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A critical and speculative concept for a mirrored smartwatch based on research regarding the relationship between technology use and depression in young adults.

Context —

Ten week design research course taught by Michael Smith.

Team —

Sayena Majlesein & Timothy Kwan

Research —

  • How does technology affect mental health in young adults?

  • What methods do young adults use to fight their depression?


Sayena considers the themes emerging from the research.Sayena considers the themes emerging from the research.

Sayena considers the themes emerging from the research.

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Journey map of the cycle of depression. Click to enlarge.Journey map of the cycle of depression. Click to enlarge.

Journey map of the cycle of depression. Click to enlarge.

Insights —

  • Everyone’s experience is different.

  • Need self-awareness before change can occur.

  • Improving self-worth is an effective treatment.

  • Technology has a negative impact on mental health.

Goals —

  • Habituate self-reflection.

  • Boost self-worth.

  • Use the required technology without intrusion.

Design —


Idea sketches for making the wizard-of-oz prototype.Idea sketches for making the wizard-of-oz prototype.

Idea sketches for making the wizard-of-oz prototype.


Final paper prototype demonstrating how foam and mirror prototype will work.Final paper prototype demonstrating how foam and mirror prototype will work.

Final paper prototype demonstrating how foam and mirror prototype will work.


The final high-fidelity wizard-of-oz prototype. A foam casing and plastic two-way mirror on top of an Apple Watch.The final high-fidelity wizard-of-oz prototype. A foam casing and plastic two-way mirror on top of an Apple Watch.

The final high-fidelity wizard-of-oz prototype. A foam casing and plastic two-way mirror on top of an Apple Watch.

 


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Reflections is —

— a Theoretical Product

The watch would use biometric sensors and machine learning to understand your emotions. It would prompt moments of self-reflection by displaying contextually relevant quotes and encouragements underneath the mirror.

— a Critical Design

The watch would contain multiple sensors that allow its affective computing capabilities to function. All of this information would need to stay private and be calculated on-device. Depression is intimate. Such devices should never use your data for any other purpose.

— a Research Response

We found the act of viewing yourself in a mirror to naturally cause self-reflection. This action, coupled with encouraging messages, links positive thinking to your self-image. Over time, this builds up self-worth and thereby combats depression.