Digital Therapist

Overview

We initially went after designing a system for more affordable internet access. We later discovered there was a deeper need on their hierarchy (as Maslow’s theory goes).

The Design

Utilizing technology’s unique abilities, we narrowed in on a near-future software program that’s reminiscent of ELIZA, developed by Joseph Weizenbaum at MIT in the 60’s. The concept utilizes the Rogerian Therapy technique to help users become consciously aware of their emotions in order to improve mental health. For those who can’t afford a traditional therapist, our team wanted to explore how technology might fulfill that need.

The Deliverable

To explore our concept of how technology might play a role in the life of somebody having
a tough day, we created a short film, below:

my storyboard for the film pitched to the team before filming

 

Presentation Slides:

The Process

To better understand those who might be struggling and undesigned for, we went to Wal-Mart and listened empathetically to whomever was receptive to our student inquiry. Nobody was willing to open up. Afterwards, we spoke to a community service leader, and was told this demographic really needed access to information technology. Subsequently, we spoke with the administrator of local subsidized housing who said the vast majority of the clientele have smartphones, so access wasn’t as much of an issue as we had initially thought.

Our next interview with the manager of a local subsidized housing neighborhood said tenants often come into the office “just to find somebody to talk with.” Leading us to focus on the emotional and mental health aspects of this demographic. We found a local psychotherapist to speak with who had over 30 years of experience in working with low income patients, and tested our design’s concept with him.

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Contribution

  • Research
  • Ideation
  • Video Direction & Editing
  • Presenting

Methods

  • Field Research
  • Subject Matter Expert Interviews
  • Concept Sketching
  • Prototyping