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Celia Vandersteen Final Major Project BA(Hons) Graphic Design Arts University Bournemouth 2


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An accessory connecting you to a community. 5


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Initially I gave myself a vague brief in order to direct my thought process. I decided what I wanted to achieve and include in my project but allowed the subject to remain open so I could explore. - Reduce societal pressures. - Develop and explore modern technologies - Change habitual behaviours. - Create a positive impact. - Engage audience. - Provide awareness and a source of therapy. - Improve a system.

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My starting point was researching mental health and the loss of community in society. 11


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COMMUNITY NOUN

1. A GROUP OF PEOPLE LIVING IN THE SAME PLACE OR HAVING A PARTICULAR CHARACTERISTIC IN COMMON. 2. THE CONDITION OF SHARING OR HAVING CERTAIN ATTITUDES AND INTERESTS IN COMMON.

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Inspired by my dissertation titled ‘How does the marketing of UK charities influence their success?’ I wanted to find a way to involve helping the community as part of everyones daily routine, and thus bettering the world in general. Comic Relief use a Red Nose as a symbolic item for the charity. Each one bought is a donation to the charity, whilst helping to raise awareness and get people talking. Applying this method to a society obsessed by social media and online interactions, I hope to bring life back to communities and increase general wellbeing.

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Social Media historian Allison Graham talks about how we are all connected yet alone. How the influence of technology is keeping us from appreciating what and who’s physically in-front of us for a digital version. Giving great insight into how we perceive connections . By looking at the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals I was able to decipher what is crucial for humanity to address. I want to create an outcome that can tackle these issues, whether via awareness, a positive attitude or direct solutions.

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Research into mental heath issues shows how the way someone interacts with their environment and people around them can be very telling of their situation. How can we as a society change to help each-other without even thinking? What do we do to make these problems occur so early on in life?

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A selection of my images used to produce a zine demonstrating how an invisible struggle could be portrayed physically. We take care of problems we can see - how would we take care of our mental health it we could actually see it?

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As a child grows up it is a parents priority to instil habits and behaviours that will shape them into a moral and capable person. But do these behaviours continue as we age? What takes priority? I can immediately see the problem being the increased digital time and individuals unable to afford to access to facilities. Whilst children can be taught to appreciate what they have, what they have is dependant on the systems in place for the communities facilities. How can we lead by example and create a sustainable future?

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I started with taking a walk around my neighbourhood. I learnt how my personal community is comprised from the people I know and not from the area I'm actually in. I have no connection to the place I live in, and it's evident that this is the case for others too since it appears worn and has no personal touches specific to the people of the neighbourhood. The first photo location is frequented by the homeless; there's remainders of old broken services like phone boxes and street lamps and the overall appearance is weathered. I am interested to see how a community shines when people have pride in where they are from.

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ARE YOU INVOLVED WITH YOUR LOCAL COMMUNITY? WHERE IS THE CORE OF YOUR COMMUNITY?

I don’t know / There isn’t one Corner shop High street Village hall The pub

HOW OFTEN DO YOU TALK TO PEOPLE FROM YOUR COMMUNITY YOU HAVE NOT MET BEFORE? DO YOU FEEL A SENSE OF COMMUNITY WHERE YOU LIVE? WHY? 26 26

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Everyday Multiple a week Once a week Once a month Rarely Never Other

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LIVING IN A STUDENT AREA WE ALL TALK ABOUT WHAT HAPPENS AROUND US. PEOPLE AVOID EACH OTHER. I WOULDN’T KNOW HOW TO GET INVOLVED. EVERYONE IS WILLING TO HELP EACH OTHER OUT. EVERYONE KNOWS EACH OTHER, ITS A SMALL PLACE. I DON’T KNOW HOW TO GET INVOLVED IN LOCAL THINGS. THERE ISN’T ANYTHING GOING ON. I’M TOO BUSY TO STAY IN THE LOOP. WHEN AN EVENT HAPPENS WE ALL SUPPORT EACH OTHER, OTHERWISE IT’S NON-EXISTENT. THERES A FEELING OF PRIDE IN THE COMMUNITY BUT NOTHING HAPPENS. IT’S HARD TO GET EVERYONE TOGETHER. Discover

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Relating real world problems with familar online issues. 28

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This feedback (comprised from my instagram followers - mostly millennials) prompted me to think about what we take for granted. How do we value superficial vs necessity. I compared this to responses from those struggling with mental health issues and homelessness and found that they prioritised human communication and engagement over materials and things for themselves. However basic necessities were an obvious second.

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I recorded my thoughts as I went about a normal event in my day. I thought this would be interesting to see how I respond to things around me in my community. I was surprised by the small things I and others around me do that we consider normal but isn’t a positive experience. Upon reflection I can see the small and larger fixes that could help make a difference in people’s lives. 32

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Observing how strangers interact with each-other. Are there opportunities to make daily experiences more pleasant?

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Observing how strangers interact with each-other. Are there opportunities to make daily experiences more pleasant? How does colour define a communication - colour psychology shows yellows, pinks and bright tones to be 'happy' but yet a bright red immediately implies stop - a negative connotation. How can we safely infer a meaning within design? Discover

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A news story about a social media addiction rehab facility in America gave great insight into the depths young people face with an increasing digital world. The rehabilitation programme lasts 30 days, with no internet or phones and contains therapy and reconnecting with the outdoors. However it can cost over $50,000. Whilst the rehab is a promising step for young adults who feel like they have no other choice, it is an extortionate amount of money for reconnecting with basic human skills. I have learnt from Caitlyn and David though that what drove them to get so addicted to their online life was the need to fit in, and so there is a need to make it normal again to be present in daily life.

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"WITH ALL MY POSTS I WOULD CREATE THIS FALSE CHARACTER OF WHO I WAS, WHAT I THOUGHT WAS THE PERFECT VERSION OF MYSELF". David Mayer, 17 Got lost online for up to 4 hours a day. Became withdrawn and stopped talking to his parents.

"I HAD NOTHING ELSE TO DO EXCEPT FOR JUST CURL UP AND BE ON SOCIAL MEDIA" Caitlyn Walker, 17

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From my findings so far I have discovered that everyone wants to make a difference and feel involved, so instead of basing my project on who will use it, I want to base it on who it will help. Thus meaning anyone can use it, but it will aid the following;

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Millennials - those who are consumed by technology and need more face-to-face interactions. People in need of help in day-to-day life. People who want to help make change. Local communities. Charities. * User

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Provide a service that combats loneliness and isolation for both people struggling both mentally and situationally. The service should be accessible to anyone and offer opportunities for a community to be enhanced due to encouraging individuals to interact. The service is specific to the local community but can be advanced to larger area’s. It should involve multiple ways to combat issues. For example, calming aspects whilst also encouraging interactions and sustainable living. A marketing campaign and brand will accompany the service.

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UNITY COMPASSION SOLIDARITY COMMUNITY

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This idea encourages local communities to support each other through a partnership programme. The scheme allows individuals to actively pair up with someone less fortunate, or in need of help. The degree of which is selected by the person upon entering the scheme, whether it’s via a helpful deed or continual support. Scanning the QR code in participating places allows you to share a reward with your partner. The scheme aims to support community relationships and improvement, via local businesses and partnerships. This idea could be expanded globally, allowing anyone around the world to partner up, helping those in small or large ways.

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This idea revolves around a community band. Alike pins worn in support of charities, this band uses technology to find like minded individuals and connect over similar interests. It uses online patterns in reality to redirect personal relationships and bring joy back to creating new dynamics within the community. The accessory connects with online data to find individuals in proximity to each other with the same interests to encourage conversation. Further attention to this idea would ensure the safety of the person and their information.

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A way-finding system to reignite the community area. Unique designs located around the town, tailored to those in need - e.g. the homeless - to find area’s that support their needs. Accompanied with the improvement to village halls and community spaces that have been lost over time. The idea repurposes what is already available and provides a core to the community that will not only gentrify but also help create awareness and solutions of local issues, lead by the people of the community. Each town is different, so whilst the basic system is applicable to everywhere, the idea may need to focus on an exemplar area, or be a template.

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I asked students to mark on a map of Bournemouth where they consider the core of the community is (yellow) and where they avoid going (pink). I gave each person a map so they could individually record without being swayed by others. Most people struggled to narrow down a point and said they didn't think there was a core area for bournemouth, whilst others said it was where they frequently visited. Whereas it was almost immediate for people to place where they avoid - this was due to fear of safety and run-down area's. 56

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Understanding what makes people feel comfortable in their own environment and around them was important for me to see how I could use these to influence my outcome. I looked at sensory language, plant influence and ASMR.

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Hands are the source of our greetings and practicality, so how can we comfort them?

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I made my own sensory aids to help me understand the tactile relief people find during stressful moments. The first is filled with flour, making it malleable and soft. the second filled with beads - creating pops and resistance. Whilst the later was noisy the beads could also be used as a form of fiddling and stress relief when connected with string.

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What divides a community? What separates us? What separates our environment?

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Upon a visit to Shelter I spoke with a woman, who wanted to remain anonymous, who had used the organisation to help find housing when she was struggling to make ends meet. The conversation gave me a chance to comprehend the situation she was in, when she had no other opportunity but to turn to the charity to find a home. Having had a difficult time, she was isolated from people around her and didn’t know where to turn. Despite Shelter helping her find her home, she said she still felt isolated, as she was in a new community where she knew no one and was unfamiliar with the area. When I asked what she valued most during that time it wasn’t a roof over her head, but for someone who understood. Her mind was occupied with what she needed - a place to live - but what she wanted was moments to enjoy, that were often hard to come by. To find someone who had a similar experience or wanted to listen was hard. 64

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I explained my idea of a band that notified you when personally selected common interests match with people close by, to which she gave me some really valuable insight. It gave me confidence in my idea as this was something she said she would have really valued during her housing crisis, but also would still use today. She also helped me to add more depth to the app by suggesting there be a way to be notified when a nearby charity could help you with an issue and vice versa.


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M I D W A Y F E E D B A C K

Feedback midway through my project allowed me to decide how I was going to continue my approach. The advice given was to refine my second concept so it’s approachable to my target audience millennials. The concept itself was an interest to everyone and was liked that it was a new take on merging digital and literal life. I had good feedback regarding using sensory triggers within my design, despite it being an increasing trend online, it wasn’t considered a problem as the effects aren’t temporarily trending and will be still viable in the future. From this feedback I will develop how the band can be used and sharpen its intention.

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I visited several charity shops in order to understand what drives people to volunteer their time and give back to the community. My visit to ‘Mind’ charity shop and my conversation with the sales assistant and customers gave me clear insight about social inclusion and charitable efforts.

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Volunteered originally as a mandatory requirement for her Duke of Edinburgh Award during secondary school but has continued to volunteer during her free time years later.

A mum of two young children.

Likes to feel as though she is helping contribute to how the charity works effectively.

Doesn’t know how she’s making a difference other than giving money.

Is an opportunity for her to see directly how she is helping people suffering with mental health problems. Volunteers drop clothing and don’t stay to find out more information. Is often very quiet, not a lot of people come in.

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Likes to buy from charity shops as its cheaper, helps other people and she gets something in return.

Conversation regarding mental health is limited, don’t want to reveal too much information as it’s a sensitive subject. Considers opening up about that mindset is a burden on others.


Donator Young man with 2 bags of books and clothes. No longer wanted his stuff. Didn’t feel it was worthy to sell so brought it to the charity shop. Wanted to contribute as he knew someone who had used ‘Mind’ and didn’t know how else to quickly help. Follows their instagram but finds the content doesn’t connect to him as he considers it more for ‘intense stories’.

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H A N D P R I N T Using paints to experiment with handmade. Our hands greet, make, emote and more. How are our handprints individual to us and how can they work together?

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SELF SERVICE

Loss of interaction within standard tasks. Shops switching out till operators for self service computer stations. Humanity being replaced with digital beings. Would reversing it feel like we were going back in time or would it feel like a new concept again? 72

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I LISTEN TO THEIR PERSPECTIVE I BE MYSELF AND TRY TO RELATE I START WITH A WARM GREETING I FIND A SHARED INTEREST 74

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I SMILE AND HOPE FOR THE BEST

How do you see eye to eye with a stranger? What does an interaction take to feel comfortable? These are some quotes from members of the public who I chose at random - some were more inclined to be approached than others. I realise that when people are out in public they usually have a purpose and aren't prepared to spend their time with people they do not know. But whether or not they wanted to talk to a stranger they were all prepared to be nice and show interest, as someone said "you never know what kind of person you'll bump into". Despite the kind answers, initial reactions had a tone of avoidance as they were daunted by the unknown. Define

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Merging social media with reality. Would we give out as many compliments as we do likes? Would we feel confident to say what we meant if we weren't behind a screen? Would we want to give out a like if we could?

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OI! EXCUSE ME?

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Typographic responses to homeless people's concerns within society. Define

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I researched many technologies as I wanted to see how I could incorporate advancing tech into real world issues. Using tech to encourage faceto-face interactions interested me as it would be something that millennials would consider in the era of devices. BLE (Bluetooth Low Energy) Beacons are starting to be used in way-finding and sales to notify people. I am inspired to use this system to create interactions between people, rather than a subject and a person However using a smart phone isn’t accessible to everyone so by using BLE beacons I want it to be responsive to a device anyone can have.

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Many performers now use PixMob’s renowned technology to “amplify events & involve the crowd in the show”. Throughout each show is a set of infra-red floodlights used to send out commands to wristbands worn by the audience. Each wristband has an infrared receiver to accept those commands. Infra-red light is invisible to the human eye, these floodlights could ‘light up’ the whole stadium without anyone being the wiser. After the concert the wristbands stopped synchronising, and simply became touch activated.

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Whilst the concept is solely for visuals this could applied to real issues. If so, I would be selective with where it was used as the infrared waves could be damaging.


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P O S T C O D E The one thing that completely unites a local community is a post code. It's the one thing everyone, or mostly everyone, has. Everyone has an address within the community. Everyone has a place where they belong. Except the homeless. Who are still a part of our society and yet they still sleep on the streets. Members of our community are on their own in the cold. How could we literally and figuratively give them a post code?

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From recreating the patterns from the envelope I could see a way-finding system forming. The patterns reminded me, respectively, of waves and trees. Could using imagery associated with genuine interaction, instead of online premade data, inform how people communicate now?


CORNER SHOP

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There is too much time spent behind a screen where people believe they have a social life and are able to give unnecessary opinions. There are also too many people living in unfortunate circumstances that don't allow them to live their best life. Basically, humanity hurts. But we don't know how to help each-other. We don't know how to connect.

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A tool to bond individuals within a community and create relationships that may never have had the opportunity to thrive and situations that encourage each-other to feel alive and supported.

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Having decided I would produce a band to encourage community spirit and combat mental health problems I developed my idea further. A smart band, that informs of the user of anyone nearby who has a similar interest, or a community event and invites conversation and inclusion.

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A sensory band that provides a calming effect when used by people suffering with mental health issues like anxiety or depression. Its 3D malleable material allows for a tactile experience.

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A band which evolves over time. Add beads relating to interests and charities the user is involved with. Conversation amongst the community will be driven by matching or earning beads.

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I decided to combine ideas 2.1 and 2.3 - the smart band with the mutual interest. It allows for an accessible way for users to transition from digital platforms back to human contact whilst also helping people around them. I will however limit the 'smart' feature as I don’t want to invite more screens into our lives - instead use bluetooth to transfer information, alongside an app. The design should also still have a tactile nature to it.

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SENSE VERB

1. TO DETECT. 2. BE AWARE OF, WITHOUT BEING ABLE TO DEFINE EXACTLY HOW ONE KNOWS. NOUN

1. A FEELING THAT SOMETHING IS THE CASE. 2. A SANE AND REALISTIC ATTITUDE TO SITUATIONS AND PROBLEMS. Develop

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S S 1. Wear band as accessory. Register band online or via app.

2. Go about your everyday activities.

3. Receive a notification when you're near another bluetooth beacon band who matches interests with you.

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4. Make connection with other person.

5. Have a face-to-face interaction that you may never have had the opportunity to have before.

6. Leave with a positive interaction that could help you, someone else, the community or even humanity.

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A BRAND TO HELP YOU, HELP OTHERS, HELP HUMANITY.

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1 IN 4 PEOPLE SUFFER WITH MENTAL HEALTH ISSUES EACH YEAR. 5 HOURS 41 MINUTES ARE SPENT ONLINE A DAY IN THE UK. Develop

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P R O T O T Y P E Using modelling clay and hot glue I experimented with the shape and design of the band. The larger surface area made the logo stronger but was too big for a subtle band.

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I decided to add an app alongside the band instead of it being just a smart device, since I didn’t want the interaction to become a digital one when people ‘connect’. The band is the focus, the app intended for just with the band. The app allows for users to maximise opportunity and understand their

community based on their experiences. Navigating the app needed to be simple to ensure anyone can use it. Information isn’t needed, but an extra. An online version of the app is available for those who haven’t got access to iOS or android.

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U S E R T E S T I The user testing for my outcome was limited as I wasn’t able to physically make the final output for the band. But, I was able to see how people would navigate the app and test for any issues using Adobe XD, as well as see how people liked the ergonomics of the band. Before I explained the concept I left my users to try to figure it out without me. They were easily able to despite the prototype band.

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The feedback; - Simpler navigation. - Not so much on the screen. - Less background. - Point system makes it less personal, maybe more appropriate for children. + No personal information attached made users feel safe. + Tactile beads on band made for a comfortable experience. + Subtle design felt normal to wear out. + Like how theres no pressure to interact with people you are notified about. But it makes you want to connect with others as it’s so easy to find someone with common interests.

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Based on user feedback I; Refined the design of the band so it’s still comfortable to wear and stylish. Removed the point system since it wasn’t needed to encourage users - they wanted to interact with people because they now could and felt safe to do so. Simplified the design of the app.


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The final logo is an abstract visual of the word ‘sense’, inspired by the visuals of the stamp. It encompasses the values of the concept: - all connecting - to make the most of your time (hourglass shape) - map of an idea. - needs to be unravel to be understood. - hidden visibility. 112

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I tested many colours to see what suited best and decided on mellow yellow, navy and white as I felt it conveys a positive, bright tone. However, I think the design works with lots of different colours this could be used to define different area's the brand stands for, e.g. charity, friendship, community, etc.

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My final design is a sleek, subtle and minimalist disc centred on a thin strap. The logo portion will add an artistic pop of colour and be embossed for a tactile finish. I avoided using beads ultimately as I didn't feel like they contributed enough to the band both in aesthetic and stress relief. From here I focussed on the ignition of connection providing for improved mental health.

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T R O U B L E S H O O T I N G

The app design went through several phases of content, design and user testing before the final outcome. Issues regarding individuals safety, connection and screen usage were all factored for and solved. I also chose for the

Safety

Connection

An individuals profile can only been seen by others if confirmed by the user. This profile includes a picture, name, age and interest. No other information.

Bands are connected via bluetooth beacons so with a large amount of bands in an area, e.g. a city, the user could be overwhelmed with alerts. A connection radius can be altered via the app, however the app will also determine your location and adjust settings dependant on the area.

The brands significant colour was also born here. Yellow not only because of the bright, positive connotation but it is also an easier colour to read text off of for dyslexic users.

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Screen Usage The band acts as receiver and for extra information the user must go to the app. To avoid the user spending more time on the app to establish the reason for a connection a band vibration mode has been used to notify users as well. Screen time has been minimised due to only necessary information being uploaded, users will have to interact face-to-face.

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File Drawings for the final design of the band. I produced 2 versions, each 20 and 30mm wide.

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Red - Engrave Black - Cut

Cut from white acrylic.

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Visual experimentation for packaging and advertising, using core colours, fonts, tones and natural/sustainable materials.

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E S N E S HELLO HELLO HELLO HELLO HELLO HELLO HELLO HELLO HELLO HELLO HELLO HELLO HELLO HELLO HELLO HELLO HELLO HELLO HELLO HELLO HELLO HELLO HELLO HELLO HELLO HELLO HELLO

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AN ACCESSORY FOR SOCIETY

HELLO HELLO HELLO HELLO HELLO HELLO HELLO HELLO HELLO HELLO HELLO HELLO HELLO HELLO HELLO HELLO HELLO HELLO HELLO HELLO HELLO HELLO HELLO HELLO HELLO HELLO HELLO

HELLO HELLO HELLO HELLO HELLO HELLO HELLO HELLO HELLO HELLO HELLO HELLO HELLO HELLO HELLO HELLO HELLO HELLO HELLO HELLO HELLO HELLO HELLO HELLO HELLO HELLO HELLO

HELLO HELLO HELLO HELLO HELLO HELLO HELLO HELLO HELLO HELLO HELLO HELLO HELLO HELLO HELLO HELLO HELLO HELLO WILL THEY NOTICE ME? HELLO HELLO HELLO HELLO HELLO HELLO HELLO HELLO HELLO HELLO HELLO HELLO HELLO HELLO HELLO HELLO HELLO HELLO HELLO HELLO HELLO HELLO HELLO HELLO HELLO HELLO HELLO HELLO HELLO HELLO HELLO HELLO HELLO HELLO HELLO HELLO HELLO HELLO HELLO HELLO HELLO HELLO HELLO HELLO HELLO HELLO HELLO HELLO HELLO HELLO HELLO HELLO HELLO HELLO HELLO HELLO HELLO HELLO HELLO HELLO

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AN ACCESSORY CONNECTING YOU TO A COMMUNITY.

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2m ago

Match Sam H is fundraising for mind.org too.

23m ago

New Resident Welcome Linda B to the community. Say hello.

Yesterday, 12:25

Shelter Harry R is sleeping rough. Help him find a home.

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Whether you’re walking past someone, entering a building or just stopped to look at sign; if you have a common interest via SENSE you’ll be notified. Select a vibration via your bluetooth band or a notification from the app to reveal your link. Use your match to create a friendlier, safer and interactive community. With your purchase, you buy a band for someone who needs it. Charitable accounts allow for those in need to receive notifications from individuals and businesses willing to donate to them. Use the digital to avoid digital, use digital to get back to face-to-face communication. Deliver

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Register as a business or individual. Certain registered individuals can receive charitable benefits, e.g. the homeless can receive free coffee from certain cafe's. Those without access to iOS or android can register online.

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A community notice board is available to all individuals. General local information is posted, as well as tailored content from other bands you have matched with. Profile information is limited to maintain user's safety.

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Your contacts comprise with your accepted matches. No personal information like phone number or email is given away - all contact is safely through the app. Your own band must be registered via the app or online to work. Settings can adjust who your band matches with, how you are notified and further settings.

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Personal adverts can be posted online, business ad's must be approved by the community office. Settings allow the user to adjust how they use the app and band or register new communities/bands.

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Overall I am really proud of this project. I am pleased that I was able to find the issue of lack of community and increased mental health issues and create an outcome that not only helps to positively solve these but also provide sustainable behavioural changes by reigniting face-to-face conversations and away from online experiences. I think using by using an bluetooth accessory to suggest connections it creates a modern approach that is exciting for the user to get involved with, but is simple enough to be used by anyone and not have a digital core. I also really enjoyed the process of deciding the aesthetic for the concept and SENSE as a brand, using three strong, happy colours to summarise the positive tone, with more brighter colours being applied to the poster campaign to attract more attention. To conclude, my research into sensory aids and societal responses has helped to produce a product that has strong, applicable concept and brand.

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When creating this product and brand it was easy to look at the future potential as the concept core community - is evolving all the time and with different external factors the way people interact changes. Thus, why I chose to focus on building contact in physical forms. The final outcome was made acrylic and fine wood thread as I was unable to physically make a working final version due to the advancing technology. The product sold to users would be sustainable and affordable so it was viable to be purchased on a "buy one, give one" basis and promote a healthy future. I can also see this product working well as a collaborative partnership with a brand like Fit-Bit. FitBit have their own smart devices but revolve around improving physical health. Their driving force is to be active, their digital element secondary to this, a similar ideal to SENSE. This partnership would help to build awareness and revenue to SENSE and due to a similar target market. A partnership for physical health and mental/social health. My ideal would be for the brand to expand and have bands that can be personalised for the user, whether this be via colour or maybe even having smart keyrings, buckles etc.

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Bbc.co.uk/news/health-41125009 Bbc.co.uk/news/magazine-22012957 Blog.beaconstac.com/2018/08/ble-made-simple-acomplete-guide-to-ble-bluetooth-beacons/ Bournemouth.co.uk Bournemouth Daily Echo Newspaper Comicrelief.com Community: The Structure of Belonging, by Peter Block littlevillagefilms.com/lack-of-community-in-modernsociety/ Mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/mental-illness/ symptoms-causes/syc-20374968 Mind.org.uk Mockupworld.co Pexels.com (Images on pages 26/27, 40/41 & 60/61) Pixmob.com Shelter.org.uk Sustainabledevelopment.un.org/?menu=1300 The Daily Mail Newspaper The Guardian Newspaper The Times Newspaper Typeform.com Wehavekids.com/parenting/What-Influences-ChildDevelopment Youtube.com

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