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Chapter 1 Establishing Context

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Chapter 1 Establishing Context

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Image 1.11: Design for the other 90%, written by Cynthia E. Smith, was a text that inspired my desire to design for impact rather than myself

of poverty. Smith goes on to mention the UN Millennium Development goals, giving examples as to why these goals are set for 2015 and what is being done to achieve them. Contributors to the book such as Paul Polak (IDE), Amy Smith (MIT) and Martin Fisher (KickStarter) give examples of their ventures within the social innovation field and advocate for how design’s importance can help bring millions out of poverty and provide a better quality of life. They highlight how to cater to those who earn under $2 a day (the World Bank’s definition of poverty), pushing designers to design using affordable technologies and consider the existing skills of the user. All of the above-mentioned designers who provided input talked of the rise of the social enterprise, and the importance of moving away from handouts schemes and community projects that aim to cater to everyone. Martin Fisher states in the book that when you design for a community level, everybody owns the property, but nobody looks after it. He told horror stories of how he would leave a community brimming with positivity, only to revisit the same community twelve months later with their progress no where to be seen. The trick of social enterprise is to design for people on the smallest of wages to invest in their own future, and help themselves out of poverty. This creates a lasting effect to individuals who collectively build on the economic importance of their community, and creates a socially sustainable situation. Although their designs appeared simple, the complexity embedded within how they were delivered and how it would change

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the lives of the users were incredibly elegant and measured. With every turn of a page I would learn more and more of this incredibly exciting design field, and felt more and more inspired about design itself. To me design had suddenly moved away from the object, and had become about the user. All of a sudden I had direction, I had motivation, and I had purpose. Much of the research for my research methods topic involved exploring the issues


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Image 1.12: Peddle powered water pumps assist the disavantaged to irrigate the farmland without the need for electricity

that social innovation aims to address. Most examples aimed to improve the quality of life experienced by those living in or close to poverty, and increase the access to the basic necessities of human living. Basic necessities refer to everybody’s need for food, clean water and shelter, but also could encompass health, education and transport. It is reported that every year 6 million children die as a result of hunger [CARE: 2007], more than one billion people do not have access to safe drinking water, and more than 2 million deaths are caused by waterborne diseases [American Journal of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene; 2006]. On top of this more than

Image 1.13: Charcoal pressed by locals to create enterprise opportunities for the disadvantaged

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1 billion people worldwide live in inadequate housing, with more than 100 million living in conditions considered homeless [Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights; 2007]. Imagine what impact these statistics have economically to a developing community threatened by malnutrition or water scarcity. In rural Africa, women and children can spend 15 to 30 hours a week transporting water, firewood and produce, which all takes away from time that could be spent working for an income or education. It is also estimated that diseases such as malaria slow economic growth in sub-Saharan Africa by 1.3 % a year [World Bank; 2007].

I was blown away by the opportunities for design projects that I finally felt had merit and meaning. After being reinvigorated by texts like Design for the Other 90% and Emily Pilloton’s Design Revolution: 100 Products that empower people, I contemplated how I could become involved in this growing movement of design. I considered how I could sign up to volunteer overseas to gain insight into the lives of people experiencing poverty, or I could travel overseas to a developing nation and sink my teeth into any project I could get involved with. So why did I stay here in Australia?

Image 1.14: Charcoal Briquettes made by the locals of Haiti

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Aborigine (From the Beginning) As I continued researching, my attention turned to what is being done here in Australia with our own Indigenous community. Since the arrival of the British in 1788 there has been great injustice committed against the Indigenous people of Australia. European settlement saw Indigenous Australians dispossessed of their lands, and a decimation of their culture which led to marginalisation, racism, abuse and even murder of their people. One of the most notorious acts against Indigenous Australians is now known as the “Stolen Generation�. This was where the Australian state and federal governments forcibly removed Indigenous children from their parents and placed them into white-families or church-run institutions where they were to be culturally re-programmed [Our Own Back Yard; 2008]. Although the current government is attempting to address the imbalances created by

Image 1.15: Indigenous children are facing unspoken hardships

this social degradation, their current handling of child abuse in Indigenous communities suggests they still have a long way to go [Our Own Back Yard; 2008]. When they put into place a set of programs that essentially let the government take control of Indigenous communities (the Northern Territory Intervention Act), it was clear that there was little involvement of Indigenous people in the setting up and implementation of policies [Cultural Survival; 2010]. Not only did they undermine the land rights of local Aboriginal communities, their actions smacked of patriarchal patronisation. The treatment of Indigenous peoples since white man’s arrival to Australian shores has led to an imbalance of statistical indicators that are used as markers for quality of life standards. These indicators cover topics such as health, accommodation standards, educational measures, property ownership and crime rates.

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Chapter 1 Establishing Context

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Chapter 1 Establishing Context

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Health On average, Indigenous Australians have a life expectancy that is 17 years less than nonIndigenous Australians. The mortality rate of infants born to Indigenous mothers is twice the rate of those born to non-indigenous mothers, as well as birth weights being significantly lower. Indigenous peoples are also more likely to suffer and die from chronic diseases that are entirely preventable and virtually eliminated in nonIndigenous communities [Oxfam; 2011]. In the National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Social Survey (NATSISS 2002) it was discovered that 50% of the Indigenous population were daily tobacco smokers, nearly twice that of non-Indigenous Australians. This was the leading cause of disease in the Indigenous community and resulted in 20% of annual deaths. It was found that the second most prevalent cause of disease was obesity, with over 50% of the Indigenous population (those 15 years and over) considered overweight or obese. This accounted for 13% of deaths. Alcoholism accounts for 7% of all deaths, and rates of consumption are actually increasing, with spiked percentages evident in remote and rural townships. An unusual and unconventional indicator of health that came from the report was the evidence of petrol sniffing, which has been directly related to social problems such as violence, property damage and child abuse and neglect [Australian Bureau of Statistics; 2009].

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Image 1.16: Close the Gap day promotes Indigenous health awareness


Employment There are also discrepancies between incomes, where Indigenous Australians earn 62% of the rate of non-Indigenous people often doing similar jobs. There is also a correlation between remoteness, and lower incomes. Employment rates in 2006 were 57% of Indigenous people aged 15 – 65 employed, compared to 76% nonIndigenous of the same age bracket [Australian Bureau of Statistics; 2009]. Image 1.17: Issues surround Aboriginal employment

Housing Conditions Of the 166,668 Indigenous households identified in the 2006 Census, 34% were homeowners, 59% rented and the other 3% had other tenures. This comes down to less homes being available in remote areas, and other tenure arrangements being made. Numbers living in each identified Indigenous household are higher, with overcrowding a major problem. Also, the quality of housing comes in to question when you consider that 35% of Indigenous people live in housing that has structural damage, 31% of those in discrete Indigenous communities living in housing that needed major structural repair or replacement, with the worst conditions observed in remote Indigenous communities. The report also offers some insight into the living standards of these discrete Indigenous communities, and how 53% of supplied water was bore water (sourced from underground), 33% of these communities having some sort of sewage system, and 53% of the electricity supplied came from town generators, with 37% connected to the grid [Australian Bureau of Statistics; 2009].

Image 1.18: Housing in discrete Aboriginal communities is often compared to third world conditions.

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Chapter 1 Establishing Context

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Education Only a staggering 23% of Indigenous people above the age of 15 had completed a Year Twelve or equivalent standard of education, although this is on a steady rise. Non-Indigenous Australians are twice as likely to have a post-secondary non-school qualification, more than four times likely to have a Bachelor Degree or above, and twice as likely to have an Advanced Diploma or Diploma than Indigenous Australians [Australian Bureau of Statistics; 2009]. Image 1.19: These Aboriginal children were wrongly diagnosed as disabled, but were in fact partially deaf

Image 1.20: High rates of crime exist within discrete Aboriginal communities

Crime Rates Finally, Indigenous peoples made up 24% of the total prisoner population (as of June 30, 2008). In the juvenile justice system, 44 per 1,000 Indigenous youths were under juvenile supervision, while only 3 per 1,000 nonIndigenous juveniles were under the same supervision [Australian Bureau of Statistics; 2009].

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Conclusion To sum up this mass of statistics, it is clear that something is wrong. The situation is a complex tangle of social and cultural incorrectness, with the lack of understanding through dialogue and cultural differences between both groups only exacerbating the situation. Although Indigenous Australians aren’t classified as living in poverty by the World Bank’s definition, it is evident that the standard of living experienced by some discrete Indigenous communities rivals those, in many instances, of developing nations. How can there be such a difference between two cultures belonging to the same nation, especially when we are suppose to be “all in this together!” [Kevin Rudd; 2010]


How did we get hear? So back to coming into this social and sustainable space being reinvigorated and energized. I knew that I wanted to do a project on health within the Indigenous community of Australia because it would have flow on affects for education, employment and living conditions. I just didn’t know which health issue I would focus on. Finally, I decided upon the issue of hearing loss, not only because it was prevalent within the Indigenous community, but also because it was a health issue severely holding back the flow on affects I desired to enhance through design. For most Aboriginal people, poor ear health begins in childhood. Up to 95% of Aboriginal children suffer from middle ear infections. Up to 75 to 80% of all Aboriginal children also suffer from otitis media (OM or glue ear) at least once by the age of five. These ear diseases reduces the ability of young students to understand and follow education, which flows on to poor employment and lower income, followed by lower living conditions and poorer health, and so the cycle continues. It found that 20% of aboriginal children in the Northern Territory suffer from the most severe form of ear disease, chronic draining ears or burst eardrums This is in stark contrast with Indigenous children in Nigeria (7.3%) and New Zealand's Maori children (4%).

Indigenous Australians are 10 times more likely to suffer from hearing diseases than nonIndigenous Australians. A staggering statistic I found was that a child with hearing loss is 4 times more susceptible to sexual abuse. Finally, 90% of Aboriginal inmates at Darwin Correctional Centre experience some form of hearing loss. In Alice Springs this is up to 95%. Clearly, from the figures I was able to find, and with consideration that we live in a welldeveloped nation, the situation is not acceptable. To me this is justification enough that this project is worth taking on and perusing.

“finally, I decided upon the issue of hearing loss, not only because it was prevalent within the Indigenous community, but also because it was a health issue severely holding back the flow on affects I desired to enhance through design�

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Chapter 1 Establishing Context

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Chapter 1 Establishing Context

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Tuning In The next step for me was to network with people who sat in the Indigenous space. Networking for a project was something I had never attempted before, and I was unsure where to start. Many of my emails to general sites like Oxfam or GenerationOne seemed to fall on deaf ears. I got my first break when I visited a local Aboriginal gallery on a whim. I walked up to the doors of the gallery and noticed a “closed” sign hanging on the handles. As I turned around, a car pulled up and a frazzled-looking man stepped out, a worn cardboard box under his arm. I approached this man and he invited me inside the gallery. This man’s name was Neil McLeod, a fine artist who had a particular interest in photography in Indigenous communities. He had actually been to Arnem land, attended many traditional rite of passage ceremonies, and had experienced life within a discrete Indigenous community. I spent a good hour and a half speaking to him about his life, a book he was writing on his Indigenous experiences, and looking around the gallery. Finally, he grabbed my sketchbook and wrote down a

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list of names with personal phone numbers and emails. To me this was probably the greatest research I had done on the subject in one session. This chance meeting had revealed a doorway to a world that, until now, had been closed and hidden to me. Another important person I managed to get in contact with was Russell Kennedy. Russell was the founder of an online site INDIGO — a design website aimed at collecting projects being done around the world with various Indigenous populations. I was interested in the fact that although this initiative had begun in Australia, in recent years most entries were from overseas.

Image 1.21: Neil McLeod is a fine artist and photographer from Melbourne who has had extensive exposure to the Aboriginal culture


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I contacted Russell by email and quizzed him about Indigo and his role, and how I could get involved. He called me almost immediately and we had a decent chat about my project, what direction I was going to take with it and what my intentions were, which to me was an inspiring and uplifting experience. He also emailed me with a list of contacts and helpful sites, and said that he would love to keep track of my project and possibly put it up on the INDIGO website when it was finished. The final major person I added to my research network was Naomi Furlong — a social worker doing her Masters with a community in far north Queensland. Naomi’s role is to support young people at risk of disengaging with school, which related to my project significantly. However, she told me how difficult it was to gain trust within the community, and suggested it was something that might take years to build up.

Image 1.22: Russell Kennedy, a prominent design figure in Melbourne, was responsible for the Indigenous design site INDIGO

Although these are just three people that were significant to my investigation towards my project; there were many more that I contacted through these contacts, or through my research. I thank everybody I spoke to for their times, input and patience. At mid-semester presentation, it was suggested that going into the Indigenous space, although commendable, may be too difficult to navigate. I was recommended to focus on the issue of hearing for the broader community, where I could still address Aboriginality in some regards, while also influencing many others. This is how my project became more about the greater issue of hearing.

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Chapter 1 Establishing Context

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Chapter 1 References Images: Image 1.1: Josh Silver;s adjustable eyewear, sourced on 17/3/2012 from http://static.guim.co.uk/sys-images/Guardian/Pix/pictures/2008/12/22/1229937437116/A-Zulu-man-wearing-adapti-001.jpg Image 1.2: Myself at the age of 3, own image Image 1.3: Myself at the age of 4, own image Image 1.4: Ha Long Bay, own image Image 1.5: Hippo Roller, sourced on 12/4/2012 from http://greenupgrader.com/files/2008/09/image150.jpg Image 1.6: Clay storage pot, sourced on 12/4/2012 from http://3.design-milk.com/images/2010/04/design-other-90-percent-2.jpg Image 1.7: Life Straw, sourced on 12/4/2012 from http://assets.knowledge.allianz.com/img/life_straw_1_12762.jpg Image 1.8: Balsa Lemon Juicer, own image Image 1.9: Laser cut game pieces, own image Image 1.10:Hedgehog Light made for Mance Design Interview, own image Image 1.11: Deign for the other 90%, sourced on 12/4/2012 from http://www.merage.org/getattachment/83b6b2a8-3eb0-4843-8108-2ed6f071ba1c/Developing-World-Design-Solutions---That-Address-E.aspx Image 1.12: KickStart pump, on 18/4/2012 sourced from http://www.globalpost.com/sites/default/files/imagecache/gp3_small_article/tanzania-kickstart-1-2011-5-18.jpg Image 1.13: MIT charcoal briquettes, sourced on18/4/2012 from http://www.geek.com/gearlog/images/amy-smith’s-brickette-maker.jpg Image 1.14: Charcoal briquettes made in Haiti, sourced on 18/4/2012 from http://assets.inhabitat.com/files/2010/01/Cooper-Hewitt-Sugarcane-Cha.jpg Image 1.15: Aboriginal kids, sourced on15/5/2012 from http://www.exposureproductions.com.au/wp-content/themes/exposureproductions/images/slider/4.jpg Image 1.16: Aboriginal Health, sourced on15/5/2012 from http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-BESEEO__M_U/T3lgG5QeQOI/AAAAAAAAAls/dqsCFvmHt5s/s1600/Oxfam.jpg Image 1.17: Aboriginal Employment, sourced on 15/5/2012 from http://www.abc.net.au/reslib/201002/r515429_2818243.jpg Image 1.18: Aboriginal housing, sourced on 15/5/2012 from http://resources3.news.com.au/images/2009/08/13/1225760/877051-aboriginal-housing-crisis.jpg Image 1.19: Aboriginal Education, sourced on 15/5/2012 from http://resources0.news.com.au/images/2009/08/17/1225762/715704-diagnosis-wrong-for-aboriginal-students.jpg Image 1.20: Aboriginal crime, sourced on 15/5/2012 from http://resources0.news.com.au/images/2012/06/07/1226388/125136-zaaheer-mckenzie.jpg Image 1.21: Neil McLeod, sourced on 17/5/2012 from http://www.neilmcleodfineart.com/images/2-07.jpg Image 1.22: Russel Kennedy, sourced 17/5/2012 from http://www.swinburne.edu.au/chancellery/mediacentre/images/content/Russell_Kennedy._Sitting_.jpg

Text: Smith, Cynthia E. 2007, Design for the Other 90%, Cooper-Hewitt, New York Pilloton, Emily 2009, 100 Products that empower people, Metropolis, New York Flinders University, In our own backyard, retrieved on 21/3/2012 http://www.flinders.edu.au/medicine/fms/sites/public_health/documents/Research/atsilocationhealth/InOurOwnBackyard-LR.pdf United Nations, UN Devleopment Reports: New Measures for an Evolving Reality, retrieved on 13/03/2012 from http://hdr.undp.org/en/mediacentre/summary/measures/ Australia Day Council of New South Wales (2011), Student Resources, retrieved on 07/4/2012 from http://www.australiaday.com.au/studentresources/indigenous.aspx Cultural Survival (2010), Aboriginal Australians–The State of Play, retrieved on 07/4/2012 from http://www.culturalsurvival.org/australia?gclid=CNb2rdCW6qsCFexU4godoh9Nsg Oxfam Australia (2011), Australia’s Indigenous Health Crisis In-depth, retrieved on 09/4/2012 from http://www.oxfam.org.au/explore/indigenous-australia/close-the-gap/australias-indigenous-health-crisis-in-depth Australian Bureau of Statistics (2009), Appendix 2: A statistical overview of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples in Australia (pp. 289-295), retrieved on 09/4/2012 from http://www.hreoc.gov.au/social_justice/sj_report/sjreport08/downloads/appendix2.pdf

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Chapter 2

Research

Image 2.1: Super ear experiment prototype


Chapter 2 Research

InFrequencies

Reflection of Research This section looks to explore the ways I have researched in my past formal studies, assessing my strengths and weaknesses in my investigation strategies. In doing so, I can propose using techniques I have previously found successful to use in my project, as well as explore new research tools that may be appropriate. I will draw on key texts for these research tools, and search for notable and related case studies to assess how I can implement my research appropriately. Thus, I will essentially propose how I intend to move forward with my project.

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Finding Depth I remember coming into the Industrial Design course in my first year and how different the expectations on research had become. Through my high schooling involvement with design I had become accustomed to doing a Google image search for some inspiration, and just going from there. Back then it was more about the replication of the existing, rather than the creation of the new. Coming into a university environment, it became hard to justify creating a design on the basis that it “looks good” or that it “functions well”. An element of depth needed to be added, with meaning embedded discretely and creatively. This is where I struggled early on in my design projects, with a short and regimented period given to design research. Typically I did one of two things that let my design down in some way. Situation one was that I ignored opportunities for research because they were too far out of my comfort zone to approach. Situation two was that I did so much textual research on what had already been achieved that I began ‘designing’ objects that already existed. Simultaneously, I had no direction towards my design, and no identity to my design process, and thus lacked an ability to design effectively. The instances where I did manage to do design research effectively often resulted in better projects, and more enjoyable ones at that. Things like immersion techniques helped me to understand (to a certain degree) the situation of navigating the city blind, or walking the Melbourne Museum through the eyes of a child. These kinds of techniques give a different

perspective than simply reading about such subject matter on e-journals or dense textbooks. Through my studies, I have been able to recognise the effectiveness that a multifaceted approach to research has on the design process.

“an element of depth needed to be added, with meaning embedded discretely and creatively” Something I have always tried to do in my research is focus on how it affects the user. Even before the mention of user-centred design, I was always interested in the way objects or systems affected the people they were deigned for. This is probably something that has pulled me towards the social side of design. Furthermore, I feel I am always able to identify the ‘gaps’, not only in the industry, but also in what my peers were doing. For many of my projects, a part of my research practice was discovering what everyone else was doing, and how I could position myself differently. However, I feel I am not as strong when it comes to organising the information I collect. I feel as though I need the ideas and knowledge I obtain during my research practices to be mapped out on paper in an attempt to step back and assess which components suit the design characteristics the best. I also recognise, particularly in this social and sustainable space, my work has to have a type of poetry to the way it is created and presented to the audience. It’s meaning has to sing harmoniously and proud.

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Chapter 2 Research

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My Intentions Of Research For This Project Initially, my project was aimed at the Indigenous community and addressing the high rate of hearing degradation prevalent within. The project inherently dealt with the sensitivity surrounding the Indigenous community of Australia, and so I felt as though I needed to build up as much of a base knowledge of the history of Aboriginal culture and its current situation as possible. I had textually explored Aboriginal history through books and Internet resources, but this could only take me so far. There was some controversy with me — a white person — coming into the Aboriginal design space. To me, this was both an intended and measured risk. My overall intention wasn’t to ‘help’ an Indigenous community improve their health standards or educational output, but to work with the users to discover ways they could actively improve things for themselves with the assistance of design thinking. This co-creation and focus on user-centred design are aspects of service design or product service system

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Image 2.2: This Is Service Design Thinking

design. Although I have now moved away from the Indigenous design space directly, I will most likely engage with research methodologies and tools from these sectors, proposing ways I might possibly employ them into my research practices The other side of this is that I now need to engage with the hearing impaired community. I need to begin mapping out by which means this system works, the major stakeholders within this system, and what products or services are available for those individuals experiencing hearing loss.

“my overall intention wasn’t to ‘help’ an Indigenous community improve their health standards or educational output, but to work with the users to discover ways they could actively improve things for themselves with the assistance of design thinking”


Mapping One aspect I wish to build confidence in is the use of mapping in organizing information that I gather. There are several maps important to service design that I think I could possibly use to identify who will be affected by my project, the needs and wants of the users, and my expectations of the project. One of the tools I want to use is a Stake Holder Map, which aims to visually capture the various groups within a system and track their involvement, as well as the interactions they have with other groups. This will involve drawing up a comprehensive list of stakeholders and identifying their interests and motivations in reference to the existing service. This is a good way to highlight where the system breaks down, and possible alterations that could be made. This may evolve into the use of Personas, establishing fictional profiles as a means of representing the stakeholder subgroups. I will need to be sensitive with these personas, as they will most likely be based on common traits gathered from my interview-based research. Another tool I may employ is the Customer Journey Map, which could be useful to visually describe scenarios, such as how the current system of support works for hearing impaired people. This activity is effective at identifying the touch points where the users interact with the service, and gives me an idea of how effective this service is and where the opportunities for creative input are. This may lead to creating an Expectation Map, which identifies the audience I suspect I will engage within my project. This too may be beneficial in identifying where the system breaks down.

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Chapter 2 Research

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Immersion and Understanding Another critical aspect to my design research is working with end users, using their knowledge to help create ideas and considering their skills and abilities when it comes to making or implementing these ides. Immersion techniques will also help give me a strong grounding when it comes to designing in the Indigenous space. One of the service design tools I want to utilize is Shadowing, where I could immerse myself in the lives of the people I wish to design for. This could help me discover the ethnographic characteristics of a particular social group; to gain a better understanding of how individuals within the group access available services and any problems they may experience with the system or products that may only be seen from the inside. If I am able to obtain this immersion experience, I would also conduct Contextual Interviews, which involves a combination of asking questions and making observations of the people within the context I am designing for. Combined with a technique called Storytelling/listening, this can help develop a more holistic approach to the overall context, which is something I feel is critical.

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Finally, I could stragically implement a range of Cultural Probes, which are tools used to discover more about the users. Cultural probes are things like diaries, disposable cameras, recording devices, or other means by which the participants engage with behavioural reflection. Provided it is done properly, this could deliver the intimate insight into the daily lives of hearing impaired people and those who already utilize hearing aids. Cultural probes are also noted at being effective in overcoming social boundaries and bringing a diverse range of people and their perspectives into the design process.


Making Research

Image 2.3: This Is Service Design Thinking Tools

Building on top of the research practices undertaken prior to this stage, this particular phase will be based on researching through doing. Tools such as creating Design Scenarios or Storyboards for particular concepts will help me map out how I intend my designed product or service to be utilized by the audience, and help discover if I have accounted for everyone. Another approach may be to build Service Prototypes that can be implemented to simulate the service or product experience, and measure it’s impact. This may involve setting up roleplay scenarios, observing the user’s active engagement with the prototype and its physical touch points, making adjustments where appropriate with the advice of the users.

Conclusion I want my research to be an on-going and collaborative experience, involving the end user throughout the entire experience. I want to gain as much feedback as possible from these end users, and create a project that has the potential to evoke change. Most of all, I want the human side of my design to shine, and that poetry and harmony to showcase its potential.

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Chapter 2 Research

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Project Statement Hidden Agendas Originally my project’s focus was on the health issues within Indigenous communities and how I could bridge the significant gap between Indigenous and non-Indigenous populations. The reason I wished to focus on health is because I believe that the flow on effects from the input of design into improving health conditions typically leads to improvements in areas such as education and employment. In short, these flow on effects improve the overall quality of life of the people who are affected, and to me that is the greatest power that design has to offer. I decided that hearing deficiency — a condition that plagues a large proportion of the entire Indigenous community — was a health issue I could attempt to tackle and, if successful, could have considerable benefits to the wider community. Through my research I discovered it was not clear why hearing deficiency impacted this particular group of people in such high numbers, but it was suggested that poor health conditions and awareness, particularly in remote communities, was one of the main contributing factors. My plans were to take time in our short break to travel to and immerse myself within a community, and use this experience to help enhance my design process.

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However, after months of research and networking within the Indigenous space, I realised that this goal was not realistically achievable in the timeframe we had to complete this project. The past practices of paternalistic ‘white man’ barging in and making changes, often without any input from the Indigenous community themselves, has led to major mistrust issues of white Australians within the greater Indigenous community. After pitching my initial project’s intentions to a professional who works as a social worker in a community in far north Queensland, I realised that this trust issue would be a major barrier to the project I thought I would have. This led me to step back from the Indigenous space, and forced me to look at the issue of hearing loss within the wider community.

“my plans were to take time in our short break to travel to and immerse myself within a community, and use this experience to help enhance my design process”


The Eighty Per Cent It is estimated that of the entire hearingimpaired population of the world, only twenty per cent actually access hearing aids. This led me to identify a new gap and discover how design can facilitate the other eighty per cent of hearing impaired people. According to the Brent Edwards paper, which I draw the twenty per cent/eighty per cent margins from, this means approximately 24 million hearing impaired people do not have hearing aids. This could be due to a number of factors. Firstly, the larger and more effective hearing aids are harder to hide, and have traditionally been slightly on the clumsy side of aesthetics. Trying to conceal these units by making them “skin colour” (as long as your skin is pink) had done nothing to remove the negative stigma and embarrassment for many users. While designs are improving, that stigma is still carried by users.

“this led me to identify a new gap and discover how design can facilitate the other eighty percent”

The second factor, or barrier to accessing hearing aids, is cost, with the more efficient units costing thousands of dollars to the user. Even units that aren’t top model can cost several thousand dollars, which is a lot of money to spend on a product which may not meet the user’s expectations. As I discovered through my research, cost is subsidised by the government

to a degree. However, it is a lengthy process of filling out forms and getting approval from many authorities — a process made difficult when communication is hindered by a potential user’s hearing loss. Subsidies are also only available for children under 18 and adults over 55. When I enquired about the effectiveness of the system that provides people with hearing aids, the audiologist I spoke to — Dr Michelle Pasinati — said that it was a fantastic system, but difficult to access by her predominately elderly market. Thirdly, discomfort and inconvenience that goes with wearing hearing aids is a factor that leads people to reject the idea of wearing their device, or even getting one in the first place. Depending on the device the user has determines the battery size, and therefore life of the battery. Hearing aid batteries can last between 3-5 days (for smaller units) and up to 2 weeks (for larger units such as BTE aids). This means a backup store of batteries is required, and should be on hand at all times. Furthermore, situations of feedback, particularly in smaller units where the microphone and battery are located so close together, can cause irritations for the user with random bursts of loud high pitch noise. Finally, it’s possible that a high percentage of people who need hearing correction are not aware that they do. Often hearing loss can be a slow process, happening over an extended period of time. It may take recognition from other people — such as noticing a lack of response or the need for high-volume on the television — before somewhere is aware of their hearing loss.

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Chapter 2 Research

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InFrequencies

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Have you heard about innovation? With my gap identified as the eighty per cent of hearing impaired who currently go without hearing aids, I potentially have a broad target audience to connect with. When considering my approach towards breaking this project down, I need to consider a few things I have drawn from class discussions. Firstly, is this project about technical innovation or social innovation? Or potentially both? It has been suggested through my research that hearing aids are potentially at their peak in terms of what functions can be built into them. Features like environment cancelling technology (which allows you to distinguish noise coming from a subject and cancel out the background noise), Bluetooth connectivity for phones and community centres (such as places of worship and theatres), and even remote controls to adjust functions without removing the aid its self are all presently available. I believe that we should never stop innovating the technology, and that much more could be done for the function of hearing aids. But I also concede that the functions available today should be enough to suffice the user and be incentive enough to use hearing aids, and therefore cannot be the major reason for the lack of hearing aid use identified by my gap. Maybe my project’s potential lies with social innovation — broadening the acceptance of hearing aids and modifying the way they are utilised to encourage a greater percentage of the hearing impaired community to use them. I believe I could do this by targeting various activities or social groups and encouraging occasional use. For example, a hearing impaired person may not wish to hear every sound all the time, and may actually wish to just use their hearing aid for specific tasks or activities, such as at work in meetings or watching the television

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at home. The key to this project is to identify and understand what is technologically possible and couple that with the needs of the users and how they would like to accept a hearing-enhancing device.

Research & Random Play My approach towards my project so far has been predominately on the technical research of how our hearing works, what current hearing aids are available, and how they are accessed. Along with this research I have also opted to take a hands-on approach and create some electronic listening devices with some basic electronics I was able to source. As an amateur to the electronics area, this process took a little longer than I expected and a lot of patience. However, once I got some units working, it was a rewarding experience. The electronic units I built were able to pick up higher and lower frequencies than we are used to hearing, and amplify the sound output. They were so effective that you could hear your fingertips brushing gently against you clothes, insignificant taps on the bench top and pin drops became large beams of steel falling against concrete. I experimented with these units, changing the number of microphones, as well as their positions by attaching them to various clothing accessories (gloves, glasses, and earmuffs). I also used them to have conversations with my family, watch television and play my guitar and piano. This random play led me to feel more propositional about my proposed project, and think not just about amplifying sound to make people hear at an adequate level, but potentially at a super human level.


The Gap The gap I am trying to address is the eighty per cent of people who currently experience some degree of hearing loss and do not

currently wear hearing aids.

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5%

5%

5%

5%

5%

5%

5%

5%

5%

5%

5%

5%

5%

5%

5%

5% My Agenda

My agenda is to tap into this market’s smaller sub-groups to help improve access and encourage use of hearing capabilities by users.

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InFrequencies

I will forget about the twenty percent facilitated by the current available system and distinguish new markets to tackle individually, taking into account existing technology and social attitudes towards hearing aids.

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Chapter 2 Research

My Approach


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My Artefact I will aim to produce prototypes for testing as cultural probes. This will be done in the second semester.

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Research About Design

“to get an insight and an overview of the subject matter I began my research phase through textual exploration about the greater issue of hearing”

Prior to this project I had given little consideration to the greater issue of hearing loss and how it affects people’s lives. I do not consider myself someone who experiences bad hearing, nor do I know someone who experiences severe hearing loss. This was a completely foreign world to my own, and I was beginning with an almost zero level of knowledge. This gave me an insight into what it’s like for users to want to discover more about their own hearing, or potentially explore their options for hearing aids. Something I needed to establish for myself was the basics of hearing, as well as the basics of hearing correction. To get an insight and an overview of the subject matter I began my research phase through textual exploration about the greater issue of hearing. In doing so, I hoped to consolidate a level of knowledge that would help me to take my research further.

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Chapter 2 Research

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The Mechanics of Hearing The ear is an incredible organ of our body that is able to translate sound vibrations into noise that our brains can understand. Unlike the senses of smell, taste and vision, which all involve chemical reactions, hearing is a completely mechanical process. Our hearing is so accurate, we are able to detect where sounds come from, how far away the source is and what it may be immediately. But how does this complex process happen?

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“unlike the senses of smell, taste and vision, which all involve chemical reactions, hearing is a completely mechanical process�


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What is sound?

“sound is produced by a vibrating object that creates a wave of pressure that fluctuates through matter�

For something to make a sound, it must vibrate in matter. Examples of matter could be solids, such as earth, liquids such as water, and gases such as air. Typically, we as humans hear sounds that move through the air. When something vibrates in this environment, it moves particles around it. If you think of a bell, when you strike its body it vibrates, meaning that it flexes in and out. When it flexes out, particles surrounding the bell are pushed away, bumping into the next particle like a stack of falling dominos. This is known as the act of compression. When the bell flexes away, the surrounding pressure drops and particles are sucked inwards in the same manner. This is known as rarefaction. So sound is produced by a vibrating object that creates a wave of pressure that fluctuates through matter. We hear sounds differently from different objects due to the sound wave frequency. A higher frequency wave is where the air pressure fluctuation switches back and forth at a faster rate, and we hear this as higher pitch. When there are fewer fluctuations, the pitch is lower. Finally the volume, or amplitude, of a sound is determined by the level of air pressure in each fluctuation.

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How does sound enter the ear? So we know that sound travels through the air as vibrations in air pressure. But how do these vibrations enter our ears? To hear sound, ears have to do three basic tasks: 1. Direct soundwaves deeper into the ear. 2. Sense the fluctuations in air pressure. 3. Translate these fluctuations into electrical impulses that our brains can understand. The outer ear, or the pinna, is used to capture sound vibrations. It is that part of the ear that is visual to us, pointing forward and is shaped with significant curves to help us determine where sounds are coming from. If a sound is coming from above or behind you, it will bounce of the pinna in a particular way, changing the way the sound wave hits the inner ear and the way the impulses are determined by the brain. Once the sound waves have been directed into the ear canal, they vibrate the tympanic membrane, otherwise known as the eardrum. The eardrum is a cone shaped piece of skin that is approximately 10 mm wide. The eardrum is positioned between the ear canal and the middle ear. Significantly, the middle ear is connected to the throat via the Eustachian tube, which means air pressure on either side of the eardrum remains equal. Importantly the eardrum is kept taught by the tensor tympani

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muscle, meaning that optimum sound impact is made. The compressions and rarefactions of sound waves push the drum back and forth. Higher-pitch sound waves move the drum more rapidly, and louder sound moves the drum a greater distance. The eardrum can also serve to protect the inner ear from prolonged exposure to loud, lowpitch noises. When the brain receives a signal that indicates this sort of noise, a reflex occurs at the eardrum. The tensor tympani muscle and the stapedius muscle suddenly contract, which pulls the eardrum and the connected bones in two different directions, so the drum becomes more rigid. When this happens, the ear does not pick up as much noise at the low end of the audible spectrum, so the loud noise is dampened. In addition to protecting the ear, this reflex helps you concentrate your hearing. It masks loud, low-pitch background noise so you can focus on higher-pitch sounds. Among other things, this helps you carry on a conversation when you're in a very noisy environment, like a rock concert. The reflex also kicks in whenever you start talking — otherwise, the sound of your own voice would drown out a lot of the other sounds around you. Amplification of sound waves happens within the ossicles, a group of tiny bones in


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Image 2.4: Cross-section illustration of human ears connecting to the brain

the middle ear. The ossicles is made up of the malleus (commonly called the hammer), the incus (commonly called the anvil) and the stapes (commonly called the stirrup). The malleus is connected to the center of the eardrum, on the inner side. When the eardrum vibrates, it moves the malleus from side to side like a lever. The other end of the malleus is connected to the incus, which is attached to the stapes. The other end of the stapes — its faceplate — rests against the cochlea. This allows sounds to be amplified 22 times that of which hits the eardrum.

Sounds then move onto the cochlea, which is a complex snail shell structure of thin membranes filled with fluid. It consists of three adjacent tubes the scala vestibuli, scala media and the basilar membrane, which are all coiled together. Positioned on the surface of the basilar membrane is the organ of corti, a structure containing between 20,000 and 30,000 hairlike fibers that are responsible for sending the translated electrical impulses to our brain via the cochlea nerve.

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The Audiologist What’s an Audiologist? An audiologist is the medical professional who specializes in hearing. They are qualified to test your level of hearing and can prescribe a hearing device based on the audiogram produced from test.

What are they testing for? The first thing to occur is a history check, with the audiologist obtaining information about the patient’s medical status, what sounds they are exposed to in their everyday life, and any physical damage that has been done to the ears. The next step is to explore the patient’s ears using an Otoscope (a cone-shaped instrument containing a light). This instrument helps the audiologist to look for any abnormalities in the ear canal or eardrum. The next step is to place the patient into a quiet room that is acoustically sound. The audiologist will then conduct a pure tone test on the patient, using a set of headphones to deliver random tones from an audiometer. Each ear is tested individually, with patients indicating when they can hear a tone by

Image 2.5: Audiologist checking for blockages

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“all the data collected during the testing will be presented in an audiogram”

raising their hand or pushing a button. The next test within the sound booth is the same test conducted by a bone conductor, which bypasses the middle ear completely and goes straight onto the cochlea. This helps the audiologist determine the type of hearing loss. The next step is to conduct a speech test, also to be conducted in the sound booth. The patient will be asked to repeat a series of words read to them at different pitches, allowing further analysis of the type of hearing the patient has. An optional test is the impedance test, conducted on the middle ear. The audiologist will insert a probe to into the middle ear that will increase and decrease air pressure, while at the same time presenting tones. Results are measured on a graph. Other related tests may be conducted if deemed suitable. All the data collected during the testing will be presented in an audiogram. The graph is filled with red O’s (right ear) and blue X’s (left ear). Marks at the top of the graph mean higher levels of hearing, while ones at the bottom typically denote lower levels. The audiologist can explain the implications of the test to the patient, and suggest the best assistance into the future depending on the results.

Images 2.6, 2.7, 2.8: Visit to Everyting Hearing Audiologist in Box Hill

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Types of hearing loss Conductive Hearing Loss This is when something blocks sound from entering the ear, typically a build up of earwax or fluid. This could be brought on by a cold, allergy or ear infection and certain injuries such as a punctured eardrum also cause conductive hearing loss. This kind of hearing loss is typically treatable with surgery or other medical procedures.

Presbycusis This type of hearing loss describes that which is brought on by the process of ageing. It refers to the overall loss of volume, and is often genetically inherited.

Sensorineural Hearing Loss This is typically permanent and medically non-treatable hearing loss. It often results in overall volume loss, a lowered ability to hear faint noises and a loss of clarity that can make it difficult to understand speech. It results from damage to the inner ear or the auditory nerve caused by diseases, birth defects and injuries, certain drugs, exposure to loud noise, viruses, head trauma, aging and tumors. There may also be a genetic component.

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Image 2.9: Having trouble hearing? Let’s explain the types of hearing loss

Other Situations Sometimes the causes of hearing loss are mixed and the patient has both a conductive hearing loss that may be treatable and a sensorineural loss that may not be. Sometimes hearing loss affects only one ear. This kind of unilateral hearing loss can affect both adults and children. It can be caused by abnormalities in the ear, illnesses or infections, skull fractures, excessive noise exposure and injury to the brain. It also runs in families and may have a genetic component in some people.


InFrequencies

“the most common cause is the over exposure to loud noises for extended and unsafe periods of time”

Image 2.10: Tinnitus can cause it’s sufferers ongoing frustration

Tinnitus is a hearing condition that causes sufferers to essentially hear ringing in their ears, even when sound is not present. This ringing sound can range in pitch, from very soft to very loud, and can be extremely painful and uncomfortable for the sufferer. The most common cause is the over exposure to loud noises for extended and unsafe periods of time. Other causes include head injuries, Meniere’s disease and tumours on the auditory nerve. Tinnitus is something that can be treated, but not managed. The treatments include sound therapy, where sound-canceling technology is used to counteract the Tinnitus sounds, or specialist medical treatment to alleviate pain. The best way to deal with Tinnitus is prevention. Taking actions to reduce your exposure to loud sounds for extended periods of time such as ear plugs or turning down your iPod can make big differences to your hearing and your quality of life, particularly later in life.

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What is Tinnitus?


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Hearing Aids Basic parts of a hearing aid 1. Microphone: picks up sound from the environment and converts it into an electrical signal, which it sends to an amplifier.

1 2

2. Microchip: stores and operates digital data

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3. Amplifier: increases the volume of the captured sound and sends it to a receiver. 4. Battery: provides power to the unit. 5. Receiver/speaker: changes the electrical signal back into sound and then sends it back into the ear to be converted by the brain.

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Image 2.11: Components of a BTE Hearing Aid

How are hearing aids made?

Image 2.12: Silicone moulds are taken of the user’s ear canal by an audiologist

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To begin with, an audiologist will make a silicone imprint of the patient’s ear. Once hardened, this is sent to the manufacturer to make the hearing aid. A silicone mould is made to fit the user’s ear, pouring acrylic into this mould and hardening. The next step is to drill holes for the features of the hearing aid (volume, power, etc.) and the electronic components are inserted. When all the components are inserted, the hearing aid is polished smooth and then analyzed to make sure it fits the user’s hearing prescription.


Types of hearing aids What’s the difference between analogue and digital?

VS.

Analogue hearing aids amplify sounds indiscriminately. This means all sounds are amplified, and can lead to overload for the user. Some analogue units are programmable, holding different settings for different situations. But due to being less sensitive compared to digital units, analogue is gradually being phased out. Digital hearing aids are superior to their analogue counterparts, but their technology means they are much more expensive. Digital hearing aids contain a computer chip, which analyses the sound based on the person’s hearing loss and listening situation, and then amplifies it in a way that accommodates for the volume and pitch of incoming sounds. It even adjusts for feedback. Like analog hearing aids, digital aids can be programmed for a variety of listening environments.

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In The Ear (ITE): this larger hearing aid works well for people with mild to severe hearing loss, fitting comfortably inside the ear. It is one of the most visual of styles, however the battery lasts longer than smaller units and can accommodate directional microphones.

In The Canal (ITC): The ITC hearing aid is only suitable for mild to moderate hearing loss. It is customized to fit inside the user’s ear canal, making it inconspicuous, but difficult to adjust and change the battery. Some come with a remote control to make changing the settings easier. Users sometimes experience feedback noise with this type of hearing aid because the microphone and receiver sit close together.

Completely In The Canal (CIC): this hearing aid is also appropriate for mild to moderate hearing loss. This unit is even smaller than ITC units, to the point where the user must pull on a small wire to remove it from the ear. It is barely visible, but again this makes it difficult to adjust and use added features. It is also more expensive than other units.

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Behind The Ear (BTE): This is one of the most versatile options, able to help with mild to profound hearing loss. The electronics are located within a case that sits just behind the ear, and a flexible plastic tube connects to the inside of the ear via an ear mould on the end. Sound travels from the ear mould into the ear. This unit is easily adjustable, which makes it ideal to accommodate for progressive hearing loss, as well as growth, making it ideal for children. Its size makes it very visible, and feedback can occur if not fitted correctly.

Cochlear Implants: These hearing devices aid people with more severe hearing loss. They work by bypassing the ear and sending the electrical signals straight to the auditor nerve. They are often coupled with traditional hearing aids to help enhance the degree of hearing available. It is made up of two main systems: an external system and an internal system. The external system is composed of the microphone, a sound processor and a transmitter. The internal system features a receiver and an electrode.

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Bone-anchored Hearing Aids (baha): these units bypass the normal hearing process to help people with severe sensorineural, conductive or mixed hearing loss who can't be helped by regular hearing aids. Instead of merely amplifying sound, these surgically implanted devices attach to the bones in the middle ear. Bypassing the auditory canal and middle ear, baha hearing aids create vibrations in the skull and transmit those vibrations directly to the cochlea through a process called direct bone conduction. Images 2.13 - 2.18: Variations of hearing aids commonly availble to users

Additional functions for hearing aids Directional microphone: this allows you to hear sounds directly in front of you more clearly than sounds behind you and to the sides, so that you can focus on conversations without worrying about annoying background noise. This can only be done on larger units.

Telecoil: this feature allows you to switch your hearing aid to the “T” setting in order to filter out environmental sounds when your on the phone. Many theatres, places of worship and auditoriums have induction-loop systems, which will also work with your hearing aid's “T” setting.

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Image 2.19: Additional features may be purchased for your hearing aids


Image 2.20: The Surround Sound

The Future of Hearing Aids The Surround Sound — created by the Industrial Facility — hijacks the popularity of glasses and incorporates hearing technology into the arms. The wearer will only hear sounds from their direction of view.

IDEO came up with the idea of linking a microphone to a conductive strip running around the edge of a table in a bar. Customers then buy inexpensive ear pieces from the bar so that they can converse in comfort.

Image 2.21: Futuristic concept by IDEO

Designed by Priestman Goode, the Decibel protects the user's ears in noisy environments while allowing certain sounds to get through — for example, a mobile phone, laptop or MP3 player.

Image 2.22: Decibel

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This device — by Tangerine allows the user to define their field of hearing — close range in a noisy bar or zoom when listening for something in the distance.

Image 2.23: Futuristic concept by Tangerine

The Aria is an attractive bracelet with a hidden function: it lets the wearer know when certain aural events are going on. The bracelet has little plastic nubs on the inside that rub against the wearer’s wrist to alert him or her to a ringing phone, a baby monitor, a doorbell, emergency sirens, an alarm clock, or a smoke alarm. Associated lights indicate which sound has activated the bracelet, letting the wearer direct his or her attention to the appropriate place. Image 2.24: The Aria bracelet

The thinking behind the Soundspace — designed by The Alloy — is to remove the need for an ear mould. It uses a unique mechanism to fit the product inside the ear. It incorporates sound amplification and connectivity to other devices.

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Image 2.25: The Soundspace


Image 2.26: Sensory video game controls

Bowers & Wilkins’ Stuart Nevill even suggested an advanced surround sound system utilising clever phased arrays using wave field synthesis or, “A wireless system that would have no effect on sound quality, 3D goggles to have a GUI in front of your eyes, incorporating a brain wave selection system.” NTT Docomo, a Japanese mobile company, has taken the first step in such a device. Demonstrating eye-controlled earphones, the technology features electrodes embedded into the headphones that use the charge between your retina and cornea to initiate a command. Look to the right and then left will trigger a request to play the track. While right and right again will skip a track.

Conversations are captured on two microphones, then the words are converted into real-life speech bubbles via embedded speech recognition software and projectors in the lenses.

Image 2.27: Conversation capturing glasses

The jewelry-style earpiece was designed by German firm DesignAffairs Studio and uses a wearer’s stretched earlobe piercings to hold the body of the hearing aid.

Image 2.28: Embedding hearing aids into user’s wearable jewelry

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Research For Design The next phase of my research involved investigating for the purpose of design itself. To me, this meant exploring the potential barriers to hearing aids, the actors within the hearing aid system, and under what conditions does our hearing deteriorate in the first place. It is hoped that the findings from this research can be used to help position myself moving forward with my project, understand more about the subject that is hearing, and help find links to further research for my project. I hope that my research for design helps to uncover problems and issues that I could address through a design project.

“exploring the potential barriers to hearing aids, the actors within the hearing aid system, and under what conditions does our hearing deteriorate in the first place�

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What’s Going On? So I have looked into the types of hearing aids available, and I have explored the role of the audiologist. I haven even researched how users can be fitted for hearing aids. But how does this system work, and how does it vary depending on our age or potentially other factors? To determine this, I conducted text-based research as well as contextual interviews and field research to ascertain as best I could how the process of getting a hearing aid works. I visited two separate audiologists to understand how someone applies for a hearing aid, what they go through to gain one, and what happens after they have been fitted. This is how I found out about the government assistance that certain age or social groups can apply for. I spoke to both Michelle Pasinati from Audio Logic Hearing Services and Kaushalya Namasivayam from Everything Hearing, both audiologists in their respective practices. In one of my interviews, which was with Everything Hearing, I was also introduced to the soundproof room that their audiologists used to complete hearing tests. Both praised the concept of the existing system, but acknowledged the way that it worked wasn’t working as efficient as possible.

Image 2.29: Mobile soundproof booth

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Images 2.30, 2.31 & 2.32: Testing facilities within one of Everything Hearing’s soundproof testing rooms

Image 2.33: Information supplied by Everything Hearing, including a range of brochures and hearing aid products

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Delivers a service around assisting with or correcting hearing of patients Determines functionality of products and medical appropriateness + sets up a reputation of quality and satisfaction rates

Manufactures hearing aids for a particular client market to make a profit

Provides general health services

Refers patients to

Delivers a hearing aid service that is only reaching 20% of potential users

Determine aesthetic image of products + cost considerations

Determine level of hearing assistance or correction through Goes to consultation unaware of

other services

Has some degree of hearing deficiency Notifies person of concerns about hearing

This Venn diagram illustrates the major stakeholders within the hearing aid system and how they interact with each other. I made this diagram in an attempt to determine the key roles of those involved within the system, how they potentially rely on other stakeholders, and draw conclusions on why they are only reaching twenty per cent of the potential market. To me it seems a number of factors need to fall into place in order for someone to obtain hearing aids in the first place, let alone continue to use them. If one of these interactions breaks down, it has the potential to bring down the whole system and discourage use.

Notices hearing problems with this person’s hearing

Image 2.34: How I perceive the overall hearing system works

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The Paradox Of Choice In 2004, American psychologist Barry Swartz published a book titled The Paradox of Choice: Why More is Less, in which he argues that eliminating or minimizing consumer choices can greatly reduce anxiety for shoppers. In regards to the hearing aid market, this could prove to be a decisive strategy. Through my research, I have explored the main hearing aid brands that are recommended within the Australia,

and have found that although is a lot of choice, it all appears a bit similar. Obviously brands could be separated by quality and price, but overwhelming choice may be too much for some potential users to handle. Could having too much choice be one of the contributing factors that prevents some of the eighty per cent from using hearing aids?

Image 2.35: Range of Bernafon hearing aids and logo

Image 2.36: Range of GN ReSound hearing aids and logo

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Image 2.37: The range of Oticon hearing aids and logo

Image 2.38: A Phonak hearing aid and logo

Image 2.39: The range of Siemens hearing aids and logo

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Image 2.40: The range of Starkey hearing aids and logo

Image 2.41: The range of Unitron hearing aids and logo

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Image 2.43: This range of Widex hearing aids and logo


Similar to the overwhelming choice in hearing aids, choosing a company who is associated with increasing awareness and accessibility might be difficult due to the overwhelming number of choices. In particular, individuals need to know what they are looking for when searching for information, and this is often unrealistic. Could the confusion caused by assistance choice be a hindrance to hearing aids for the eighty per cent? Here is a snapshot of the potential hearing related companies that I found in a short Internet search.

http://www.audiology.asn.au/

http://www.hearing.com.au

http://www.health.gov.au/hear

http://www.hearlink.com.au/

http://hearingpro.rtrk.com.au

http://www.valuehearing.com.au/ http://www.vicdeaf.com.au/

http://www.betterhearingaustralia.org.au/

Image 2.43 - 2.50: Cross section of hearing related organisations

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Finally, here is a snapshot of brochures and pamphlets that I obtained from just one of the audiologists I visited. This only further reinforces the fact that the information is out there, but the amount and the way it is presented possibly creates information overload for potential users.

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Image 2.51: Assorted hearing related brochures


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Could the potential lengthy process of obtaining a hearing aid be the reason for such a low uptake? Obtaining a hearing aid isn’t like going out to the shops and getting a new flat screen TV or washing machine. It involves a number of consultations, including time for manufacture and configuration of your personal prescription. This is an example of the process from Hearing Studio, an Australian-based practice with locations in Melbourne and Sydney. They preach a “four step” program, however it is far more complex than simply four steps.

APPOINTMENT 1: TESTS, EXPLANATION, OPTIONS DISCUSSION, PRESCRIPTION When you arrive we'll ask you to complete a registration form and you'll be seen by a Clinical Audiologist to understand how we might help find a solution. If you do not have a copy of a recent test, then; 1. We'll conduct a hearing examination and explain the results clearly 2. Use sound simulations, large screen and video equipment and tools 3. Discuss all treatment options 4. Identify the most suitable products and explain why 5. If you wish to trial hearing technology, we can take impressions of your ears Or, you can take a lot of relevant information away to consider in your own time.

APPOINTMENT 2: FITTING, VERIFICATION, VALIDATION, CARE & MAINTENANCE 6. The devices will be fitted to ensure they're comfortable and sound great 7. While you watch on the big screen, we program and verify, validate and match your specific ear anatomy, your hearing loss and your personal listening preferences to the response of the hearing aids. Our solutions are entirely bespoke from start to finish! 8. We will demonstrate the noise reduction technology and music enhancement in our calibrated surround sound-field consultation room giving you confidence in the technology. Then pay on your way out and trial them at home.

APPOINTMENT 3 & 4: FINE-TUNING, ADJUSTMENT, OPTIMISATION, TRAINING After your initial acclimatization week, we are ready to begin optimizing the devices, getting them working harder to make speech clearer and easier in more complex settings. Over two appointments, a week apart, we work with you closely to design for peak performance. Should you find this is not the case, you can choose to receive 100% of your money back on the devices or exchange that value into a second trial option. However, most people find they're happy with the solution we first recommend and understand how to get the best from them. Others would like or require Auditory Training, whereby we deliver web-based listening exercises to help stimulate and "re-wire" their hearing system. The hearing aids by now deliver an optimized acoustic scene, but the brain may need these training exercises to process that new acoustic input so that noise and sounds turn into meaningful messages.

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Problems in the Process


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You recognise you have some problems with your hearing Go to an audiologist

Have a hearing tests

Need hearing aids

Don’t go to an audiologist

Don’t have a hearing tests

Don’t need hearing aids

Qualify for government assitance

Choose a device that suits you

Get fitted with a device that suits your needs

Don’t qualify for government assitance

Choose a device that you can afford

Get fitted with a device that suits some of your needs

Doesnt get hearing aids

Get fitted with a device that doen’t really suit your needs

Having usability issues with device

Resolve issues with audiologist Satisfied with device and continue to use

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Doesnt resolve issues with audiologist Not satisfied with device and cease to use

Image 2.52: Actions towards getting or not getting a hearing aid


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Why is there such a gap between the amount of people who do and do not use hearing aids? Where does this system have the potential to break down and what factors are most significantly responsible for its failure?

Cost Hearing aids are expensive. Although the government subsidises certain ages for hearing aids, the majority of those with hearing lose are not subsidised. There are also additional costs such as seeing the audiologist and being tested for hearing aids. Then there is buying batteries, servicing, and upgrading to a new unit, which is just as expensive. The better models with less usability issues are much more expensive.

Discomfort & Usability Issues Hearing aids are notorious for the usability issues. Feedback sounds and whistling, trouble communicating in crowded spaces, and fiddling with tiny settings makes for an undesirable product. It often means that people who have them end up turning them off or not wearing them at all. It also means that usability issues experienced by people spread socially to potential customers, who are discouraged by such news.

Lack of Awareness Some people may be unaware of their hearing loss or the perceived benefits they could gain by wearing hearing aids. They may not understand the system of how to get hearing aids, or even how to use their own hearing aid properly.

Lack of Access Some people are faced with financial or geographical boundaries that inhibit their access to the system. If you are living in a remote or rural community or in significant poverty, it is difficult to get an audiologist to set your “hearing prescription� for a pair of hearing aids?

Stigma Hearing aids have traditionally attracted a negative stigma due to a bulky, unattractive design. There are currently smaller, more aesthetically pleasing pieces on the market, but you need to have done your research to find them. Would-be users often experience embarrassment, due to their socioeconomic status, an inability to afford the hardware, or their age, feeling they are too young to be wearing such a device.

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What Should We Know About Hearing? When it comes to breaking through these barriers, I believe knowledge to be an important factor to help drive positive change in people’s behaviour. So what are the basic things we should know about the sounds we listen to and how they have the potential to damage our hearing? And how can knowing these basics help users access information such a prevention techniques? Something I want to look at is how loud is too loud? What is the comparison between sounds? And how long can we listen to certain sounds before we experience permanent damage? The next few terms could be relevant to users trying to access and understand certain information. I have also made my own infographics to communicate how loud certain sounds are, as well as how long we can listen to certain sounds for.

What is a Tone? Tone refers to the particular sound being emitted at a given time. It typically is used to describe a single sound, though can be used to describe complex sounds that contain multiple tone.

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“when it comes to breaking through these barriers, I believe knowledge to be an important factor to help drive positive change in people’s behaviour”

What is a Decibel? A decibel (dB) is the unit used to measure sound intensity. For example, normal conversation is typically measured at 60 dB, where as a rock concert may be recorded at sounds higher than 120 dB. Humans can typically hear in a range from 0 dB to around about 140 dB.

What are Frequencies? An audio frequency describes the periodic vibration of a sound in relation to that which can be heard by humans. It is the property of sound that determines pitch, and is measured in hertz (Hz).


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Image 2.53: Comparitive Sound Levels

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2H o u rs

3 Ho

urs

9

B

15 Mins

s in 0M

5 10

B

Ho

100 d

3

dB

u r s

9

rs ou

6H

7 dB

o H

B

8

4H o

u r s

5 d

70

s r u

90 d

1

dB

11

11 5 d B

B 0d

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Image 2.54: How long is too long?


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The final phase of my initial research exploration was to learn through making. This is my preferred method of learning, as I feel I get more out of physical feedback and information that only comes from experiencing things first hand. This is also why I feel my contextual visits yielded great amounts of information, as it suits the way I research. In a bid to explore the functionality of hearing aids, and possibly create a product that I could use specialist environments such as for learning or social situations, I have decided to experiment building an electronic super ear. I am doing this to see how viable it is to create a product that addresses the barriers to hearing aids, such as cost and usability, in a do-ityourself setting.

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“this is my preferred method of learning, as I feel I get more out of physical feedback and information that only comes from experiencing things first hand�

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Image 2.55: Feature sketch of DIY low cost hearing aids

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This sketch depicts me isolating the various components I would need when creating a product that simulates the hearing aid experience. The concept revolved around using a pair of low cost headphones as the structure, and considering the parts that would sit around this. This sketch was made with direct consideration of the basic components of a hearing aid, which I described earlier.


Super Ear Prototype The next phase was to attempt a prototype and see what was possible in terms of my ideas to create a working cultural probe. This experience was my first as a far as electronics is concerned, and I initially struggled early. I invested in some gear (a small soldering iron and other bits and pieces), and some advice from Jaycar, and began building my first units. The working prototype I made was a hearing device that could pick up high frequency sounds and amplify them through a

pair of head phones. Using just one miniature microphone, a potentiometer for volume control and a three stage switch to choose different frequencies, I was able to create a prototype which was highly rewarding to me in terms of user feedback. With the device, the user was able to pick up noises they wouldn’t normally hear, which was a strange and rewarding experience. My next aim was to prototype different ways the electronic unit could be worn by the user.

Image 2.56: My electronic experiment, the Super Ear

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Image 2.57: Locations for microphones to be attached to spare items of clothing

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Once I finally had the device working, I explored how the microphones may be positioned on wearable pieces of clothing to discover how this possibly changed the result of the sounds being heard. My plan was to connect these microphones to a spare pair of earmuffs, protective goggles, gloves and anything I had lying around the house.


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Glasses The first item I chose to attach extra microphones to was a pair of construction glasses. This time I used two mics instead of one, and these were larger ones as‌

‌I was hoping to pick up more sound. They were positioned facing the same was as the user was looking, to connect sight to sound.

Images 2.58 - 2.66: Microphones connected to goggles

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Earmuffs I then decided that I wanted to pick up sound from all around me, so I attached 4 mics facing forward and back on a set of earmuffs. Unlike the glasses, which were pretty straight forward, the earmuffs gave a slightly larger range of sound. On top of this, they made me disorientated as I could hear many directional cues at on time.

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Images 2.61 - 2.63: Microphones connected to ear-muffs


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Images 2.64 - 2.66: Microphones connected to work gloves

Gloves The final prototype experiment I tried was attaching four mics to a glove, facing the direction of the fingers. This was an interesting experiment, giving the user the opportunity to point or gesture to capture sound.

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Conclusion of Research Through my various forms of research, it is clear to me that there is a great deal happening within the greater space of hearing. I have really only scraped the surface of this massive genre, and could easily research much more. I now need to use the information I have been able to uncover to create a design project that I hope will help to create positive social impact and promote sustainable practices and behaviour within the space of hearing loss prevention and correction. I should work with my identified gap, agenda, approach and artifact intentions to help frame this project, and also review the research I have completed and the important components I have identified throughout this process. While I can not and do not need to change the system, I believe I could help it run much better by connecting people to appropriate information where relevant. Instead of making the user responsible for accessing information, I aim to enable the user to access relevant information more easily.

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“I now need to use the information I have been able to uncover to create a design project that I hope will help to create positive social impact and promote sustainable practices and behaviour within the space of hearing loss prevention and correction�


Chapter 2 References Images: Image 2.1: Superear experimental work, own image Image 2.2: This is Service Design Thinking, own image Image 2.3: This is Service Design Thinking Tools, sourced on 27/6/2012 from http://thisisservicedesignthinking.com/# Image 2.4: Cross section of our hearing, sourced on 2/5/2012 from http://www.phonak.com/com/b2c/en/hearing/awareness/discover/ear/_jcr_content/content/textimage_0/image.resize.680.407.jpg/1336659180115. jpg/810368093.jpg Image 2.5: Testing ears, sourced on 2/5/2012 from http://www.nowihear.com/images/img-hearing-test2.jpg Image 2.6: Everything Hearing Visit, own image Image 2.7: Everything Hearing Visit, own image Image 2.8: Everything Hearing Visit, own image Image 2.9: Hard of hearing, sourced on 8/6/2012 from http://blogs.scientificamerican.com/media/inline/blog/Image/tinnitus_music_therapy.jpg Image 2.10: The agony of Tinnitus, sourced on 28/9/2012 from http://www.widex.com.au/en/hearing/hearing/abouthearingloss/tinnitusandhyperacusis/-/media/WidexCOM/Images/Hearing/TinnitusPageHeader.ashx Image 2.11: Parts of a BTE hearing aid, sourced on the 25/9/2012 from http://www.amplifon.co.uk/media/108207/ric-detail_new_307x222.jpg Image 2.12: Silicone ear moulds, sourced on 25/9/2012 from http://medicaldesign.com/Objet-Hearing.jpg Image 2.13: In the Ear device, sourced on 19/5/2012 from http://www.socalhearingsouthbay.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/03/hearing_aids.jpg Image 2.14: In the Canal device, sourced on 19/5/2012 from http://www.socalhearingsouthbay.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/03/hearing_aids.jpg Image 2.15: Completely in the Canal device, sourced on 19/5/2012 from http://www.socalhearingsouthbay.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/03/hearing_aids.jpg Image 2.16: Behind the ear device, sourced on 19/5/2012 from http://www.socalhearingsouthbay.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/03/hearing_aids.jpg Image 2.17: Cochlear Implant device, sourced on 19/5/2012 from http://www.socalhearingsouthbay.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/03/hearing_aids.jpg Image 2.18: Bone anchored device, sourced on 19/5/2012 from http://www.socalhearingsouthbay.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/03/hearing_aids.jpg Image 2.19: Telecoil feature, sourced on 19/5/2012 from http://www.medel.com/data/editor/image/Troubleshooting/plug-in-telecoil.jpg Image 2.20: The Surround sound, sourced on 22/5/2012 from http://www.democraticunderground.com/discuss/duboard.php?az=view_all&address=105x3737206 Image 2.21: IDEO’s future hearing aid, sourced on 22/5/2012 from http://www.democraticunderground.com/discuss/duboard.php?az=view_all&address=105x3737206 Image 2.22: Decibel, sourced on 22/5/2012 from http://www.democraticunderground.com/discuss/duboard.php?az=view_all&address=105x3737206 Image 2.23: Tangerine, sourced on 22/5/2012 from http://www.democraticunderground.com/discuss/duboard.php?az=view_all&address=105x3737206 Image 2.24: The Aria, sourced on 22/5/2012 from http://www.democraticunderground.com/discuss/duboard.php?az=view_all&address=105x3737206 Image 2.25: The Alloy, sourced on 22/5/2012 from http://www.democraticunderground.com/discuss/duboard.php?az=view_all&address=105x3737206 Image 2.26: NTT Docomo, sourced on 22/5/2012 from http://www.democraticunderground.com/discuss/duboard.php?az=view_all&address=105x3737206 Image 2.27: Conversational Glasses, sourced on 22/5/2012 from http://www.democraticunderground.com/discuss/duboard.php?az=view_all&address=105x3737206 Image 2.28: Jewellery Hearing Aids, sourced on 22/5/2012 from http://www.democraticunderground.com/discuss/duboard.php?az=view_all&address=105x3737206 Image 2.29: Visit to Everything Hearing, own image Image 2.30: Visit to Everything Hearing, own image Image 2.31: Visit to Everything Hearing, own image Image 2.32: Visit to Everything Hearing, own image Image 2.33: Visit to Everything Hearing, own image Image 2.34: Venn Diagram of the perceived hearing system, own image Image 2.35: Bernafon hearing aid range, sourced on 14/7/2012 from http://clinicarehearing.com.au/wp-content/uploads/2012/07/Chronos-Hearing-Aids.jpg Image 2.36: GN ReSound hearing aid range, sourced on 14/7/2012 from http://www.valuehearing.com.au/images/Alera.jpg Image 2.37: Oticon hearing aid range, sourced on 14/7/2012 from http://www.advancedhearingcentersofamerica.com/Portals/22160/images/hearing-aids-oticon-resized-600.jpg

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Image 2.38: Phonak hearing aid range, sourced on 14/7/2012 from http://hearingloss-hearingaids.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/05/phonak-hearing-aids.jpg Image 2.39: Siemens hearing aid range, sourced on 14/7/2012 from http://www.amyswainhearingcenters.com/image/33480480.gif Image 2.40: Starkey hearing aid range, sourced on 14/7/2012 from http://www.crystalhearinguk.co.uk/images/interface/starkey-hearing-aid-zon-colours.jpg Image 2.41: Unitron hearing aid range, sourced on 14/7/2012 from http://www.adhac.com/sitebuildercontent/sitebuilderpictures/unitron_element.jpg Image 2.42: Widex hearing aid range, sourced on 14/7/2012 from http://www.crystalhearinguk.co.uk/images/interface/widex-family.png Image 2.43: Audiology Australia, sourced on 14/7/2012 from http://static.ipaustralia.com.au/store3/11/04/1104568.1.high.jpg Image 2.44: Australian Hearing, sourced on 14/7/2012 from http://medianet.multimediarelease.com.au/bundles/81302d03-39f3-44c2-af84-c2cbed9736a8/logo Image 2.45: The Australian Government Hearing Services Program
Office of Hearing Services, sourced on 14/7/2012 from http://www.drugactionweek.org.au/uploaded_files/fck/image/DoHA%20logo.jpg Image 2.46: Hearing Professionals, sourced on 14/7/2012 from http://hearingpro.rtrk.com.au/?scid=64183&kw=4176543&pub_cr_id=18038129745 Image 2.47: Hear Link, sourced on 14/7/2012 from http://kardiniahealth.com.au/sites/default/files/hearlink1_3.jpg Image 2.48: Better Hearing Australia, sourced on 14/7/2012 from http://profile.ak.fbcdn.net/hprofile-ak-ash3/23291_126530779035_8902_n.jpg Image 2.49: Value Hearing, sourced on 14/7/2012 from http://www.valuehearing.com.au/ Image 2.50: Vic Deaf, sourced on 14/7/2012 from http://www.thegrimstones.com/files/9213/0518/4348/vic_deaf_logo_72dpi.jpg Image 2.51: Assorted hearing related brochures, own images Image 2.52: Actions towards hearing loss, own image Image 2.53: Comparative sound levels, own image Image 2.54: How long is too long, own image Image 2.55: Feature sketch, own image Image 2.56: Super ear electronics, own image Image 2.57: Microphone locations, own image Images 2.58 – 2.66: Super ear prototyping exercise, own images

Text Stickdorn/Schneider 2010, This Is Service Design Thinking, BIS Publishers, The Netherlands Edwards, Brent 2005, The Future of Hearing Aids, viewed on 5/5/2012 from http://brent.edwards.name/Papers/Brent%20Edwards--Future%20Hearing%20Aid%20Technology.pdf Darwin, Chris 2008, The Mechanics of Hearing, viewed on 17/5/2012 from http://www.lifesci.sussex.ac.uk/home/Chris_Darwin/PerMuSo/pdfs/AshmoreInRoberts.pdf Shinner, Michael 2006, How does sound travel?, viewed on 17/5/2012 from http://www.preservearticles.com/201012261704/how-does-sound-travel.html Advanced Hearing Services 2012, How does your ear work?, viewed on 21/5/2012 from http://www.ahschicago.com/how-does-your-ear-work Audiologists 2012, What is an audiologist?, viewed on 21/5/2012 from http://www.audiologyawareness.com/whatis.asp Audiologists 2012, What is an audiologist?, viewed on 21/5/2012 from http://www.audiologyawareness.com/whatis.asp Best Careers 2010, What is an audiologist?, viewed on 21/5/2012 from http://www.audiology.org/resources/consumer/Documents/Fact%20Sheets%20-%20What%20Is%20an%20AuD.pdf Australian Hearing 2012, Types of hearing loss, viewed on 22/5/2012 from http://www.hearing.com.au/types-of-hearing-loss Australian Tinnitus Association 2012, Australian Tinnitus Association, sourced on 22/5/2012 from http://www.tinnitus.asn.au/ Unitron 2011, What is a hearing aid?, sourced on 26/5/2012 form http://unitron.com/content/unitron/global/en/consumer/hearing_aids-c/what_is_a_hearingaid.html Hearing Help 2012, What you need to know about hearing aids, sourced on 26/5/2012 from http://www.hearinghelp.com.au/hearing-aids Democratic Underground 2011, New Hearing Technology, sourced on 31/5/2012 from http://www.democraticunderground.com/discuss/duboard.php?az=view_all&address=105x3737206 JHAudio Blog 2012, How loud is too loud?, sourced on 14/7/2012 from https://jhaudioblog.wordpress.com/2012/07/06/hearing-101-how-loud-is-loud/#comment-27

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Chapter 3

Framing the Project

Image 3.1: Take Action


Chapter 3 Framing the Project

InFrequencies

Designerly Project After expanding my knowledge of the overall subject of hearing loss, I now needed to focus this knowledge into a design project. To me there were potentially tonnes of projects that could come from my broad research phase, but I now needed to construct and implement a project that, to me, spoke of measurable impact and was achievable in the time frame given. When considering projects, I often referred back to my agenda, approach and ideas for potential artefacts, and considered how they could be used to position myself in a unique way towards the greater subject of hearing loss. It was emphasised to us the importance of framing our projects in a designerly way, a way that not only spoke of sophistication and proof of our journey through this industrial design course, but also of the complex simplicity of the inherent nature of design that had our project’s shouting “I am a design project!”

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“a way that not only spoke of sophistication and proof of our journey through this industrial design course, but also of the complex simplicity of the inherent nature of design that had our projects shouting ‘I am a design project!’ ”


Ideation Matrix

“I also crowd sourced ideas from fellow classmates, putting them into a scenario where they could have super hearing, then discovering what they would use it for�

My first journey into proposing design projects was using a matrix technique that simply functioned to get my ideas down onto paper. I found this activity to be highly effective when considering what a hearing device could potentially be, and considered how those propositional pieces may eventually need a system that is tuned towards their needs. This exploration followed on from my creation of the super ear electronics project, and at this stage I was looking at a technical innovation project based on making devices that could function similar or better than hearing aids at a cheaper, DIY scale. For this matrix I also crowd sourced ideas from fellow classmates, putting them into a scenario where they could have super hearing, then discovering what they would use it for. This proved to be a fruitful experience, with many of the propositional projects being sourced from my classmates or evolved from their input. I then used this matrix exploration to separate project proposals into their underlying functional themes. For me, this was a way to separate and identify the potential my project could have when positioned towards specific functional outcomes. For example, one of my identified themes was employment. To me this identified the potential for my project to have an impact on the employment opportunities for the hearing impaired and indeed hearing abled people.

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Chapter 3 Framing the Project

InFrequencies


Chapter 3 Framing the Project

InFrequencies

Watching TV

Elderly at bingo

Hospital situation (able to listen to doctor)

Going to the movies

Units to bring aging back into the work place

Units for elderly day trips (ie out of their routine)

Family events

Walking home in the dark (self preservation)

Recording conversations to jog memory

Reading someone’s thoughts/ reading their minds

Bar staff who struggle to hear orders in noisy clubs

Airports to hear instructions about flights

Language translator for travellers

Gossipers

Being a child and having your mum call you in for dinner

Working on a farm and talking with others

Sports teams, where coaches can talk directly to players

Construction industry and talking with people on the work site

Youth to take to festival/ concert setting to enhance the experience

Amateur musicians practicing

Termite inspector looking for termites

To hear what people are saying about you

Young children learning literacy and numeracy

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Enhance children’s speech development

Help students focus on the teacher rather than their class mates

Teachers monitoring the school yard

Hearing the school bus coming or how far away it is

Listen to your own thoughts in your head

Search and rescue teams

Conversations in busy bars or restaurants

Firemen to hear if occupants are still in a house

Investigative reporter trying to find a story

Finding your golf ball that emits a particular frequency

Able to keep working while attend meetings/ discussions

Parents dealing with babies and recognising their different needs with different cries

Watching sports with greater hearing expense

Graffiti artists to detect police coming

Athletes in reactional sports (starting gun)

Bird watchers

Parents to monitor their children from other rooms (super parenting)

To have a conversation with someone on the other side of the world

Hearing a smoke alarm at night

White water rafters

Home protection

Blind soccer players (kick a ball with a bell)

Listening in church

Image 3.2: Ideation Matrix

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Chapter 3 Framing the Project

InFrequencies


Chapter 3 Framing the Project

InFrequencies

Recreational Cognitive

Tasks that involve or influence thinking. • • • • • • • • • • • •

Conversation between nursing home people (keeping brain stimulated) Recording conversations to jog memory Reading someone’s thoughts/reading their minds (find out what they know) Airports to hear instructions about flights Language translator for travellers Listening to theatre/plays better (translation of Shakespeare) Amateur musicians practicing To hear what people are saying about you Young children learning literacy and numeracy Enhance you children’s speech development Help students focus on the teacher rather than their class mates Listen to your own thoughts in your head

Tasks that involve incidental everyday activities. • • • • • • • • • • • • • •

• •

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Units for elderly day trips (ie out of their routine) Attend sporting events Going to the movies Elderly at bingo Bush walkers Language translator for travellers (holiday makers) Bird watchers Listening to theatre/plays better Youth to take to festival/concert setting to enhance the experience Finding your golf ball that emits a particular frequency White water rafters Paint ball enthusiasts Conversations in busy bars or restaurants Sports fans who watch the game, tune in to specific sounds for a greater experience (sound of a ball being kicked, tackles being laid, etc. Units for hunters Safari goers


Chapter 3 Framing the Project

InFrequencies

Employment

Tasks that influence employment opportunities and performance. • • • • • • • • • • • • • • •

• •

Units to bring aging back into the work place Bar staff who struggle to hear orders in noisy clubs Language translator for travellers (have to work internationally) Working on a farm and talking with others Construction industry and talking with people on the work site Mining industry Coaches can talk directly to players Amateur musicians practicing Termite inspector looking for termites To hear what people are saying about you (constant job review) Electricians to listen if wiring is active Young children learning literacy and numeracy Enhance you children’s speech development Investigative reporter trying to find a story In business able to keep working while attend meetings/discussions from their own desk Chefs to hear criticism/praise of meals To have a conversation with someone on the other side of the world

Medical

Tasks that influence health and well being. • • • • • •

• •

Conversation between nursing home people (good for mental health) Able to hear doctor/nurses diagnosis Language translator for travellers (doctors in a different country) Coaches can talk directly to players (talk people through surgery) Parents dealing with babies and recognising their different needs with different cries Parents to monitor their children from other rooms (super parenting) (if they had medical condition) To have a conversation with someone on the other side of the world (medical advice) Speech therapy for stroke victims

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Chapter 3 Framing the Project

InFrequencies

Safety

Tasks that influence human safety. • • • • •

• • • • • • • • • •

Walking home in the dark (self preservation) Language translator for travellers (navigate a different country) Working on a farm and talking with others (in case something goes wrong) Construction industry and talking with people on the work site Termite inspector looking for termites(doesn’t undermine/damage the house) Bush walkers (if they get lost) Electricians to listen if wiring is active Teachers monitoring the school yard Search an rescue teams Prison guards listening to networks or prisoners Firemen to hear if occupants are still in a house Security guards in shopping malls or events Parents to monitor their children from other rooms (super parenting) Home protection Hearing a smoke alarm at night

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Athletic

Task that involve human movement and athleticism. • • • • • •

• • • •

Reading someone’s thoughts/reading their minds (psyche out) Language translator for travellers (interviewed by international language) coaches can talk directly to players White water rafters Listen to your own thoughts in your head (psyche up) Sports fans who watch the game, tune in to specific sounds for a greater experience (sound of a ball being kicked, tackles being laid, etc. (opposite) Athletes in reactional sports (starting gun) Blind soccer players (kick a ball with a bell) Being cheered on at the Olympics


Goal Setting While these activities proved useful for pushing me into the propositional world, I needed a project that was achievable and measurable. This meant giving consideration to the potential skills and knowledge that I possessed, as well as reflecting on my research and the ideas that I deemed valuable from this process. This is where goal setting for me became important, particularly when visualising what I wanted to achieve not only for this project, but using this project to launch me into the employment opportunities in the future. I determined that there was three main goals for my project; show my skill development and capabilities, address the greater issue of hearing through tackling the barriers to hearing aids, and the potential to encompass and work collaboratively with individuals already positioned within the industry.

Demonstrate My Skills For demonstrating my skill development and capabilities, I reflected on the skills I determined were important to the design process as well as what I was potentially capable of. Much of this had been identified in my self reflection, but now came the time to consider how I would use these skills to construct and demonstrate the ideas within my design process and how I would exhibit my problem solving and design thinking. I had spent the past four years being introduced to and developing skills that are typically used by industrial designers working within the industry. To me, this project was as much about demonstrating my level of competence to employing those skills, as it was the subject matter of the project.

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Chapter 3 Framing the Project

InFrequencies


Chapter 3 Framing the Project

InFrequencies

Break Down Barriers I considered the best way to design for my chosen gap was to address the identified barriers to people using hearing aids in the first place. It was intended that by creating a project that would reduce or eliminate these barriers, I would increase the overall use of hearing aids to ensure that the greatest amount of people would have the opportunity to hear. To me, this meant that I needed to propose design projects that specifically considered one or more of these barriers in an attempt to reduce their impact to potential users. It also meant I needed to explore unique options to delivering an already existing service or product, and create an innovative way to reach the other eighty percent.

Creating Partnerships Finally, I wanted to position myself within the “real world.� I wanted to make this project as real as possible because to me nothing validates a design project more than measurable impact. This meant networking and aligning myself with key figures within the hearing service world, as well as potentially other design or information disciplines to expand and strengthen my project. I am a person who prefers to work collaboratively with others, gaining different people’s perspectives and ideas to help work towards a common and successful goal. Particularly for a year-long project, where ideas and motivation can become stale, this was extremely important to me for keeping myself enthusiastic about my project and its potential outcomes.

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A mobile fun way to test the public’s hearing Awareness, humour, participation

De-miniaturising the device, making it cheaper than the current market products Headphones, affordability, increased access

Take-back scheme that is linked to a device that can measure usage Crowd-sourcing, testing usability

iPod App that allows the user to customize hearing settings Self customisation, increase personal satisfaction, affordability

Futuristic hearing device Smart objects, future styling, back casting, increased technological function

De-stigmatising device that encourages use Styling, social impact & acceptance

Proposing & Critiquing Projects With these goals in mind, I created a template for both the proposal of and critique of proposed design projects. While the previous matrix activity had been a valuable experience, to me something was lacking in the proposal of those ideas. I shifted my focus from a technical innovation project and broadened it to the potential to be a social innovation project. This allowed me to expand my ideas of what the project could be, all the while considering how it aligned with my goals. This proved to be an effective method of exploring design project options, and assess their relevance to the subject matter and their potential to address the identified gap. After proposing an array of different ideas, I finally settled on a combination two concepts that I considered would be the most effective way that I could implement and influence change.

Result of Proposing and Critiquing One of these proposals was for a mobile way to check the public’s hearing with the intention of connecting people to appropriate services. To me this project had the ability to raise awareness and lower stigma through active participation, delivering a check at a reduced cost. I also thought this may be a good chance to align

Super hearing device Advanced technology, social futurism, de stigmatising

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Chapter 3 Framing the Project

InFrequencies


Chapter 3 Framing the Project

InFrequencies

Sustainability project that looks at the constant upgrading of hearing aids Sustainability, environmental impact, usability, personal experience

A specifically Third World device that is aimed at providing people living in poverty to access hearing devices Affordability, system/service design, social design

Modular redesign to create add on functions and lower cost of basic models Affordability, usability, advancing technology

Complete redesign to improve on functions Technological project, manufacturing redesign

Service design project around manufacturing Adjusting the way aids are manufactured, looks at expanding local economic growth, social enterprise

Function specific device Eg TV, watching sports at an arena, everyday tasks

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myself with a hearing aid company, or other related services. I was drawn to this idea by the potential to create a physical artefact that I could demonstrate my design skills through, as well as use to influence the uptake of hearing aids. The second of those proposals that I thought could work hand in hand with this mobile check service was a smart phone application that could be used to conduct hearing checks, as well as influence existing hearing aid devices and improve usability issues through education. This could also be a way to increase awareness and access to services, as well as reduce the perceived costs and improve usability concerns. Although I had a general idea of the direction I now wished to go with my overall project, it now came time to finally frame these ideas into a designerly project. With refinement of how I visualized these concepts to work, I constructed this statement; “I propose that the mobile system will be something similar to a project done by a previous RMIT studio, where the counter will be mounted on a Christiania bike, and transported around to specific locations. Testing will occur through an application that is on a smart device connected to the bike, however this application can also be accessed from home. These products will work hand in hand to connect people to appropriate information and services, with additional apps such as the proposed noise cancelling concept and device connectivity concept being options.�


Chapter 3 Framing the Project

InFrequencies

How Will This Work? The following presentation was put together as a way to communicate my project to relevant networking bodies that were external to the university and those directly involved with my project. It helped me to define the service I was hoping to construct and the three step process that was involved.

Hearing Test Application

An application for a smart device will be provided to be the first touchpoint of this system, and will be a way into the system. The app can be used in the home or in their own spare time, but lacks the assistance of an actual person and the reassurance that comes with that.

Image 3.3: The Application

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Chapter 3 Framing the Project

InFrequencies

Pre-screening Facility

The bike system will be a method of facilitation of the app and its subsequent features. The advantage of the mobile testing facility is to engage users who wouldn’t typically go out of their way to have their hearing tested, or be connected to the services they may need. This is essentially a pre-screening facility.

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Image 3.4: The Pre-screening Facility


InFrequencies

Chapter 3 Framing the Project

Connecting Services

More application features

Referral to an audiologist

Advice on how to best use their hearing aids Image 3.5: Connecting Services

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Chapter 3 Framing the Project

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How Will This Break Down The Barriers? I also analysed how my concept would address the barriers to people getting hearing aids.

Cost: This method offers support and services at a much lower cost Stigma: Increase of public awareness will increase public acceptance, and so lower related stigma. Discomfort & Usability Issues: The apps will address usability issues with existing devices Lack of Awareness: The bicycle system will increase awareness by public presence. Lack of Access: The bicycle system will increase access to hearing by connecting users to a varied series of systems available, both existing and proposition.

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Project Description I then went into greater detail into defining the concept for my project. Exploring the who, what, when, where, why, how allowed me to clearly describe how I intended this concept to work and bring this concept from propositional to potential reality.

Who does it impact? This is typically denoted by the location it is set up with, and the provider I can align with. For example, if it were through RMIT health services, the audience would be the students of the given campus. The main aim is to create awareness with people who aren’t typically considered candidates for hearing aids (eg. Elderly). Could be a good chance to create some personas and storyboard use. Possible candidates are students, construction workers & tradesmen, local business workers, shopping mothers, etc.

What is the outcome? The desired outcome is a working application and bike prototype that can be tested to check peoples hearing and connect them to services. It could also be used to spread prevention techniques.

Why is this project important? This could be an effective way to connect that 80% of people who do not currently access hearing aids but need them. This could have massive flow on effects to areas of education, employment, social belonging and living standards.

How will it work? The user will download the app for their smart device and create a profile. Creating a profile means that multiple users can access the same device, if the device is replaced the profile can still exist, and the hearing check can be saved and tested over time. It may also mean that data can be collected, sending the user’s hearing level and information to determine statistics. The bike, which has some sort of smart device installed into it, will do the same job as the app but offers the intimacy of a trained operator. It also acts to engage the public and spread awareness in a physical manner and will act as a touch point the connecting services.

When can this be implemented? This is a based on current on near future time frame.

Where will it be implemented? Around Melbourne CBD Airports Construction yards Schools/Universities Offices Shopping Centres Music Festivals Outside Rod Laver Arena Outside a hospital during visiting hours Markets Fed Square MCG/ other loud sporting arenas

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Chapter 3 Framing the Project

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Chapter 3 Framing the Project

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Product Service System Approach I am essentially taking a product-service-system approach to this project by creating the app/ bike check (the products), which act in a way to connect people to appropriate services, in a bid to connect the greater community of hearing professionals (the system). I am doing this because I consider it one of the more effective ways to design when there is a particular system that already exists, and especially when that system is doing everything it can be work effectively. When I conducted contextual interviews, I found the audiologists I talked to spoke very highly of the system they were apart of, and pointed out all it is doing to work efficiently to deliver hearing aids. However, clearly there is something wrong if they are only reaching twenty percent of their potential audience, and this is where a product-servicesystem approach my help increase the uptake. There are three main approaches to the product-service-system (also known as PSS). One approach is to be product-orientated, where ownership of the tangible product is transferred to the consumer, but addition services can be provided. Another approach is to be result orientated, where products are replaced by services. The last of these three PSS options is the use orientated option, where ownership of the tangible product is retained

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by the service provider, who sells the functions of the product, via modified distribution and payment systems, such as sharing, pooling, and leasing. The approach that most meets the description I am looking to employ is almost a hybrid of the result-orientated and the use-orientated PSS methods. It is similar to the result orientated as it aims to pre-screen users for hearing tests, essentially replacing the “product” of the a hearing test and turning that into a service where individuals can essentially check if they need their hearing tested or not. It also eliminates much of the user’s potential need for information typically distributed by the “product” (this time referring to the audiologist). It also encompasses aspects of the use orientated PSS system by allowing users to access the system via app downloads, which is essentially a free download that allows users to connect into this system. It also represents the use orientated model in the form of the bike system, which could potentially be leased out to institutions such as RMIT or corporate businesses to deliver this service to their workers or potential users within their space. Either way, I seek to employ a PSS that has the potential to access and improve the existing system that is hearing loss prevention and correction. As touched on before through my research, we know that this system has some potential strengths and weaknesses.


m e st

e c i v r e S

I am I am looking at the aiming to deliver Australian hearing two items for my community, and more project. The first is a specifically the Victorian Both mobile pre-screening hearing community. items are counter, which will considered the one There is an existing be mounted on a “product� as they are both system that provides drivers for delivering the same christiania bike and Australians/ service, which is a pre-screening transported to various hearing test to the formal audiologist Victorians with locations to capture test. This pre-screening service aims hearing aids. My to increase access and awareness the public’s attention. service fits within of hearing issues (mainly hearing The second, which aids), assisting with usability that current system, goes hand in hand with issues, at far less financial directing users to commitment to the the bike, is a smart phone appropriate services user. application that will enable within this system while the user to take a hearing acting to engage users check, locate the bike, locate their who may not be aware nearest service and more. of their hearing loss or the services or technology

Pro du c

t

available to them.

vice System circle.indd 1

Image 3.6: Product.Service.System

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Chapter 3 Framing the Project

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Chapter 3 Framing the Project

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The System Rehash It is clear there is a lot of information to take in within this overall system. It is also clear that the interactions within this overall hearing system are complex and intertwined, and so this information can get further distorted on its way to the user. While there are components of this system that appear to work, this system is crying out for some clarity and direction. Something that is clear from my contextual interviews with audiologists is that the right people aren’t necessarily reaching these professionals, and if they are, they are not reaching them quickly enough. This leads to more severe hearing damage that could have possibly been avoided through implementing prevention techniques. It’s also clear that there is an overwhelming amount of choice within this system. Whether it is a user’s choice of hearing aids or how they interact with the system in the first place, there are way too many options out there that can lead to user confusion and abandonment of the system. In conclusion, I aim to take a product service system approach to his project by creating an

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app that can check people’s hearing, and direct them to appropriate services. It will be coupled by a mobile testing kiosk, which will aim to engage users that may not typically seek out advice on hearing. In order to construct my project in relation to the greater system of hearing loss prevention and correction, I will now set out to create a service that aims to connect people to this greater system, and products that will be points of interaction for this service.

“something that is clear from my contextual interviews with audiologists is that the right people aren’t necessarily reaching these professionals, and if they are, they are not reaching them quick enough. This leads to more severe hearing damage that could have possibly been avoided through implementing prevention techniques”


Conclusion In conclusion, I aim to take a product service system approach to his project by creating an app that can check people’s hearing, and direct them to appropriate services. It will be coupled by a mobile testing kiosk, which will aim to engage users that may not typically seek out advice on hearing. In order to construct my project in relation to the greater system of hearing loss prevention and correction, I will now set out to create a service that aims to connect people to this greater system, and products that will be points of interaction for this service.

“I will now set out to create a service that aims to connect people to this greater system, and products that will be points of interaction for this service”

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Chapter 3 Framing the Project

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Chapter 3 Framing the Project

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Chapter 3 References Images: Image 3.1: Take Action Image 3.2: Ideation Matrix, own image Image 3.3: The Application Image 3.4: The Pre-screening Facility, own image Image 3.5: Connecting Services, own image Image 3.6: Product.Service.System, own image

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Chapter 4

The Service

Image 4.1: Customer interaction expectations


Chapter 4 The Service

InFrequencies

Introduction to Service The service that I am aiming to deliver is essentially a pre-screening hearing check that would be used to capture an audience who would not otherwise consider themselves at risk of hearing loss or needing hearing aids. In a bid to combat the potential barriers to using hearing aids, my service aims to connect people to appropriate services or information with a cost effective, user-friendly approach that involves active participation to transfer awareness and access avenues to users. I am creating this service in a bid to reach the untapped eighty per cent of people who have some degree of hearing loss and don’t use hearing aids. This may be people who are unaware of their potential hearing loss, people who know they have hearing loss but are unaware of where to go, and potentially those people who have a relative or friend they know who would benefit from such a service. The way I aim to present it, in a fun and engaging public participatory way, which may also help combat associated sigma issues as well as encourage

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unsuspecting users to try this service, even if they think they are not a candidate. While the app can be accessed and utilised at home, the mobile testing service that occurs at the bike is assisted by a trained volunteer who can attend to any usability concerns, as well as act as a reassurance to users on how they are using the application. All in all, this service is about increasing awareness and access to hearing loss information and service professionals in a bid to increase the use of hearing aids, and also reduce the proportion of people who are prematurely acquiring permanent hearing loss.


Day in the Life I have decided to illustrate a typical day in the life of my mobile hearing check service, story boarding this to discover opportunities and considerations for both my service and products. This scenario depicts what is essentially involved in delivering this service, the role of the bike attendant, and other important usability features I should be considering when designing this service.

Kiosk operator collects bike, unlocking

Kiosk operator then transports bike to a

Kiosk operator will then set up the kiosk

it and checking the equipment

predetermined location

for use, calibrating the iPads and putting up potential signage

It will then be the job of the kiosk

Users will complete a hearing check on

At this point, user data is collected and

operator to spruik potential users to the

the provided iPads, most likely using a

sent to our cloud storage

bike, as well as answer any questions or

pair of headphones

queries

As well as collecting data from the user,

Kiosk operator packs up and transports

we aim to connect them to appropriate

kiosk back to storage

services or prevention techniques via email or push notifications through the app Image 4.2 : Day in the life storyboard

Kiosk operator will need to ensure relevant equipment is intact and that electrical devices are charging, as well

105 as lock the kiosk

Chapter 4 The Service

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Chapter 4 The Service

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Location Exploration After analysing how I intended this service to function, I have decided to explore where I could possibly implement this mobile testing facility. During my Framing the Project chapter, I proposed some locations that I could potentially conduct this mobile hearing check service; now I wish to elaborate on how I will do this in certain locations and the advantages of doing this.

Schools/Universities These types of institutions would be ideal locations to check the hearing of younger people who typically don’t consider themselves at risk of hearing loss. It could help to connect people to hearing aid services, particularly uni students that may be studying in a location that is fairly unfamiliar to them (interstate or country students). The physical service of the bike may be leased or bought outright by the school or university to provide students with hearing checks, which may be a way to increase productivity and student well being. Being set in an environment that is typically dominated by younger people, active participation by many could also see the breakdown of associated stigma.

Image 4.3: RMIT University, a potential learning institution to operate the kiosk

Fed Square Fed Square acts as a social meeting point for many Melburnians, not to mention holds many events throughout the year. Setting up the mobile check system here would attract many passers-by in the local vicinity, and expose the service to a greater audience of Melbourne. It may be beneficial to do this during appropriate times, such as hearing awareness week.

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Image 4.4: Federation Square, a popular Melbournian focal point


Rod Laver Arena This location may be ideal for capturing audiences of music concerts, which are typically associated with loud damaging loud noises to people who attend. It may prove to be an interesting experiment, checking concert goers’ hearing before and after they attend the concert. It may also trigger people to consider their hearing more in another setting as their hearing is essential for them to attend the concert. Handing out prevention tools such as earplugs may be appropriate in this setting. Image 4.5: Rod Laver Arena is home to many big name music concerts throughout the year

MCG This location could be used to capture audiences exposed to loud crowd noises experience at AFL games or the cricket. Similar to the Rod Laver Arena scenario, this acts as a way to trigger peoples association with wanting to use their hearing to experience the full atmosphere of the game, encouraging them to consider ways to prevent hearing loss or invest in hearing aids to regain that experience. The bike set up in this location could potentially expose it to many people, and it may be possible to have more than one for this location.

Image 4.6: The iconic MCG, holds some of Melbourne’s biggest (and loudest) sporting events

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Image 4.7: Melbourne Central could be one of the key locations to operate the hearing check kiosk

Shopping Centres These locations are ideal for capturing a great cross section of the greater community locations. Large shopping centres are places where people often congregate for activities other than shopping. Many are aligned to specific healthproviders, cinema and gym facilities and other potential leisurely attractions. In particularly busy periods, these shopping centres can become quite loud, and I know personally I often leave with a humming in my ears for a couple of minutes. It may be possible to implement a touch point of this service in a shopping centre simply for the fact that it may attract interest from passers by.

Airports This location may be an interesting experiment to see how people relate their hearing to plane travel. It may be an effective way to capture an audience that is new to Melbourne, check passenger and crew’s hearing after their plane flight (which may be affected by altitude), and make people aware of how they listen to headphones during the plane trip. It could also be used by people waiting long periods of time as boredom relief. As there are limited airports in Victoria, it may be an effective way to capture a greater cross section of the potential market, and provide people with prevention techniques or connect them to services for their next trip.

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Image 4.8: Capatalising on waiting times in airports to conduct hearing checks


Music Festivals These locations, although not permanent, provide a connection to younger people who may not be aware of their own hearing loss. The advantage of setting this service up in a location like this is it gives participants a connection between the music they have just listened to for x amount of hours and how much damage that may have caused their ears. It is important

Image 4.9: Targeting younger people at noise focussed events such as music festivals may help to pass on the hearing loss correction and prevention message

for my service not to try and state “hey, you shouldn’t go in, this is bad!” It should instead state “Hey, seeing lots of bands today? Check this out first just in case!” A big component of delivering my service, particularly to younger people, is to change the way they think about hearing aids and hearing loss prevention.

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Location Summary In each of these proposed locations there is a particular group of people that could be targeted by my service. Tailoring to certain locations may be an affective way to capture a particular audience and deliver the service in an effective and efficient way. It may be possible to lease or sell these mobile kiosks to institutions such as RMIT or Rod Laver Arena, where they could provide a customer service that could help raise their image and improve their customers experience and involvement in the future. Something I have aimed to explore since beginning this project is who the audience is that I could be capturing, and how my designed service and products could be adapted to suit those users’ needs. Unlike many other user groups, targeting people who may be hearing impaired or at risk of hearing loss is proving to be increasingly difficult. Something I want to explore is the potential individuals that may make up my audience base, and whose needs I may need to cater for when creating touchpoints for this service.

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“tailoring to certain locations may be an affective way to capture a particular audience and deliver the service in an effective and efficient way”


“personas are fictional characters that are developed as a way of representing different people that are grouped by their shared interests or behaviour�

Personas My next step in planning the service is to create personas to consider particular members of society that may use it. Personas are fictional characters that are developed as a way of representing different people that are grouped by their shared interests or behaviour. I’m hoping to develop a wide range of personas to gain a range of perspectives on how this service could work. After creating the personas, I will explore their interaction with the service and products via customer journey maps, which will help me to determine and develop the touchpoints involved with delivering this service.

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Customer Journey Map Key

Application

Mobile Pre-screen

Application Search

Audiologist

Work Location

Finds Out Through A Friend

Incidental Location

Television Advertisement

E-Mail

Internet Search

Attendant

Physical Advertisement

Prevention Techniques

Radio Advertisement

Education On Hearing

Community Location

Helping Out Another

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Hearing Aid


Pre Pre-Screening Pre-Screening Post Pre-Screening

This combined customer journey map may look a little bit messy, but it does demonstrate the possible simultaneous interactions that could occur within my service in a given time frame.

Image 4.10: Combined customer journey map

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Alessio the Small Business Owner Name: Alessio Age: 36 Occupation: He is the owner of a small café in Carlton. His roles include managing the café’s bistro menu, a small number of staff, ordering stock and being a part time barrister. Being a small business owner, Alessios spare time is limited, as well as his disposable income. He finds it hard to make time for himself, and rarely visits a doctor or health professional.

What are their goals and motivations?: His short term focus is on growing his café business to a point where he can step away and enjoy some downtime. He employs a small number of staff, but has long term dreams to franchise the business and grow his staff base. He has desires to buy a M-5, own his own home and go on a holiday in Europe in the next 5 years. Where do they live?: Alessio lives in a small apartment in North Melbourne. He has always lived around Melbourne, and his current address allows him to get to work quickly and live cheaply.

Back Story: Alessio was born in the western suburbs of Melbourne. His parents are Italian immigrants, coming to Australia in the 1960’s and setting up their own Italian restaurant in Footscray where Alessio worked as a kitchen hand and as a waiter for many years. His parents’ restaurant often had live music on Friday and Saturday nights, and Alessio was often exposed to the band’s loud noises for extended periods of time. How does hearing impact their life?: Since his early thirties Alessio has found the hearing in his left ear to be slightly weaker than his right. He often finds it hard to hear his employees or customers at work, needing people to repeat them selves often. Despite recognising this, Alessio feels it is not a significant enough issue to see a medical professional.

Who else is in their life may be affected by hearing loss?: Alessio’s elderly immigrant parents both have a degree of hearing loss. His father currently has hearing aids but does not wear them, and his mother has chosen not to get them due to the dissatisfaction experienced by her husband. Alessio knows his parents often experience communication issues due to their heritage, and believes his father doesn’t truly understand how to use his hearing aid. Despite this, Alessio doesn’t have time to take his father to an audiologist for a consultancy.

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Alessio may see the mobile hearing check kiosk near his work, abut may Image 4.11: Alessio’s customer not have time to check his hearing . Using a QR code, he may download the

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application at home and conduct a hearing check, which may identify a need to see a professional via e-mail. After making time to see this professional Alessio

may find he requires a hearing aids.


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Serena the Muscian Name: Serena Age: 24 Occupation: Serena is young musician looking to make it in the national music scene. She currently does the occasional gig around a selection of pubs, busks in public and releases videos of her performances on YouTube. She is constantly tinkering with her musical abilities, does her research by going to many gigs and listening to a wide variety of songs.

What are their goals and motivations?: Serena is motivated by her love of music and by her desire for fame. She loves performing in public, and has no reservations about being in front of a crowd. She is seeking to sign with a record company, which is the main motivation behind her exposure techniques. She wants to tour nationally, and her ultimate dream would be to tour overseas and become a huge music star. Where do they live?: Serena lives in an apartment in Brunswick with two other house mates. These house mates are also musically interested, and the house is notorious for its contribution to noise pollution, often playing records front to back almost all day. Back Story: Serena grew up in Hobart, but moved to Melbourne in a bid to enhance her career. She finds it difficult being away form her mother and siblings, struggling emotionally and financially. She works as a bar attendant in a pub, which often has big name acts playing on a regular basis. How does hearing impact their life?: Serena’s hearing is crucial to her current and future career. Being in the music business, she needs to prevent any type of hearing loss and maintain her current hearing levels. Despite knowing this, she constantly engages in activities that could degrade her hearing, being exposed to loud noises for long periods of time in a day. Who else is in their life may be affected by hearing loss?: As mentioned, Serena’s house mates are also musicians, and may be at risk of hearing loss.

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Serena sees the mobile kiosk through incidentally walking through her local Image 4.12: Serena’s customer community, and gives the kiosk a try. While Serena passes her test, she

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recommends her house mates download the app at home, and the explore

prevention techniques through the app.


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Nick the Tradesmen Name: Nick Age: 22 Occupation: Nick is a third year apprentice carpenter working on commercial sites. Nick works for his dad’s building company, which consists of him, his dad and 5 other workers. They are constantly working on noisy work sites for long periods of time. Nick is encouraged to use earplugs and wear muffs on site, but often forgets to bring them or put them on. What are their goals and motivations?: Nick is motivated by the prospect of taking over his father’s business, and works hard to learn on the job. He notices his father’s management style and tries to emulate the way he works. He is motivated by earning lots of money for his age, and often elects to work overtime or on weekends, exposing himself to longer periods of noise. He is currently saving for a brand new Hilux, as the other tradesmen make fun of his Toyota Corolla.

Where do they live?

Nick lives with his family in the outer eastern suburbs of Melbourne. Living at home gives him the chance to save a little more money, and he still needs his mum to do his washing.

Back Story: Nick was encouraged to finish high school as his father never gained a full high school education. He is a bright young man and recognises a few things his father could manage better about his own business in relation to health. There is an understanding that Nick will take over from his father as boss of the business in the future. Nick also plays football for his local club, with training twice a week and weekend games.

How does hearing impact their life? : Nick needs good hearing to work efficiently on the work sight. The team often needs to communicate verbally, and this often leads to the workers not using their earmuffs. He also needs his hearing for his football matches.

Who else is in their life may be affected by hearing loss?: Nick’s dad suffers from a degree of hearing loss, with nick having to repeat thing to his dad many times.

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After work one day, Nick explores the iTunes site for hearing check apps in a Image 4.13: Nick’s customer

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bid to find out more for his dad. He uses the app to check his dad’s hearing, which connects him to prevention techniques via e-mail.

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Tracey the Kindergarten Teacher Name: Tracey Age: 34 Occupation: Tracey is a kindergarten teacher, working at a local kindergarten that has around 36 children between the ages of 3-4. It can often be an extremely noisy workplace dealing with screaming, crying and arguing small children all day. Tracey greatly values the children’s nap-time. What are their goals and motivations?: Tracey loves working with children, and finds watching them learn and develop new skills a rewarding experience. She tries to encourage inclusive behaviour and sharing between the children, and is motivated by their creative potential.

Where do they live?: Tracey lives with her fiancé in a small house they are building in the southeastern suburbs. This is only a 15 minute drive from work, but is in the opposite direction to most local business districts. Back Story: Tracey is an active member of a local church, and is instilled with qualities of kindness and acceptance. Tracey came to be a kindergarten teacher because she loves watching children grow and learn in a creative manner. Growing up, Tracey was a shy and quiet student. Due to this, she tries to encourage other shy and quiet children to come out of their shell and participate with whole class activities.

How does hearing impact their life?: Tracey needs to be able to communicate with children she is in charge of. As she is responsible for them, she also needs keen hearing to ensure safety in the playground and classroom. Who else is in their life may be affected by hearing loss?: Tracey is noticing one of the children at kinder is quiet and having trouble developing their speech. She finds this child hard to communicate with. This child also doesn’t often get along with other children and constantly snatches their possessions (be it paint or building blocks) without asking.

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Tracey hears about the bike through her local community centre and decides Image 4.14: Tracey’s customer to investigate first hand. In doing so, Tracey learns more about the greater

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issue of hearing loss and discovers prevention techniques she may be able to

employ for herself and possibly the children she cares for.


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Sean the Fitness Enthusiast Name: Sean Age: 28 Occupation: Sean is a personal trainer who operates out of a popular fitness franchise. The building he works in blares loud pop music for the duration of the workday, as well as being a noisy environment at peak training times. His job covers the rent and some extra spending money, but doesn’t allow him to save for his future.

What are their goals and motivations?: Sean is motivated by self-image and feeling fit. He enjoys living for the moment and is content with his work-life balance. He currently has no long-term goals. Where do they live?: Sean has a studio apartment in Richmond. This is close to his work and close to many of the places he enjoys going out with his friends. Back Story: After trying his hand at a number of university courses that weren’t right for him, Sean has embraced personal training as a career path. He enjoys the regular work and meeting new people, as well as seeing people reach their potential. He takes pride in his body and self-image, adhering to a strict diet and training schedule. He is the type of person who would not wear hearing aids due to his own self-image.

How does hearing impact their life?: Sean needs his hearing to jog safely around the CBD in his break. He also needs to be able to communicate effectively with his clients, answering their questions and listening to their stories during training sessions.

Who else is in their life may be affected by hearing loss?: Sean has a client he trains who has hearing loss in their left ear. Sean finds that he must always be on the right side to communicate properly with this client, as well as be considerate of the volume he speaks at. He often wonders what he would do if he needed to train someone who spoke sign language.

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Sean learns about the application through a news story, and downloads the app Image 4.15: Sean’s customer at home. Not convinced he is doing the hearing check correctly, he discovers

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the mobile kiosk will be close to his local running route in the next week, and chooses to check it out. Through his secondary engagement, Sean learns more about the greater issue of hearing loss and more about prevention techniques

he may employ in his work .


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Amhed the Taxi Driver Name: Amhed Age: 47 Occupation: Amhed is a Melbourne Taxi driver working for Silver Top Taxi’s. Moving from a similar job in Adelaide, he is still adjusting to the Melbourne road system, and prefers to use a GPS. He is friendly and likes to have conversations with passengers and is well known for his approachable demeanour.

What are their goals and motivations?: Ahmed has moved to Melbourne in search of longer and more regular work hours. He is motivated by a steady income, of which he can use to support his family and help put his eldest through university.

Where do they live?: Ahmed has moved into the northern suburbs of Melbourne with his wife, two children and his mother. He has moved into a popular Indian community, where he feels comfortable and more at home surrounded by friends and family. Back Story: Moving to Australia from India 7 years ago, Amhed established himself in Adelaide before moving to Melbourne with his family. He gained his job through connections with a friend, and prefers to network through the local Indian community. How does hearing impact their life?: Amhed need his hearing to communicate with customers, finding where they would like to go and general conversation. It may also be vital to his safety that he has good hearing.

Who else is in their life may be affected by hearing loss?: Amhed’s mother has been hard of hearing since he can remember. Despite knowing this, his mother and the rest of the family are inactive about this, and are unaware of her options

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Hearing about the app from people in his community, Ahmed downloads the Image 4.15: Ahmed’s customer app from home. After completing the hearing check, he tries to convince his

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mother to give it a go, although she resists the technology. Taking her to the

mobile kiosk on the way to market, Ahmed’s mother is more inclined to give

the hearing check a go, and this helps her to take action.


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Linda the Full Time Mum Name: Linda Age: 40 Occupation: Linda is a full time mother with 3 children between the age of 6 and 10. Her daily activities consist of making lunches, ferrying her children to school and sports practices, doing the washing, ironing and keeping the house in check. She also enjoys regular catch up with her friends for coffee and her pilates class every Tuesday night.

What are their goals and motivations?: Her primary goal at the moment is getting her children through school. Her children are starting to reach the age where she can have a little bit more of her own downtime, but most of her daily routine is dedicated to her family. This means she has little time for herself. She is also possibly motivated by the chance of re entering the workforce.

Where do they live?: Linda’s family home is in the suburbs of eastern Melbourne. Her home is located near parklands, her children’s school, and shopping centres and major roads, so most services and facilities are easily obtainable if she knows where to go. Back Story: Linda has been a full time mother for ten years now, organising her life around her children. It’s been a number of years since she has taken extensive time for herself, or even been to a medical professional. She would like to start spending more time on herself, however has limited personal time.

How does hearing impact their life?: Linda’s busy life can only run smoothly if her communication lines are open. Linda’s hearing is important to looking after her children, as well as catching up with her friends. Its essential for communication with her family, especially when it comes to extra curricula activities and managing the household.

Who else is in their life may be affected by hearing loss?: Linda needs to be wary of her children’s hearing, especially concerned by things that may damage their hearing. Simple prevention techniques may save her children a lifetime of hearing problems.

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Linda hears about the app through her friendship group, and decides to Image 4.16: Linda’s customer conduct some research on it via the Internet. Downloading the app from home,

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Linda and her daughter complete the hearing check, and Linda receives an e-mail with more information on hearing loss and prevention techniques for

her and her daughter.


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Josh the University Student Name: Josh Age: 21 Occupation: Josh is a full time uni student, studying graphic design. He also works part time stacking shelves at a local grocery store. He doesn’t earn a bucket load, but does earn enough to get him by. What are their goals and motivations?: His main motivation is finishing his degree, and more importantly obtaining a job at the end of it. But he also has motivations to enjoy his social life and personal hobbies of guitar and lacrosse.

Where do they live?: Josh lives in an apartment lose to uni with a few other house mates he met online. He originally comes from the Victorian country, but lives most of the uni year in Melbourne. Back Story: Josh comes form a small country town in Victoria, and feels a bit out of sorts in the city. Away from his family and “normal life”, he has trouble adjusting to his new city life, doesn’t have a local GP and doesn’t look after himself as well as he should.

How does hearing impact their life?: Josh needs his hearing to listen to lectures and attend tutes in his university. He also enjoys playing his guitar, but listens to it amplified through his headphones as his house mates have expressed their discontent with his hobby. He also likes to listen to his iPod to, from and at uni, as well as occasionally at night when he can’t sleep.

Who else is in their life may be affected by hearing loss?: Its possible one of Josh’s house mates or uni friends may be at risk of hearing loss.

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Josh is curiously browsing the app store when he comes across this app, Image 4.17: Josh’s customer and decides to give it a go. While he passes the test, he takes advantage of

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this opportunity to familiarise himself with health professionals in his area. In doing so, he discovers more about prevention techniques through an

audiologist, at no cost.


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Rod the Businessman Name: Rod Age: 42 Occupation: Rod works in an office block in the inner Melbourne CBD. He works for a construction and development company, and he is often on sight, in meetings or on his mobile most of the working day.

What are their goals and motivations?: He is primarily motivated by increasing his disposable income, and making big purchases. He recently bought his own yacht, new Ferrari and enjoys playing golf with his new Titalist Platinum driver. He enjoys having the fanciest and latest gadgets, and takes pride in the perceived social status these objects give him.

Where do they live?: Rod lives in a high-rise apartment in the Melbourne CBD. He also owns a holiday home in Portsea, which he occasionally visits on weekends. Back Story: Rod lives a life of excess, and prides himself on having the latest and greatest gadgets. He is technology savvy, adapting quickly to new electronic devices and their accessories. He is part of a sailing club down at Portsea, and also enjoys swimming and cycling twice a week. He is considered a Melbourne socialite, attending many social functions related to his business activities. He often needs to work the crowd and schmooze his way into projects that will help further his own career.

How does hearing impact their life?: Rod needs his hearing to work social events, conduct business, and enjoy his recreational downtime. Being a social player of his business means Rod must conduct many meetings and consult with a range of clients, and so his hearing is vital to understanding project frameworks.

Who else is in their life may be affected by hearing loss?: It may be important for Rod to conduct meetings with hearing impaired people, but he knows little about how to do this.

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Rod incidently walks past the bike on his way to work, and decides to give it a Image 4.18: Rod’s customer go. While he passes the hearing check, he explores the apps features to learn

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more about the greater issue of hearing and how he may implement learned

measures in his workplace.


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Heidi the DJ Name: Heidi Age: 19 Occupation: Heidi is a music enthusiast who is turning her passion into a potential career choice. She has been experimenting with various mixers and effects trying to create her own demo, and has had some sessional gigs at a few city hotspots. She is also trying to score a gig being a radio presenter, and is currently considering studying media and communications to achieve this.

What are their goals and motivations?: Heidi’s ultimate goal is to be a regular DJ at her favourite club spots. She’s motivated by her “living in the moment” ethos, and is not afraid to do what she wants without consideration of regret (suggested by her sleeve tattoo). Heidi is also driven by the exploration of new music styles and is inspired to collect and mix one off tracks. Where do they live?: Heidi lives in a studio apartment in Brunswick with her 28-year-old boyfriend. This allows her to go out on the town whenever she pleases, and gives her access to the local music scene.

Back Story: Moving down from Sydney to be with her boyfriend she met on a holiday, Heidi is enjoying the Melbourne party scene. She loves exploring the endless bars and nightclub spots, as well as sampling the local music scene. She networks with other aspiring and established DJ’s, as her boyfriend is a record label representative. Heidi spends long periods of time listening to loud noises in her quest for finding the perfect track and creating her own demo.

How does hearing impact their life?: Clearly Heidi’s hearing is essential for her future career aspirations. However, she is constantly abusing her hearing through her prolonged sessions and experimentations, as well as in her social life.

Who else is in their life may be affected by hearing loss?: Her boyfriend, who has a similar lifestyle to her own, may be starting to experience some of the effects of hearing loss.

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Heidi hears about the app through her preferred radio station , and sees it again through her favourite radio station. Deciding to download it at home, she checks her hearing. Six months later, Heidi decides to re-check her hearing, and upon doing so explores prevention techniques.

Image 4.19: Heidi’s customer journey map

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Jackson the School Kid Name: Jackson Age: 8 Occupation: Jackson is a grade 2 student in primary school who enjoys playing sports in the school yard with his friends and drawing.

What are their goals and motivations?: Jackson’s main motivations at this stage are his loves of sport, going to his friend’s houses, and watching cartoons. His current goal is saving his pocket money for a toy he has been eyeing off in the window of a toy store he walks past on his way to school with his mum.

Where do they live?: Jackson lives with his family in a small cottage home in the outer southeastern suburbs of Melbourne. Back Story: This is Jackson’s first year of getting homework, of which much of it is based around getting his family involved to learn about certain aspects of his class work such as math, English and literacy, and problem solving. He plays in a local basketball team with his best friend Scott, and is very active playing in the back yard with his brother and sister. Teachers are often concerned by is attention span, and often have to tell him to lower his voice or to concentrate.

How does hearing impact their life?: As a young child and student, Jackson is developing his brain’s capacity for learning and comprehension, as well as his own speech, social skills and other important cognitive factors. Hearing plays a vital role in all this, and so it needs to be at its best for this stage in his life.

Who else is in their life may be affected by hearing loss?: Possibly a brother or sister, or his friend Scott in his basketball team.

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Jackson’s school is visited by the mobile hearing check kiosk, and all students Image 4.20: Jackson’s customer are encouraged to have their hearing checked. After the check, Jackson is

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encouraged to see an audiologist (through he school contacting his mother),

and the visit actually proves to be beneficial to his little brother.


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John the Footy Fan Name: John Age: 46 Occupation: John is an English teacher at a local high school. He has recently take long service leave, and is enjoying a bit more downtime with his family. What are their goals and motivations?: John is motivated by his recent time off to get some odd jobs done around the house, and to spend time with his family. One of John’s primary goals is watching his beloved footy team every time they play at the MCG. He often takes his son, and prefers to sit right behind the cheer squad where he feels the atmosphere is at its greatest.

Where do they live?: John lives in a large family home in Brighton with his family. Back Story: John is a great dad and typical father figure to many of his students. He is a patient and understanding man, and takes time to help students work through their schooling problems. On weekends he coaches his son’s local footy team, and is well respected and liked around the local club. He is known for his good humour and enthusiasm at games. He is a lifetime member of the MCC, and regularly watches his football team, who he is yet to witness win a premiership.

How does hearing impact their life?: As a pivotal social member of the football club, its important for John to be able to communicate easily with all involved parties. He also values his hearing for the football, enjoying the atmosphere and signing his club’s song. Who else is in their life may be affected by hearing loss?: Hearing loss may impact John’s students, his family, or even the children he coaches in his son’s football team

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John sees the mobile kiosk outside the ground before a game, and decides to Image 4.21: John’s customer kill some time by checking it out. Not sure if he is doing the test right, he asks

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for help from the attendant, who suggests he try and download it at home for a better result. In doing so, John learns about prevention techniques appropriate

to his age and activities.


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Diane the Recent Retiree Name: Diane Age: 57 Occupation: Diane is a recently retired solicitor who has decided to exit the workforce and enjoy her retirement.

What are their goals and motivations?: Diane has spent most of her career longing for an excited holiday overseas or a cruise. Her and her husband plan on doing this towards the end of the year. One of Diane’s greatest goals is to hear a traditional opera when her and her husband visit Italy. Where do they live?: Diane and her husband live a large terrace home in Brighton. Back Story: Diane has spent many years of long service as a solicitor Diane is ready to enjoy life after full time work. For the last few years, Diane has noticed a buzzing sound develop in her left ear. Thinking it was just a florescent light in her office, Diane has noticed that this noise has followed her home. Now with some extra time on her hands, Diane wants this problem resolved, but is in denial about visiting an audiologist.

How does hearing impact their life?: The ringing in Diane’s left ear can often keep her awake at night, or block out the voice of her husband.

Who else is in their life may be affected by hearing loss?: Possibly Diane’s husband

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Hearing about the mobile kiosk through her preferred radio station, Diane Image 4.22: Diane’s customer decides to check out the closest kiosk to her , which is located at the closest

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shopping centre. As Diane is not particularly technology savvy, she asks for help from the attendant. After the hearing check the attendant recommend

she visit and audiologist. In doing so, Diane finds out she needs hearing aids.


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Hanz and Elsa the Pensioners Name: Hanz and Elsa Age: 67 and 64 Occupation: Hanz and Elsa are pensioners, both being retired from their careers for more than 10 years.

What are their goals and motivations?: Hanz enjoys betting on the races and making his own home brew in his shed, while Elsa is a keen cook and enjoys her gardening. Both enjoy walking along the for Where do they live?: Hanz and Elsa live in a small cottage home on the Mornington Peninsula. Back Story: Migrating from Germany in the 1970’s, Hanz and Elsa take pride in their robust heritage. Brining with them their children and their love of Bratwursts, Hanz and Elsa set up their home in the north-western suburbs of Melbourne and became well known as the local butchers. How does hearing impact their life?: Hanz and Elsa both have received hearing aids due to their poor hearing, but both don’t like to waste their batteries at home. They also have usability issues, but avoid revisiting the audiologist because they don’t understand what she’s saying. They have both noticed a gradual decline in the effectiveness of their hearing aids, and consider them a waste of time and effort.

Who else is in their life may be affected by hearing loss?: Similar aged friends, family.

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Hanz and Elsa hear about the mobile kiosk through their preferred radio Image 4.23: Hanz & Elsa’s station, newspaper and local bowls club, and decide they would give it a go

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next time it was at their local bingo night. Expressing their dissatisfaction of their own hearing aids to the attendant, they are referred to a new audiologist

who adjusts their prescriptions accordingly.


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RMIT Health Services Something that I thought might enhance my service and its delivery was talking to RMIT Health Services. RMIT Health Service provides students from RMIT with information on health, acting as a touch-point to connect students to particular services and promote health campaigns. I got in touch with David Towl, a member of the RMIT Health Services group, to discuss my project and possibly discover how they provide similar services. David explained to me the role of RMIT Health Services, their involvement with particular health campaigns and how they connect with students with appropriate information and health professionals. David also alerted me to the hearing checks that are conducted on each of RMIT’s campuses, delivered as part of VicDeaf’s community outreach program. He highlighted that people who undertook the tests were those who were

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more concerned about their hearing, and this often led to the failure rate being higher than normal. That being said, the failure rate on each campus was, to me, enough to justify that my own service could play an important role within the system and within the greater issue of hearing loss. Something that David alerted me to was how important, particularly within younger people, prevention techniques can be when dealing with health issues. He advised me to explore behavioural change models and conceptualise how my service may also encompass effective prevention techniques. Finally, David was nice enough to put me in contact with VicDeaf’s principal audiologist, Matthew Grounds.

“something that David alerted me to was how important, particularly within younger people, prevention techniques can be when dealing with health issues”


David Towl David Towl NatDipAmb(ICO) BSc MPH David is a Health Promotion Officer within Student Services at RMIT. David’s areas of expertise include adolescent health promotion, health policy and environmental prevention. He has a particular interest in the fields of alcohol and drug and sexual health promotion. David completed undergraduate and postgraduate studies in science and public health at Otago University in New Zealand and has worked in health promotion in New Zealand and Australia since 2001. David is a qualified Paramedic and holds memberships to the Australasian College of Ambulance Professionals and Public Health Association of Australia. He is a State and National Director of the Australian Health Promotion Association.

Image 4.24: RMIT Health Service’s David Towl

“David is a Health Promotion Officer within Student Services at RMIT”

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RMIT Hearing Test Results For the last three years, hearing checks are competed through Vicdeaf’s community outreach programme at RMIT’s three Melbourne campuses. Through analysis of the results over this time, it is clear that a significant proportion of people are “failing” the checks. Failing a check usually means there is cause for concern in one or more areas of participant’s hearing. These results validate the underlying purpose of targeting younger people through my service proposal, and indeed implementing through institutions.

This first graph shows participation rates by students in these hearing checks. It appears that while initially gaining popularity, the numbers are beginning to dwindle. This may be through a lack of awareness, or possibly the people who may want to take the test (eg. have recognised their hearing problems) have already taken the check and do not seek extra checks.

Participation

100

Number of Participants

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75

50

25

2010

2011

2012

Timeline Image 4.25: Participation Numbers

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This second graph depicts the percentage of participants who fail the check. While the trend appears to be growing, this could be down to a filtering occurrence that comes from completing this check over time, as well as fewer numbers. However, it does illustrate the need for such services, and for more information targetted at this group.

City Campus Brunswick Campus Bundoora Campus

Fail Percentages 100%

Fail Percentage

75%

50%

25%

2010

2011

2012

Timeline Image 4.26: Fail Percentages

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Prevention Techniques Through my research I explored the appropriate level of sounds human ears can be exposed to, and the comparative sounds in dBs. This information could be displayed to the user in a way to educate and trigger them to begin thinking about the need for prevention techniques for their own hearing.

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Here are some other points about hearing loss that could encourage people to consider employing prevention techniques.

Explaining the signs of induced hearing loss. This could be done through asking, “Do you experience…” • • • • • •

Difficulty hearing particular sounds e.g. the telephone bell. The hearing loss usually affects the high frequencies first The need to have the television louder than other people Difficulty hearing in background noise eg. at meetings or parties Tinnitus (ringing in the ears) You may be asking for repeats more often

“if participants are made aware of excessive and damaging noises in their work or home life, then controls can be put in place by addressing one or more of these characteristics” If controls cannot be implemented in a bid to minimize excessive noise exposure, protective gear may be needed to prevent permanent hearing loss. Hearing prevention gear includes ear plugs that are air tight (as sound vibrations travel predominately into the human ear via the atmosphere) or over the ear protective ear muffs.

Outlining workplace health and safety regulations for them to consider hearings importance to the participant’s career. “The Occupational Health and Safety (Noise) Regulations 1992 state that exposure to noise of 85dBA for eight hours may not be exceeded (or louder sounds for shorter periods). No employee should be exposed for any length of time to a peak noise level greater than 14OdB (lin)” It would be easy to then ask participants about their noise exposure in the workplace, and supply them with techniques that could help reduce that exposure. This may also extend to considering incidental lifetime noise, and how participants may be exposed to certain noises around the home or leisure time. Damaging or excessive noise is typically characterised by: • How loud the noise is • The length of time a person is exposed to the noise • The distance a person is from the source of the noise • The position of the source of the noise • The pitch of the noise If participants are made aware of excessive and damaging noises in their work or home life, then controls can be put in place by addressing one or more of these characteristics. For example, (and most obviously) turning the noise down is a way to preserve your hearing. But maybe users should change the length of time they spend listening to their iPods or move away from their favourite position near the speakers in a rock concert.

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Behavioural Change As I am targeting people who are potentially unaware of their risk of hearing loss, or possibly set in their ways when it comes to activities that may harmful to their hearing, I think its important look into behavioural change techniques that may be important when designing my intended service. Something that I was recommended I investigate by David Towl from RMIT Health Services was the Transtheoretical Model of behavioural change. This model assesses the readiness of individuals in regards to behavioural change, and maps the transition through the behavioural change of an individual. I need to assess the potential stages that individuals may be in when they come to this pre-screening service, and analyse how I could cater to different individuals needs in regards to their readiness to change.

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Pre-Contemplation In this stage, people are not interested in change, can’t see the need to change and have no intention of doing anything differently. This group tends to avoid information, discussion or even think about change and the need for it. Some observers would characterize this group as ‘resistant’, ‘unmotivated’, or ‘in denial’ and not focused on the need to change or the actual change itself. Pre-contemplators typically underestimate the pros of changing their behaviour, overestimate the cons, and often are not aware of making such mistakes. One of the most effective steps that others can help with at this stage is to encourage them to become more mindful of their decision making and more conscious of the multiple benefits of changing an unhealthy behaviour.

Contemplation In this stage, people start to think about the issue and the possible need to make some changes. They recognize that there is a problem and that they can and should do something to make their lives better. This group is now beginning to see that their behaviour needs changing. People in this group are often seen as procrastinators and ambivalent, however what they are actually doing is weighing up the pro’s and con’s (including the costs and benefits) of any possible behaviour change. Giving up an enjoyed behaviour causes them to feel a sense of loss despite the perceived gain. At this stage, people are very open to information and scour sources. People here learn about the kind of person they could be if they changed their behaviour and learn more from people who behave in healthy ways. Others can influence and help effectively at this stage by encouraging them to work at reducing the cons of changing their behaviour.

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Preparation A change is about to happen. The person concerned has realized how serious their situation is, has made a decision or a commitment to change and is currently completing any ‘pre-change’ steps with a view to making the required change within the next month. This stage is also an informationgathering period. This stage is typified by determination, making plans, introspection about the decision to change as well as a reaffirmation of the need and desire to change. This is typically a period of transition. It is not seen as a stable time and is usually quite short. People in this stage should be encouraged to seek support from friends they trust, tell people about their plan to change the way they act, and think about how they would feel if they behaved in a healthier way. Their number one concern is: when they act, will they fail? They learn that the better prepared they are, the more likely they are to keep progressing.

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Action This stage applies to those people who have made real and overt changes or modifications to their lives and are starting to live their ‘new’ life. While the chances of relapse and temptation are very strong, there is also openness to receiving help and support. This stage is the ‘willpower’ stage and short-term rewards to sustain motivation are commonly used. This group is also prone to analyse any behaviour changes to enhance their self confidence and to help make better plans to deal with either personal or external pressures.


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Maintenance By this stage, people are working to consolidate any changes in their behaviour, to maintain the ‘new’ status quo and to prevent relapse or temptation. The former behaviour is now seen as no longer desirable and a number of coping strategies have been put in place and are working. This group needs to be patient and avoid personal and environmental temptations. There is a need for them to remind themselves of the progress that has been made already and to stay on the course of change. The risk of lapsing is substantially less than in earlier stages. It is recommended that people in this stage seek support from and talk with people whom they trust, spend time with people who behave in healthy ways, and remember to engage in healthy activities to cope with stress instead of relying on unhealthy behaviour.

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Making Change The majority of my audience that I seek to target are very much in the pre-contemplation, contemplation and preparation stages of change. As stated by Prochaska and colleagues through their research on the Stages of Change model, “Interventions to change behaviour are more effective if they are "stage-matched," that is, "matched to each individual's stage of change.” This means my service needs to somehow engage people who haven’t even considered their risk to hearing loss, those who have begun to recognize their hearing loss or the hearing loss of a person who is close to them, or a someone who is looking to take that next step and plan to take some action on their hearing loss. For individuals to progress through the stages, they generally need positive reinforcement from a number of factors. Firstly, the individual must be made aware that the advantages of changing outweigh the disadvantages of not making change. This is known as decisional balance. The individual should have confidence that they can make the change as well as maintain it, particularly in situations that tempt them to return to their previous behaviour. This is known as self-efficacy. Finally, individuals typically access change via the ten processes of change, which are: 1. Consciousness-Raising—increasing awareness via information, education, and personal feedback about the healthy behaviour. 2. Dramatic Relief—feeling fear, anxiety, or worry because of the unhealthy behaviour,

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or feeling inspiration and hope when they hear about how people are able to change to positive behaviours 3. Self-Reevaluation—realizing that the healthy behaviour is an important part of who they are and want to be 4. Environmental Reevaluation—realizing how their unhealthy behaviour affects others and how they could have more positive effects by changing 5. Social Liberation—realizing that society is more supportive of the healthy behaviour 6. Self-Liberation—believing in one’s ability to change and making commitments and recommitments to act on that belief 7. Helping Relationships—finding people who are supportive of their change 8. Counter-Conditioning—substituting healthy ways of acting and thinking for unhealthy ways 9. Reinforcement Management—increasing the rewards that come from positive behaviour and reducing those that come from negative behaviour 10. Stimulus Control—using reminders and cues that encourage healthy behaviour as substitutes for those that encourage the unhealthy behaviour. I aim to embed and implement many of these change-enabling features within my service touch-points to facilitate the greatest possible change towards increasing the use of hearing aids and decreasing the rate of hearing loss. Actions I could take include increasing awareness and distributing information, relaying the importance of adopting hearing loss prevention techniques, or supplying reminders and cues that encourage the active participation in prevention techniques.


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I approached Matthew Grounds, principal audiologist of VicDeaf, via email in an attempt to discover more about the process of community outreach of hearing services. VicDeaf are a not for profit organization that act as a primary source of reference, referral, advice and support for deaf and hard of hearing adults in Victoria. Vicdeaf works collaboratively with a variety of mental health, legal and employment providers, support agencies, education and government departments with the aim to achieve access and equity for Deaf and hard of hearing people in Victoria. Part of the work at Vicdeaf includes providing information, resources and workshops to the wider community about Deaf and hard of hearing people and the day-to-day challenges they face. They receive funding for approximately 45 per cent of their operating costs from state and federal governments, and the remaining 55 per cent is derived from fund raising initiatives and service fees. After sending Matthew some of my service propositions (such as the customer journey maps) and explaining how I intended the service to function, he was extremely keen to set up a meeting to discuss the project further. I met with Matthew and Vicdeaf’s community outreach operator, a lady called Robyn, at their headquarters on Albert St, East Melbourne. I was accompanied by my application developer, James Bertschik, who I will talk more about in the following chapter. In our meeting, Matthew explained to us the role Vicdeaf played in the overall hearing system, how they acquired

Chapter 4 The Service

Vicdeaf & Hear Service

Image 4.27 - 4.29: Hearing tests conducted by Robyn from Vicdeaf

funding from government bodies by collecting community statistics, and how he was very interested in my project. We exchanged ideas about how to deliver the service, what Vicdeaf was currently doing in their community work,

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Image 4.30: Robyn tweaking the audiometer’s output to conduct the hearing test

and additional features that may be appropriate to think about if. For me, their positivity towards the project and what I was doing came as a source of vindication, and provided me with the prospect of taking this project past the submission date by suggesting the creation of a partnership, which could potentially help launch my career. During our meeting, Robyn suggested that James and I take a hearing test, similar to that which she conducts as part of Vicdeafs community outreach program. This is the same test that is conducted at RMIT’s various campuses. We shifted to a quiet room, ideal for hearing tests, and were explained the process of the test. I went first, putting on the headphones and facing away from Robyn, who was conducting the test. Using a hand held trigger to signal response, I was instructed to push its button when I heard the various tones emitted by the audiometer. Marking my responses manually, Robyn recorded my results on an audiogram.

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After this hearing test was completed, Robyn clearly and succinctly explained the implications of the results, showing my responses at different frequencies and decibels, and even showing me where these were in relation to human speech. To my surprise, I have developed a condition called a “noise notch”, which is something that is quite common and a key indicator that I have been over-exposed to loud noises. Considering I am not a construction worker or regularly attend concerts, it was suggested that this had developed due to the over-use of my iPod. Robyn explained to me that, whilst it wasn’t the end of the world, I shouldn’t let this “noise notch” develop much further as it could have negative implications when I am older. I was amazed at this result, not even suspecting that I was a potential candidate for my own project. Once again, this result validated my reasons for undertaking this project and delivering this service.


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My Audiogram

Image 4.31: Matthew Grounds from Vicdeaf’s Hear Service

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Matthew Grounds Matt Grounds, B.Sc. Dip Aud. is Principal Audiologist at the Hearservice, which is part of Vicdeaf, a not-for-profit organisation that has been serving Deaf and hard of hearing Victorians since 1884. Hearservice runs community-based hearing screening and information services, as well as audiological assessments and rehabilitation services, including hearing aid and device fitting. Matt’s previous role was as an Audiologist and General Manager at Australian Hearing. Image 4.32: Matthew Grounds from Vicdeaf’s Hear Service

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Image 4.33: Vicdeaf’s logo


Chapter Conclusion

“my service also aims to capture an audience of individuals who may not consider themselves at risk of hearing loss, and provide them with information they would otherwise possibly not access”

In conclusion, I aim to create a service that will connect people to the greater system of hearing loss prevention and correction. As I have previously stated, this greater system is overwhelmingly confusing to potential users as there is so much information out there to choose from. This service aims to make this information transferral more efficient, and attempt to engage user’s attention for a greater period of time. My service also aims to capture an audience of individuals who may not consider themselves at risk of hearing loss, and provide them with information they would otherwise possibly not access. This service will be delivered around Melbourne, with identified locations such as Fed Square or the MCG iconic Melbourne locations often associated with noise. It also has the potential to be delivered through learning institutions such as universities or schools, as well as hired for workplaces. Now that I have explored how this service will work, I need to create the products that will enable it to function.

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Chapter 4 References Images Image 4.1: Intended use scenario, own image Image 4.2: Day in the life storyboard, own image Image 4.3: RMIT University, sourced on 4/8/2012 from http://farm5.staticflickr.com/4074/4828408049_83b6fd7a76_z.jpg Image 4.4: Federation Square, sourced on 4/8/2012 from http://www.bhatt.id.au/blogimg/melbourne-federation-square.jpg Image 4.5: Rod Laver Arena, sourced on 4/8/2012 from http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/3/3d/Rod_laver_arena_by_night.jpg/300px-Rod_laver_arena_by_night.jpg Image 4.6: Melbourne Cricket Ground, sourced on 4/8/2012 from http://www.theage.com.au/ffximage/2009/05/19/qqMCG_TH_wideweb__470x321,0.jpg Image 4.7: Melbourne Central Shopping Centre, sourced on 4/8/2012 from http://www.melbourne-city-directory.com.au/images/Melbourne%20Central.JPG Image 4.8: Melbourne Airport, sourced on 4/8/2012 from http://www.jaunted.com/files/97904/VA_MEL.jpg Image 4.9: Falls Music Festival, sourced on 4/8/2012 from http://www.scenewave.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/07/svworks5_gallery__600x4004-480x320.jpg Image 4.10: Combined Customer Journey Map, own image Images 4.11 – 4.23: Individual Customer Journey Maps, own images Image 4.24: David Towl, provided by David Image 4.25: Participation numbers, own image Image 4.26: Failure Rate Percentages, own image Images 4.27 – 4.29: Visit to Vicdeaf, own images Image 4.30: Robyn tweaking an audiometer, own image Image 4.31: My Audiogram from Vicdeaf, own image Image 4.32: Matthew Grounds, supplied by Matthew Image 4.33: Vicdeaf logo

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Chapter 5

The Products

Image 5.1 : CAD Rendering of the kiosk


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What are my Products? The final link in the delivery of my ProductService-System approach to my project is of course the products themselves. In an attempt to deliver my service efficiently I have elected to create both a smart phone application, that will be the platform for conducting hearing checks and connecting people to appropriate information and health services, and a mobile hearing check kiosk, which will aim to actively engage the public and create awareness through participation. The advantage of the stand alone application is that checks can be completed at home and information is accessed easily, while the advantages of the mobile kiosk is to provide user the user experience and create user reassurance with the assistance of the kiosk attendant. This chapter explores the design of these products with consideration to the audience I am targeting, the service I am aiming to provide and my own design skills and abilities.

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“...actively engage the public and create awareness through participation�


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The Application Image 5.2: To Be Confirmed

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The Application What?

How?

I aim to create a smart phone application that will act as an entry point to my service, and to the overall system that is hearing loss correction and prevention. This application should facilitate a number of users’ needs including a hearing check to detect any possible concerns with user’s hearing, provide information on hearing loss prevention techniques, and direct users to their nearest audiologist if appropriate.

The application is accessible at the mobile kiosk, where it is a walk up and use process, or at home, where it is a download and use process. One of the key features of the app I wish to create is a sense of individuality by creating accounts, rather than the current accepted system which is simply just use and discard. The advantages of creating user accounts are that you can have multiple users on one device (such as a family iPad), you can map your hearing levels over time, and your anonymous details (such as gender and age) can be collected for data analysis purposes important to hearing service companies and organizations. From the back end of the app, it may be possible to send people push notifications to users to redo the check every six months, and use typical smart phone technology to say where someone has completed the check or link results to Facebook if they so desire. The application has a hearing check embedded within, which enables users to assess their own level of hearing (within reason) and if problems arise, action can be taken. Obviously it will not be a medical grade hearing test, but rather an indicator of where the user’s hearing levels are at. Disclaimers should be included in this application to ensure user’s know that seeing a professional is always a preferred option.

Why? Creating a smart phone application addresses a number of barriers that individuals potentially face when it comes to hearing correction and prevention. Whether the app is a free or purchasable app, it will be typically less of a financial burden to the user than visiting an audiologist simply for a consultation. It may be also possible to address the issue of cost through directing users to cheaper or discounted audiological visits through referral from the app. The application also acts as a way to increase awareness to appropriate information and improve access to subsequent services and prevention techniques.

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“the application has a hearing check embedded within, which enables users to assess their own level of hearing”


Application Research My first step when it came to conceptualising the smart phone application was to use my pre-existing knowledge of apps I had interacted with, and research more about apps that were within the space of hearing. I found that there were already a number of existing apps that conducted hearing checks. I trialled three separate apps; Hearing Check published by Action On Hearing Loss, Hearing Test published by CATEATER, and Siemens Hearing Test published by Siemens. All apps were iPad apps, intended to be used in a quiet room using headphones. The first thing I noticed was that all of these apps provided a listening check, which basically allowed user’s to adjust the volume level to a comfortable listening level. Instructions were always given as to how to interact with the hearing check, such as “as soon as you hear a tone touch the button.” The collection of personal data was always discretely embedded, with commonly asked inputs that included important factors such as gender and age. The way the check was conducted in each app was different, either the pronunciation of words or numbers played with a distorting sound placed over the top, or simply a tone being played that had to be responded to with a tap. Either way, the typical use cycle was: sound output, user detection, user response, visual feedback of response, and repeat. Something I found worked well was the assistance of visual cues, not to indicate that sound was being

Images 5.3 & 5.4: Hearing Check! Application, which is based in the UK

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played, but to indicate the test was running. A visual feedback response also helped me to identify that I had touched the button. Finally, upon completion of the hearing check, results were projected. This was either done by displaying the results in each ear through textual explanation, or through visual explanation via plotting on an audiogram or by other means. Results could sometimes be captured by exporting or by e-mail, but often would display on the screen until you resat the test. While these apps proved to be functionally acceptable as checks, no real meaningful results were projected, with one app being based in the UK (and taking up to a month to give me my results) and another projecting my results in a way that I couldn’t even understand. These apps also proved to be fairly unfulfilling, as I would download them (either for free or for $1.99) conduct a check, and that was it. These sorts of apps are described as “drive by apps.” I was fairly unsatisfied with the experience of all of these apps, but saw the potential to improve on what these apps could potentially be. Another problem that existed with all the apps was the feeling I was doing the test wrong. It was almost as if I needed a trail run before I could be confident with the check. While clear written instructions prove to be crucial, the assistance of visual prompts may prove to be more affective. A lot of the time, I also felt the application lead nowhere. Often after the hearing check, my only option was to take the test again or close the app. One of the more complete apps, the Siemens Hearing Test, did provide further

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Images 5.5 & 5.6: Hearing Test published by CATEATER


information and a Google Map search of the closes audiologists, but to me both were fairly shallow in terms of personal value. Finally, awareness of the app will be paramount when gaining exposure. At the moment these apps rely on the user’s current level of interest in their own hearing and would only download the app if they thought they needed it. When it comes to creating my own app, I would like to have a more holistic approach, and not create another drive-by app. The importance of adding value and creating a positive user experience will be key to continued user engagement and successful data collection and information transferral. In regards to having this app on the mobile kiosk, it needs to be quick and easy to use. As there is only going to be a limited amount of devices possible on this kiosk, I need to move people through it as quickly as possible. It may be possible to provide a revised version of the app on this kiosk, which may reduce the time the hearing check takes. After analysing the current applications work — which features worked well and which did not — I decided to storyboard my own application using Adobe Illustrator. While my app may end up being very similar in terms of the hearing check, I will try to create a more engaging experience through personal accounts and ongoing test prompts. My app will also offer a range of other tools such as mapping the kiosk, connections to services, as well as prevention techniques,

Images 5.7 & 5.8: Siemens Hearing Check App

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12:20 PM

iPad Back

Free

Download the application from iTunes

Load Screen/Title Screen

Email: Password:

Create New

Sign In

Sign up using an email account

Creating a new profile

Retractable keyboard + Fill in

Fill out details + Agree to License + Sign up

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Enter your personal site

Learn about how to use this app

Learn why this app is important

Start hearing test

Adjust volume

Select wearing headphones

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Read hearing test instructions

Commence hearing test 1

Commence hearing test 2

Receive results

What does it mean + recommendations

Choose to read disclaimer

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Close disclaimer takes you back to this

What to do next - explore testing bike/health services

What is the testing bike?

GPS tracking of bike

Description of health services + links Image 5.9: Application walk-through storyboard

Other applications (yet to come)

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Class App Walkthrough & Feedback Something I decided to do with this initial application concept was to access whether my fellow classmates could navigate and understand how this concept worked. I decided to pin up my app concept step by step, and watch these classmates walkthrough my app, making comments where appropriate. Comments made included “shorter sign in process,” “ how do I upload my photo?” and “what’s going on with the hearing test?” These comments gave me some prompts on how to alter the app and consider how people may interact with it. Thank you to my participants Siobhan, Zach and Kate.

“I decided to pin up my app concept step by step, and watch these classmates walkthrough my app, making comments where appropriate”

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Images 5.10 - 5.18: Desktop walk-through conducted in class of the application

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The Mobile Kiosk Image 5.19: TBC

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The Mobile Kiosk What? This will be a mobile kiosk mounted on a Christiania bicycle that will serve as a physical platform for the hearing check application, effectively making this product a mobile hearing check facility.

Why? Providing access to the application in this way aims to capture a wider audience of people, particularly engaging people who may have never thought of having their hearing checked prior to their engagement. Providing this service touch-point within a community may prompt individuals to interact with the service more so than simply without the prompt. This mobile hearing check kiosk also aims to reduce or eliminate the impact of barriers to hearing aids. This includes connecting people to services for a lower cost (in the long run) compared to seeing an audiologist when you don’t need to, increasing access and awareness of hearing loss correction and prevention, and addressing any usability concerns individuals may be having. Setting this in a fun and engaging way may also help to lower the stigma that is associated with hearing aids, and help bring people within this sector together.

“providing this service touch-point within a community may prompt individuals to interact with the service” How? It will be operated by an attendant, who will cycle the kiosk to a chosen location, set up all required components (such as signage of stools) and be there to assist user’s with any questions or troubles they may have with the app as well as spruik the public to use the kiosk. A number of iPads will be mounted onto the kiosk, which will enable user to access the hearing check application. The kiosk could also be fitted with a number of QR codes for people to scan and download the app later in their own time. The advantages of having the iPads is that the attendant will be able to use them to transmit the GPS location of the kiosk, which may enable home users to track the kiosk and possibly visit if it is in their area. Headphones supplied on the bike will also be use alongside the application to check the hearing of participants. The idea is that this product could be sold or leased to a hearing related organization, such as Vicdeaf, who would store and operate it. Depending on who owns it, advertising and print media should represent their organization.

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Design Strategy As I had a closing time frame on this project, I found that I needed to devise a concise and effective design strategy for creating my mobile kiosk prototype. For each step, I decided I would include the four P’s; purpose, procedure, problems, positive resolution. I chose to comment on each of these for P’s in order to effectively reflect on each steps contribution to the design, and decide how I could move forward with each new step. Here is my design strategy.

Step 1 - Feature exploration: What do I want this kiosk to have/do? Step 2 - 3D Exploration One: Get a feel for the box shape Step 3 - 2D Exploration: Explore basic form Step 4 - 3D exploration Two: Work on three concepts and develop further Step 5 - Material Exploration: Choose a range of materials I could use Step 6 - Process Exploration: Decide which process suits my project Step 7 - Card Models: Explore form through scale prototyping Step 8 - Big Card Models: Explore the on-to-one scale and proportions Step 9 - Final Design: Choose a final design for manufacture of first round prototype

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Mapping the Features

Image 5.20: The Mobile Kiosk’s Features

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Three-dimensional Exploration One Purpose: This 3D exploration was a way for me to explore the space of the box, and let my ideas loosely be realised through sketching. It allowed me to explore the features I wished to implement in the box design, and start to consider how I would bring these elements together

Procedure: I simply began sketching in blue pencil as quickly as possible to generate concepts and spark new ideas.

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Problems: At this point I was aware of the grid that the bike would sit on, but not of how the bike looked itself. This limited my conceptual ideas of how the box would look. Positive Resolution: After completing this set of sketches, I was able to start experimenting with the form and was able to understand the space a lot better.

Image 5.21: Working out the basics of the box using quick sketching


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Images 5.22 - 5. 24: Exploring the form of the box through quick sketches

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Two-dimensional Exploration Positive Resolution: After completing this

Procedure: Drawing up a profile of the bike

set of sketches, I was able to start experimenting with the form and was able to understand the space a lot better.

quickly on Adobe Illustrator, I printed multiple sheets containing these profiles to create quick concept generation.

Purpose: This 2D exploration was a way for

Problems: This method does reduce the generation and visualisation of concepts in three-dimensional space.

me to explore the form and function of my box, expanding on the features of the box as well as its form in relation to the bike

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Positive Resolution: This procedure allowed to me further generate and conceptualise the design of my box to be mounted on the bike.

Image 5.25: Exploring the form of the kiosk through 2D sketching


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Images 5.26 - 5. 31: Exploring the form of the kiosk through 2D sketching

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Three-dimensional Exploration Two Concept One This concept was an exploration towards creating folding shelves that would protrude over the wheels. I considered this concept to be made from plywood pieces, which could easily be CNCed down at workshop. Storage is created on the inside of the box, with a trap door in the front making this accessible. The folding wings will contain recesses for 4 separate iPads, though I am unsure of the space available for participants to stand. Room will need to be made

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for things like power outlets and headphones. My idea is that the bike operator will be able to ride this bike to a location, unfold it for use, and then fold it up again for transport and storage. This concept also lacks potential signage, although this could be stored inside the box. A cover from the sun may also be potentially useful.

Image 5.32: Quick sketching of concept one


Image 5.33: CAD Drawings of Concept One

“this concept was an exploration towards creating folding shelves that would protrude over the wheels”

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Three-dimensional Exploration Two Concept Two This solution tried to enhance the use of dead space within the box by making a retractable piece that could act as an extendable cover. The idea was to recreate the booth effect of an audiologist, using the retractable section as a divider to the person on the other side of the box, as well as a cover for the iPads when it is closed up. I want the operator to be able to easily lift this section to full height, and lock it in place with a set of locking pins. In this example there is also consideration given to headphone storage whilst in use, as well as potential signage on this retractable section.

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Image 5.34: Quick Sketch of Concept Two


Image 5.35: CAD Drawings of Concept Two

“the idea was to recreate the booth effect of an audiologist...”

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Three-dimensional Exploration Two Concept Three This idea expanded on recreating this sound proof booth like effect. I reduced the amount of iPads, and added sound proofing holes to help recreate this effect. A section can still be expanded from within, with a longer locking pin, potentially an aluminium rod, holding it in place. This design also has headphone holders, as well as containing a trap door for storage. The roof of this extendable piece aims to provide sunshade, however I am concerned with the usability of this idea as it may be too low or too restricting. This concept will also be made from plywood, but I should try to explore other materials.

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Image 5.36: Quick Sketch of Concept Three


Image 5.37: CAD Drawings of Concept Three

“the roof of this extendable piece aims to provide sunshade, however I am concerned with the usability of this idea as it may be too low or too restricting”

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Material Exploration

Image 5.38: Plywood Example

Plywood

Plywood is made up of multiple veneers of timber, with several veneers creating the panel. This material is relatively cheap and easy to work with, and could be easily sourced. The advantages of using this material are that it rarely cracks, it doesn’t shrink and it is often re-usable, which would be good form a sustainability perspective. It can also give me considerable strength to my kiosk. I am also relatively familiar with this material, and I would find it easy to use.

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Image 5.39: Steel Section Example

Steel Section

There could be opportunities to make the box’s frame out of steel sections. This would create considerable strength, but also add excessive weight. This material could be easily recycled, which would be good from a sustainability perspective. Panels of some kind would need to be attached to create the box’s body.


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Image 5.40: Aluminium Sheeting Example

Image 5.41: Thermoplastic Example

Aluminium Sheeting

Thermoplastic

This material could be good for adding strength and creating more desirable forms. This material could be folded up into the box structure that I am looking for, as well as add a “medically” professionally finish. I’m not sure how to source this material, or even of it’s relative cost effectiveness for this job.

I could explore making this box using strong lightweight plastic. I haven’t worked with plastics much before, so this may be a challenging and insight experience. It may not be particularly cost effective to just make one of these boxes from plastic. It may be possible to do certain components from plastics.

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Process Exploration

Image 5.42: CNC Process Example

Image 5.43: Waterjet Cutting Process Example

Computer Nuemrical Control

Laser Cutting / Waterjet Cutting

CNC manufacturing is used to recreate highly precise forms in a short amount of time. Using a range of routing pieces, CNC machining allows for milling and cutting a range of materials. In the CNC process, the tool essentially has an X axis, Y axis, and Z axis. This results in a greater range of movement and routing opportunities. This process could be useful when considering the aluminium sheeting idea, cutting fold lines and perimeter lines to create a shape create into a box.

These alternative methods of cutting are similar to the CNC process, but only have the X axis and the Y axis. Laser cutting uses a highly concentrated laser beam that is used to cut through various materials. Water-jet cutting uses the same principle, but uses highly pressurised water and sometimes cutting granules to make the cut on larger and thicker materials.

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Image 5.44: Vacuum Forming Process Example

Image 5.45: Roto Moulding Process Example

Vacuum Forming

Rotational Moulding

This involves using a single-sided mould to turn a sheet of plastic into a designed shape. A sheet of thermoplastic is heated to a point, and then the air is vacuumed out downwards over the mould, drawing the plastic with it. This creates the desired shape.

This process involves creating a hollow mould that will be rotated while a heated thermoplastic forms around the inside. This creates a constant wall thickness and inherent strength characteristics. This process is used to make larger plastic object such as eskies or clothing manikins.

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Rapid Prototyping Card Models Creating quick and dirty card prototypes at a small scale allowed me to quickly explore form and evaluate the effectiveness of using sheet metal techniques. For this process, I laser cut a very basic form of the cargo bike, using that as a clear blank to focus on the form of the box. Using card, I quickly mocked up several sizes of boxes to determine my preferred dimension, and then proceeded to create quick prototypes. This process helped me to quickly explore form, and physically realise my design.

Purpose: Creating quick and easy card models will aim to help me create physical relationships to form and scale.

Procedure: Laser cut Perspex to create a basic bike blank, creating box forms out of card and hot glue to replicate sheet metal procedures.

Problems: Difficult to replicate curved bends and keep accurate scale. Positive Resolution: This type of exploration helped me to consider the process at hand and how I may use that to influence form.

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Images 5.46 - 5.49: Desktop Modelling in Card


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“helped me to consider the process at hand and how I may use that to influence form�

Images 5.50 - 5.53: Desktop Modelling in Card

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One to One Cardboard Model After deciding on a relative direction for the design from the card models, I decided to create a one to one scale model to test appropriate dimension. Using the same base that is mounted on the christiania bicycle, I propped this up to correct wheel height, and used a bunch of scrap cardboard to create my potential box. This process helped me to obtain scales and dimensions, as well as adjust usability issues and other factors that can only be discovered form a one to one model. Purpose: To gauge scale and discover appropriate dimensions for my box design. Procedure: One to one card model using scrap card and masking tape. Problems: Sizes of cardboard were random and not ideal to work with, and the sturdiness of my mock up was potentially not the best. Positive Resolution: This process helped to confirm my design direction and give me some ergonomic factors.

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Images 5.54 - 5.56: One to One Mock-up Using Cardboard


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“...a one to one scale model to test appropriate dimension”

Images 5.57 - 5.59: One to One Mock-up Using Cardboard

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Reaching the Final Design Finally, after developing my idea through a range of iterative concepts, I came to produce this idea of a box that folds outwards to set up for use. This design would be folded out of sheets of Dibond, CNC routed down at workshop and folded by hand to create. Functionally, this design was ideal for what I intended the box to do and how I intended it to work. However, this design was a bit too complicated in terms of how it looked, as well as its manufacture.

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The inclusion of many different hinges was not atheistically ideal, and also made the construction period a little harder. This design was a good starting point for further development. What I needed to accomplish from here was reducing the amount of parts this design had, as well as eliminating sharp edges and consolidating the design to be much neater.

Image 5.60: Quick sketch of refined design iteration


Image 5.61: CAD Drawings of refined iteration

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This lead to an idea for my final design, which was a box that had static wings constructed into its sides in which the iPads could be accessed and used. The decision to eliminate most of the moving parts led to a much cleaner design, while access to the inside of the box was done through the lid, the only dynamic part left. I came to this final concept that you see below through a number of iterations of practically the same design, with a different configuration of parts. What I was finding was that it was difficult to gain rounded, un-sharp edges with so little components. In this final design, any edges I have were to be covered by a rubber seal.

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Image 5.62: CAD drawings of final design


Below you can see the different components of the final assembly. The iPad should sit snugly into the bluefoam section, and these sections will fit into their respective wings. Attached to each side of the main box, these wings will have a slot of this foam to slide inside, which will enable the removal of iPads if need be. The lid is intended to hinge from the side furthest from the bike, and this will allow for access to the inside of the box for storage purposes for the kiosk attendant.

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Lid

Right WIng

Main Box Left Wing

Bluefoam

iPad

Image 5.63: Exploded CAD drawings of final design

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Image 5.64 - 5.67: CAD renderings of final design

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Chapter Conclusion Now that I have essentially designed the products that I intend to act as touch-points and essentially drive my designed service, I need to start making these products a reality. While most of my actions throughout this chapter have been more so propositional, it now comes time for me to refine these designs to be used by my intended audience. Through experimentation throughout this design process, such as staging the desktop walkthrough for the app or producing renders of my final kiosk design using CAD (see previous page), I have been able to visualise the prototypes I wish to create and how they will be used in a real life setting. I now need build these prototypes in order to test their potential for positive impact on spreading hearing loss awareness and increasing access.

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Chapter Five References Images:

Image 5.1:CAD render, own image Image 5.2: App design, own image Images 5.3 & 5.4: Hearing Check! Application screen shots Images 5.5 & 5.6: CATEATER Hearing Check screen shots Images 5.7 & 5.8: Siemens Hearing Test screen shots Image 5.9: Application walkthrough, own image Images 5.10 – 5.18: Desktop walkthrough in class, own images Image 5.19: CAD render, own image Image 5.20: Bike Features, own images Image 5.21: Working out the basics, own image Images 5.22 – 24: Blue pencil sketches, own image Image 5.25: Exploring basic 2D form, own image Images 5.26-5.31: Exploring basic 2D form, own images Image 5.32: Quick Sketches concept one, own image Image 5.33: Concept one tech drawings, own images Image 5.34: Quick sketches concept two, own image Image 5.35: Concept two tech drawings, own images Image 5.36: Quick sketches concept three, own image Image 5.37: Concept three tech drawings, own images Image 5.38: Plywood example, sourced on 28/9/2012 from http://www.in.all.biz/img/in/catalog/433224.jpeg Image 5.39: Steel section example, sourced on 28/9/2012 from http://www.robor.co.za/images/Drawn_steel/drawnsteel.jpg Image 5.40: Aluminium sheet example, sourced on 28/9/2012 from http://i00.i.aliimg.com/img/ pb/827/240/277/277240827_227.jpg Image 5.41: Thermoplastic example, sourced on 28/9/2012 from http://www.eplastics.com/transparent-acryliccolors-sample-300.jpg Image 5.42: CNC example, sourced on 28/9/2012 from http://www.plasma-cutter.com/torch_cut_med.jpg Image 5.43: Laser cutting/watejet example, sourced on 28/9/2012 from http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-f7-IY-Fm88o/ TZrKK73XOGI/AAAAAAAADjg/w-wT4tfFP4Q/s1600/water-jet-cutting-material.jpg Image 5.44: Vacuum forming example, sourced on 28/9/2012 from http://www.stanford.edu/group/prl/prl_site/ Content/Foundry_Area/Plastics/images/Vacuum_Forming_33.jpg Image 5.45: Vacuum forming example, sourced on 28/9/2012 from http://www.kknag.com/images/dsc_65_big.jpg Images 5.46 – 5.53: Card models, own images Images 5.54 – 5.59: One to one card models, own images Image 5.60: Sketch final concept iteration, own image Image 5.61: CAD final iteration, own image Image 5. 62: CAD drawings final design, own image Image 5.63: Exploded CAD Drawings final design, own images Images 5.64 – 5.67: Final design CAD renders, own images

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Prototyping

Image 6.1: The Kiosk


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The Importance of Prototyping Prototyping, to me, is an industrial designer’s most powerful and progressive tool. While sketching, even in perspective, can help explore what we intend our products (or services) to look like, and using computer modelling can help establish the technical specifics and finishes we think we desire, prototyping transcends the theoretical idea of a product and turns that idea into reality. Form, function and everything in-between can almost always be tested through prototyping. To me, it is more valuable to test the feeling of a product as it sits in your hand or it’s presence as you stand side by side to it. While we can conceive the ideas we want to emulate by using our minds, we realise what we really want to make by using our hands. As I mentioned before, prototyping is progressive. Its fluidity and constant evolution

“prototyping transcends the theoretical idea of a product and turns that idea into reality”

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allows industrial designer’s to prototype in new and exciting ways in a bid to increase production speed and decrease associated cost. Rapid prototyping techniques such as threedimensional printing or computer numerical control devices allow for fast and accurate representations of products into physical form, while using paper and card, although relatively primitive, are still provide value to the prototyping process. This chapter is dedicated to how I produced the prototypes of my products, mapping the process from the concept to physical & testable prototype.


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The Application Image 6.2: The Application

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Outsourcing the Application Development

While I had an idea of the way I wanted my application to look and function, I was at this stage unable to do so on my own. I knew a number of class members were creating theirs in Flash, but I also knew that with creating my mobile kiosk I would have limited time. I also wanted something that was as close to a real app as possible, with the intentions of possibly taking this app into the future. This is when I got in contact with James Bertchik, a phenomenal computer minded person as well as a savvy business orientated person. James is a soon to be member of the family, currently engaged to my cousin, however he has been around for years. It was only natural that I approach James with this project and see how I could pick his brain for advice and skills. I initially sent him through a short

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“I also wanted something that was as close to a real app as possible, with the intentions of possibly taking this app into the future�

folio presentation of my work, explaining the application and what I wanted it to do. I also presented him with the same walkthrough I showed to my peers, and my aspirations for the end of semester. I quickly got him on board with the prospect of something new and exciting, as well as the potential this project had for the future. James got started on my walkthrough straight away and created the first version of the app from my walkthrough. This was more about testing what he could do with the app, how it felt and how it may function. This version made it possible to demo music, scroll through the various tabs, and see how the sign up would work.


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James Bertchik Biography

Image 6.3: James Bertchik

James is an information technology professional, web application developer and self-proclaimed perfectionist. In 2007 he dropped out of Uni to co-found On Demand IT Solutions, an IT Solutions company which on a weekly basis engages with multinational clients. The momentum of his company’s premiere software development – the ‘Media Delivery System’ saw rapid implementations in Australia and the UK, leading to a grant from Multimedia Victoria acknowledging innovations in software and web technology development. He is an entrepreneur by heart, who lives and breathes technology – with this in mind it seemed only fitting that he dropped out of Uni a second time to start Genius (Generation Innovation Australia), a non-profit organisation aimed at helping young business people explore their entrepreneurial potential. James is never still for too long and is very excited about the future potential of InFrequencies.

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On-going Consulations After sitting down for the first time together and exploring the first version of the app James had created, I was really excited. Seeing that James had recreated my initial design in a way that was application appropriate was really encouraging that we were on the same page, and also gave me ideas on how to better design for the app. After testing this initial first round prototype, James and I sat down and began to paper prototype the chain of events and changes that were necessary to improve the app. Ideas like quicker log in options, discretely embedded progressive information collection, and discussing how the hearing check would work. At this stage our biggest concern was recreating the hearing check. We had both been to Vicdeaf by this stage, and had experienced how an effective hearing check could be delivered. The problem we were having at this stage was that each iPad version had a different dB output, which was further affected by the type of headphones being used. It seemed highly unlikely that we were going to be able to output a medically accurate audiogram, which is still essentially ok with the proper disclaimer notice to the users. However, we both wanted this app to be as close as possible to the real deal in order to accurately connect the right people to services. Another problem at this stage was that we couldn’t accurately output our own test tones without a sound proof room to record them in.

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Images 6.4-6.6: Preliminary app work


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James and I consulted on a regular basis throughout the app development phase, trying to better work out how certain things would work. There were a number of iterations and amendments before we were happy with a final product.

Images 6.7 - 6.9: James and I collaborating on the app design

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Hearing Check Instructions Something that was required of me for James was supplying some graphical data to put in the app such as the sound waves at the bottom of this page, and a set of graphical instructions for the app. I wanted these instructions to be less formal and a little bit fun, explaining how the hearing test will work. I found in many of the existing apps, the instructions were a little dry and unclear as they were mostly text based. Something I wanted to do was explain how the check would work using easy to understand diagrams working in unison with small amounts of text. Here is my version of the hearing check instructions.

“I wanted these instructions to be less formal and a little bit fun, explaining how the hearing test will work�

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Images 6.10 -6.13: Hearing check instructions

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Final Application Explained The following images are screen shots directly from a particular stage of the application’s development, and try to illustrate key features of the app. One of the beauties of developing an app is that I is always changing and evolving. Here is the final version as I approached the final submission. This page contains the entering screen, as well as the log in options.

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This page shows the extra details that are taken from the user once they are inside the app. This prevents an overload of initial details to fill in, which also avoids disengaging the user immediately.

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This page shows the hearing check tab, as well as headphone testing. Doing headphone testing allows us to make sure user’s are recording accurate results (not affected by bung headphones), and prompt them to put the headphones on correctly.

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Hand drawn instructions aim to illustrate to the user how this application works clearly outside of the apps function.

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The results of the hearing test will be presented clearly to the user, with one of two results. It will either indicate a pass, where all tones have been responded to correctly, or a fail. The fail is either when a tone is failed to be responded to twice, or an inconclusive test is indicated twice (as well as a combination of the two). An inconclusive test indicates the user has pushed the button without a tone even being played, which from experience can happen!

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Finally, other functions should be explored to get the most out of this app. This includes the mobile kiosk location tracker, and connection to medical services and prevention techniques.

Images 6.16 -6.33: Hearing check instructions

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InFrequencies QR Code I have also made this QR code, for those individuals on the move. Scanning this code should take you straight to the InFrequencies website, where the app will be available to download.

www.InFrequencies.com.au

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The Mobile Kiosk Image 6.34: The Mobile Kiosk

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Recap Final Design Creating a prototype of the mobile kiosk was an important part of project, particularly when it came to pitching this idea for future prospects. To truly test and measure my service’s effectiveness, creating this tangible touch-point was essential. While I had used some card prototyping when creating the design of this kiosk, it now came time to realise this design as a fully functional prototype.

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Image 6.35: The final design


Chosen Material I chose to use a Dibond, an aluminium composite that allows for routing and folding. It is a lightweight, rigid composite panel and is typically used for large signage, within interior design and transport. I chose this material as it allowed me to create the folded components that I required. I also felt it replicated the “medically appropriate� look that I needed to portray as a health service. It also allowed for easy application of signage.

Image 6.36: Sheets of Dibond

Chosen Process The process I chose to use from my process list was CNC routing, which would create cuts and folds of my required parts. Apart from the fact that it suited my material choice, I chose this process, as I have never done any CNC jobs before. I wanted this project to help familiarise myself with this process, and imagine how it could be used in future applications.

Image 6.37: RMIT’sfour axis CNC machine

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Producing files for CNC For manufacture processes I had chosen, I had created my last few iterations of my model in Solidworks using the Sheet Metal functions. This involved making flat patterns, sketching fold lines and creating tabs. This was done to ensure my material would be cut and folded in an accurate way to recreate the final model that I was after. Once flat patterns were created, they were to be transferred into three-dimensional modelling programme Rhino. Once approved by the workshop staff, this would be the format in which CNC jobs would be cut from. While this seemed a fairly straightforward process, a lot of problems occurred along the way. Firstly, I had trouble folding a lot of my models using Solidworks. I found errors kept occurring unless I chose certain fold types, which is essentially not ideal for the CNC process. Fold lines in my model were created using a V-shaped routing tool, which essentially followed a central line, which is where the fold’s apex should be. The way I was doing it through solid works was folding it off from the sides, which could have been acceptable, but also could have produced errors after my material was routed. This meant I had to go back through my models and change each fold to a centreline fold, adjusting the model accordingly. When assessed for the first time, it appeared Image 6.38 - 6.40: Flatpack CAD drawings used to transfer to Rhino, required for the CNC process

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that the holes I had for screws or pop rivets had a radius of infinity. This meant that they were invalid, and that I would have to draw them in again. Another issue I had was bringing my files across to Rhino. For some reason my drawings, which were made in millimetres, would convert to inches in Rhino, creating havoc for the workshop staff. For this, I had to seek help from the computer tutor up in building eight, who quickly scaled my model to the correct size. Another problem was that the components of my model, such as the perimeter cut or the inside cuts, should have been closed loops. However, these were not, also creating problems for the routing process. Once again, I had to take my models back to the computer tutor in building eight, who joined all these lines together. Finally I was able to hand in my files, get them approved, and relax (about my CNC preparation) until my cutting date. Or so I thought. When it came to the day of cutting my components, one of my models had blown out of proportion. This blow also created problems with the headphone and iPad cut-outs. This created some tense moments, as I had to recreate it quickly to ensure I would be cut in time for construction. Luckily, and with some help form Kevin in workshop, we resolved the Rhino files and CNCed my parts in the one session.

Images 6.41 - 6.43: My material being CNC routed

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Assembly Process Once each of my parts had been CNCed, I was ready to begin construction. This involved folding each part into its correct shape using fold-lines routed in the CNC process. I was also able to use pre-drilled holes for screws and pop rivets that were also made using this CNC

process. With the help of James, we constructed each of the parts required to build the entire box, testing how each component fitted together with another. Below you see each part of the kiosk, complete with graphics, which I was talk about later on.

Image 6.44: All my components ready for assembly

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Base box The base of the box is the same part doubled, constructed and joined with screws I have chosen to join all separate parts with small screws in the interest of disassembly, and also to make possible future alterations if need be. This box has a protruding set of folds that the lid is intended to sit on, and these required pop rivets to hold them permanently.

Images 6.45 & 6.46: My main box components complete with added shelving

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Wings The wings of the kiosk are mirrored parts that are intended to hold the iPads. These protrude of the wheels, allowing the user to stand close to the kiosk and operated the application. The wings are composed of a number of triangular shapes folded back and forth over each other to create two separate cavities. The first is for the bluefoam to slide into, which will hold the iPads in place for the user to operate, but not take. The second is an open cavity for storage of user’s personal items, such as bags, and a place to story the headphones that accompany the iPads.

Images 6.47 & 6.48: Construction of the wings

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Lid The lid was a relatively simple structure, with its edges folded multiple times to create a surface for it to close. These multiple folds also gave locations for the hinges to connect to, as well as the lock and closing magnets.

Images 6.49 & 6.50: Construction of the box’s lid

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dB Traffic

70 dB Blender

120 dB

Alarm Clock

Football Match

140 dB

Fireworks

Jet Engines

110 dB

Rock Concert

3 Hours 2 Ho urs

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15 Mins

30 Mins

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www.InFrequencies.com.au

Did you know...

Free Hearing Check

www.InFrequencies.com.au

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120 dB

Traffic

Washing Machine

Whisper

30 dB

80 dB

20 dB FAINT SOUNDS

Alarm Clock

Normal Conversation

Library

40 dB

Rustling Leaves

SOFT SOUNDS

140 dB Fireworks

Jet Engines

Football Match

110 dB Rock Concert

60 dB

Vacuum Cleaner

70 dB

MODERATE SOUNDS

Moderate Rainfall

50 dB

LOUD SOUNDS

Snow Mobile

100 dB iPod Full Blast

InFrequencies

Got your results? Chances are you passed with flying colours! But there is also a chance our app has detected some reason for concern. Either way, don’t worry! You can use this app to find hearing services in your local area, or find ways you can help prevent hearing loss!

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90 d B

Gunshots

Blender

VERY LOUD SOUNDS

Lawn Mower

90 dB

UNCOMFORTABLE SOUNDS

A

Use our app to check your hearing! It’s easy! Put on the headphones provided and follow the prompts. We will provide you with an indication of how your hearing is tracking in no time!

Step 2. Check Your Hearing

are more likely than women to experience hearing loss

Total economic cost of hearing loss per annum in Australia $23bn Men

130 dB

Ambulance Sirens

PAINFUL & DANGEROUS SOUNDS

A1 28.7809 cm (W) 61.7943cm (H) x2

We’ve made signing up easy! Simply pop in your first name and an email address, and you’re on your way to having a hearing check!

Step 1. Sign Up

Only 20% of people with hearing loss actually use hearing aids

People who wear hearing loss. hearing aids are less affected by depression, have improved health, and experience a better sense of independence and control over their lives

Could you be at risk of hearing loss? We often take our hearing for granted, associating hearing loss with growing old. But have you ever experienced that ringing sensation after a music concert or listening to your MP3 player too loudly? The best way to avoid hearing loss is preventing it occurring in the first place. Check out how loud some sounds can be, and how long we can listen to particular sounds before they start to cause us irreversible damage.

A

Or you could download the app for use in your home!

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An expertly fitted digital hearing aid can significantly reduce the physical and emotional consequences of

The Australian Bureau of Statistics estimates 2.8 million Australians suffer from some degree of hearing impairment. Over the next 25 years it is estimated that this figure will grow to 4.9 million

One in six Australians is affected by hearing loss

Employment opportunities for deaf and hearing impaired people are significantly less than for hearing applicants

InFrequencies

You are standing at one of our mobile hearing check kiosks designed to help you connect with your local hearing services. Here you can check your hearing using the headphones and iPads provided, learn more about the greater issue of hearing, and discover how you may be at risk to future hearing loss. If you want to know more, scan our QR code (to your right) with your smartphone, or check out our website at www.InFrequencies.com.au.

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Ambulance Sirens

PAINFUL & DANGEROUS SOUNDS

Gunshots

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UNCOMFORTABLE SOUNDS

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Rustling Leaves

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Or you could download the app for use in your home! LOUD SOUNDS Lawn Mower

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Could you be at risk of hearing loss? We often take our hearing for granted, associating hearing loss with growing old. But have you ever experienced that ringing sensation after a music concert or listening to your MP3 player too loudly? The best way to avoid hearing loss is preventing it occurring in the first place. Check out how loud some sounds can be, and how long we can listen to particular sounds before they start to cause us irreversible damage.

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Employment opportunities for deaf and hearing impaired people are significantly less than for hearing applicants

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One in six Australians is affected by hearing loss

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Total economic cost of hearing loss per annum in Australia $23bn Men

Step 3. Take Action

Got your results? Chances are you passed with flying colours! But there is also a chance our app has detected some reason for concern. Either way, don’t worry! You can use this app to find hearing services in your local area, or find ways you can help prevent hearing loss!

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With an ageing population, hearing loss is projected to increase to 1 in every 4 Australians by An expertly fitted digital hearing aid can significantly reduce the physical and emotional consequences of

People who wear hearing loss. hearing aids are less affected by depression, have improved health, and experience a better sense of independence and control over their lives

Only 20% of people with hearing loss actually use hearing aids

Step 2. Check Your Hearing

Use our app to check your hearing! It’s easy! Put on the headphones provided and follow the prompts. We will provide you with an indication of how your hearing is tracking in no time!

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You are standing at one of our mobile hearing check kiosks designed to help you connect with your local hearing services. Here you can check your hearing using the headphones and iPads provided, learn more about the greater issue of hearing, and discover how you may be at risk to future hearing loss. If you want to know more, scan our QR code (to your right) with your smartphone, or check out our website at www.InFrequencies.com.au.

InFrequencies

Step 1. Sign Up

We’ve made signing up easy! Simply pop in your first name and an email address, and you’re on your way to having a hearing check!

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As well as design this kiosk for manufacture, I also had to conceive how it would display static information, as well as signage that could draw people to interact with the service. I decided to create graphics that would display some information about why this service was important, giving potential users information on how to interact with the application and provide QR codes for easy download at home. I decided

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Free Hearing Check

www.InFrequencies.com.au

Chapter 6 Prototyping

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Bike Graphics

to stick with an RMIT theme, as this was to be presented at the exhibition. However, graphics are easily interchangeable, and if I aligned this project with a hearing organization, I could easily redesign to suit their branding. Here is the overall graphics file complete with components and dimensions, sent to a professional laminate printer for fabrication. A

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Image 6.51: Graphics file complete with dimensions

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I had an issue occur with my first prints, which meant I needed to change some files slightly and get them reprinted. While this wasn’t a massive issue, it was one of those learning curves where I was able to discover more about the different industry standards and what was expected of me form both a design and a communication point of view.

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Images 6.52 - 6.54: Errors in the graphic print


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Full assembly After I had applied these graphics, and had tested that certain components fitted together, I was ready for the full assembly. This involved screwing together all components in a progressive way. The following images depict the progression that took place to construct the final prototype.

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Images 6.55 & 6.56: Ready to assemble


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Images 6.57 & 6.58: Assembly of the box with shelves to give added strength

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Images 6.57 & 6.58: Adding on the wings and inserting the iPads

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Filming the assembly Something I really wanted to do was set up a timelapse of the construction to communicate the process of building this prototype. I sought the help of a close family friend of mine, Chris Martin, to help me film this construction as well as take photos. Chris is an experienced film and photography director, and helped me to take some great shots of my kiosk as well as creating the video timelapse of the bike construction.

Chris Martin Chris studied Film and TV at Holmesglen institute. From 2009 to 2010 and then worked on various advertising projects for Apple Max Factor and Cover Girl, mainly as a camera operator/art director and editor. Chris has also worked in the UK applying graphics to billboards and cars for a company called imedia in 2011.

Image 6.59: Chris Martin

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“something I really wanted to do was set up a timelapse of the construction to communicate the process of building this prototype�


City As well as filming the construction, we also filmed taking the kiosk for a test run in Federation Square. The idea here was to test transporting the kiosk to the location, as well as how it felt in a public setting. To me, it met all expectations, and drew a great deal of attention

to us by the grater public. Unfortunately, the application wasn’t at a stage to conduct intensive user testing, and so this made any user testing at this point impossible.

Image 6.60: Testing the bike outside Federation Square

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Images 6.61 - 6.6: Testing the bike outside Federation Square

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Images 6.67 & 6.8: Testing the bike outside Federation Square

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Prototyping Conclusion With this prototyping phase, I saw my designs come to life. Although a somewhat difficult phase, I have learned a lot about the manufacturing processes I have used, as well as the material that have been involved. I could make many changes to the second round prototype, I feel this current prototype is acceptable as a user testing mechanism for my service. While there was a great deal of achievement throughout this prototyping phase, I have not had the opportunity as yet to trial user testing. Something I would like to do in the future is trial this complete prototype along side the app, and use this experience to further develop this concept.

“with this prototyping phase, I saw my designs come to life�

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Chapter References Image 6.1: TBC Image 6.2: The Application, Own Image Image 6.3 James Bertschik, supplied Images 6.4-6.6: Preliminary app work Images 6.7 - 6.9: James and I collaborating on the app design Images 6.10 -6.13: Hearing check instructions Images 6.16 -6.33: Hearing check instructions Image 6.34: The Mobile Kiosk Image 6.35: The final design Image 6.36: Sheets of Dibond Image 6.37: RMIT’s four axis CNC machine Image 6.38 - 6.40: Flatpack CAD drawings used to transfer to Rhino, required for the CNC process Images 6.41 - 6.43: My material being CNC routed Image 6.44: All my components ready for assembly Images 6.45 & 6.46: My main box components complete with added shelving Images 6.47 & 6.48: Construction of the wings Images 6.49 & 6.50: Construction of the box’s lid Image 6.51: Graphics file complete with dimensions Images 6.52 - 6.54: Errors in the graphic print Images 6.55 & 6.56: Ready to assemble Images 6.57 & 6.58: Assembly of the box with shelves to give added strength Images 6.57 & 6.58: Adding on the wings and inserting the iPads Image 6.59: Chris Martin Image 6.60: Testing the bike outside Federation Square Images 6.61 - 6.6: Testing the bike outside Federation Square Images 6.67 & 6.8: Testing the bike outside Federation Square

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InFrequencies InFrequencies is a student driven project that aims to increase the awareness and access to appropriate services around hearing loss prevention and correction. Through an iPad application coupled with a mobile kiosk, this project takes a product service system approach in order to capture an audience who may not consider themselves at risk to hearing loss, and connect them to appropriate services or information through ongoing engagement through the application.

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This project has been developed to respond to suggestions that only twenty per cent of people who could benefit from hearing aids actually use them. My project aims to address the other eighty per cent of those in need, through both connecting potential users to hearing aid services and by implementing prevention techniques to reduce the onset of hearing loss.


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Establishing Context I came into this social and sustainable space with a desire to design in a way that could facilitate a positive change. This may seem like a slightly naïve comment, however this notion of “making change” came about after I realised that much of my university experience had involved simply creating more “stuff”. It was while I was searching for a greater purpose within my studies, and indeed my own place within the greater spectrum that is industrial design, that I came across the notion of social innovation. During my investigations I stumbled across a book that captured my imagination and reinvigorated my passion for industrial design. Design for the Other 90%, a catalogue text published alongside an exhibition of the same name, contained an kaleidoscope of design innovations that addressed the basic challenges of survival and progress faced by people living in third world countries. To me it was design at its purist, totally user-centred and embedded with greater implications than simply the result of the design’s intended function. I explored the potential of similar design approaches applied in social innovation, such as designing a product-service-system, usercentred design and design for sustainability. I then turned my focus towards how these methodologies could be applied in a local setting by exploring significant quality of life issues experienced within discrete Indigenous communities here in Australia. Through my

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research I discovered the similarities between people living in these communities and those living in Third World countries, with comparisons made in areas such as health, housing conditions, education, and employment rates. My intention coming into this studio was to address a health issue within a particular Indigenous community through a design project. Throughout my research into social innovation, I had identified that the flow on affects of most of the projects relating to health had significant impacts to users’ lives in areas of education, employment and overall living standards. The health issue I decided to tackle was hearing loss, which affects a significant proportion of the Indigenous community, holding many back from education and employment opportunities. After spending months researching and networking within this Indigenous design space, I finally had to concede that this was potentially a project that was not achievable in the given time frame. Recognising this, I stepped back and decided to address the overall issue of hearing loss.


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Listening In My research into the greater issue of hearing loss began with a paper written by Brent Edwards, which proposed that only twenty per cent of people who potentially need hearing aids actually use them . This led me to my identified gap, and to ask “what bout the other eighty per cent?” I began with some reflection on how I had researched in the past, and how I intended to implement a range of service design techniques and research methodologies within my project. Within this section of the design phase, I had to identify three key aspects of my project; my agenda, my approach, and my artefact. My agenda was to tap into this market’s smaller sub-groups to help improve access and encourage use of hearing aid devices, as well as promote prevention techniques. I wanted my artefact to be something that I could potentially use to engage the community and complete user testing to evaluate potential measurable impact. What I still wasn’t sure about at this stage was how I would approach this as a design project. I also separated my research into three aspects; research about design, research for design, and research through design. Research about design included my initial explorations into how hearing works, the role of the audiologist and audiograms, and range of hearing aid products that are potentially available to users. My research for design

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involved the examination of which factors potentially inhibit hearing aid use, which people already would access hearing aids, what sound levels are appropriate for humans to hear and how long we can do so for before it is harmful to our hearing. Finally, my research through design involved constructing an electrical prototype of a sound-amplifying device in a bid to explore my potential of recreating a hearing aid like device. While my research investigations proved valuable, my direction at this stage wasn’t clear, as my options in this field seemed limitless. On the conclusion of my pre-major, I had gathered a great deal of knowledge and exposure to hearing loss issues, and I felt I was finally able to implement this into a design project.


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Framing the Project With an insight into the world of hearing loss, I needed to focus my attention onto delivering a clear and concise design project. With some initial review of my research, my skills and some personal goals, I began to propose and critique design projects that would encourage the use of hearing aids or encourage the prevention of hearing loss. The concept I decided on was a combination of a few ideas; a smart phone application that could conduct hearing checks and provide prevention techniques, a mobile pre-screening services that would act as a way to actively engage the greater public on issues of hearing, and further propositional ideas that could potentially be extensions of the initial app. The application is intended to be the first touch point of this service, and will be a way into the overall system. The app can be operated in the user’s home or in their own spare time, but lacks the assistance of an actual person and the reassurance that comes with that. The mobile engagement system will be mounted on a Christiania bicycle, and essentially acts as a mobile kiosk. Similar to a cargo bike, this will give appropriate transportation of this service, allowing for a pop-up style counter to engage the public in a particular setting. This bike system will enable facilitation of the app and its subsequent features. The advantage of the mobile testing facility is to engage users who wouldn’t typically

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go out of their way to have their hearing tested, or be connected to the services they may need. Finally, after engagement with either of or both the application and/or the bike system, users will be directed to appropriate services which may include hearing prevention techniques or professional audiological consultation.


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System. Service. Products. The system which I am entering involves a number of stakeholders potentially working towards the same cause, but not in a cohesive and constructive manner. The overall “hearing� system consists of audiologists, hearing aid manufacturers, and potential users. My understanding of this system from the outside was that there is potentially so much information that is directed at the user, causing many individuals to experience information overload and reject entering the system. My approach towards connecting people to this overall system is to deliver them with the right information rather than all the information, achieving this through a personalised application scenario. The service I aim to provide is essentially a pre-screening service for audiologists. Instead of relying on the user - who may wait until they notice significant hearing loss in their own hearing or that of a person close to them - to seek assistance, my service actively engages the community to raise awareness on hearing loss prevention and correction. Shifting the cost of this service from the user to an alternative source, such as audiologists or larger institutions, eliminates one of the major barriers to this system. Also, presenting this service in a public setting aims to encourage spontaneous use in a fun and engaging way, which intends to break down the stigma barrier that is often also associated with this system. With the mobile kiosk being operated by a trained attendant,

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usability issues can be voiced directly to a real person, while data collection may help audiologists discover more about the daily lives of their patients and tailor hearing aids to suit thee needs.


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The first touch-point is of course the application itself, and more importantly the hearing check that it can conduct. This hearing check, although not medically accurate, will provide an indication towards the user’s current hearing levels and determine which type of information that is best suited to them. In order to develop this app effectively, I out-sourced technical assistance of an IT professional, James Bertschik. Working collaboratively with James allowed for an amalgamation of design thinking and computational practicality. Together we explored the features of the app through paper prototyping, predicting user interactions and exploring graphical interpretations of information to present to the user. James and I also visited Vicdeaf together, pitching the project’s idea to their community outreach leader, and proposing how the project could help them to collect data and deliver services more efficiently, which was well received. The second touch-point is the mobile kiosk, which is essentially a physical way to deliver the service and engage people who may not otherwise interact with it. Mounted on a Christiania bicycle, I intend this kiosk to be transported around Melbourne to iconic locations such as the MCG or Federation Square in order to engage the general public. It may also be possible to lease this kiosk to larger institutions such as universities or businesses,

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offering this services in order to increase productivity and employee/student well being. I have created a design that allows a set of iPads to sit within the structure of the kiosk, coupled with quality headphones to allow user interaction. For those waiting to use the iPads, graphical information has been supplied to highlight why this service is important and how individuals may be at risk of hearing loss in their everyday lives. Finally, a relevant QR code is available for those who are on the move, and want to access this application later on.


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Future Social Enterprise While I have created the structure of the service and prototyped the touch-points to enable this service, I have not yet conducted intensive user testing. Partly due to the stages of the app’s development, and pending possible partnerships with hearing organisation, limited user testing can be analysed of the application and the mobile kiosk in unison. However, even without this user testing, I am receiving positive feedback that this service and its intended delivery is something that would work within the current system. With consideration to how this service is to be implemented, there is reasonable suggestion that InFrequencies could become a social enterprise. Social enterprises exist to apply commercial strategy to maximise positive improvements for humanity and environmental outcomes, rather than maximise profits for external shareholders. A part of this service’s intention is to minimise or eliminate the cost barrier to the hearing loss system. A way to do this is to redirect costs away from the user by supplying this service, which is significantly less of a financial commitment to the user, and subsidies its construction and operation through listing audiologists a small fee. This fee would also be significantly less of a burden on service providers, but still give them access to potential patients. Options other than this listing fee could include advertisement, direct alignment with an institution (who would subsidise) or potentially making the application purchasable.

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While this is the conclusion of my industrial design honours project, it is only really the beginning of my involvement with trying to spread hearing loss awareness through the project that is InFreqeuncies. With interest from a number of hearing organisations, I see this as a project I must follow up and try to implement with the backing of one of these organisations. I would also like to continue to work with James Bertschik in developing the application to extend its uniqueness and create more tools that can be used to raise awareness on hearing loss prevention and correction. In the interest of coming full circle, something I would love for this project to eventually do is to be implemented within Indigenous schools, hired by the department of education to be a fun and engaging touch-point for Indigenous children to monitor their hearing. This may be the service that collects the required data that is needed to drive change, as well as providing much needed information to these users, Eventually, this project may be able turn around the current hearing loss situation within Indigenous communities, as I had originally set out to do.


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