Interaction Designer

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In the context of a university Design Research and Methods class, we learned co-creation and other design methodologies.

Our subject revolved around environmental health and measuring impacts on human behavior. This multidisciplinary team designed cultural probe kits to learn more about the media consumption habits and philosophies of 20-30 year old Vancouverites.


Cultural Probe, Co-creation Workshop


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Cultural probes & Co-creation workshops are qualitative research tools—open ended activities designed to uncover the intricacies of the participants experience.

Our goal with these exercises was to start conversations and unearth novel insights.

We wanted to first prime participants to the topic by discussing their perceptions about their media consumption in daily routines, then build awareness around past intake of media, and finally discover areas where participants want to shift their media intake.



Step 1 - Finding the right activities


Research questions

  1. How, why, when and at what frequency do participants access information? Do they trust the information that they’re accessing?

  2. Are participants aware of their media diet? Do they want it to change?

  3. What is a model media diet?

We framed the activities around producing generative answers to these questions.


Step 2 - Designing the probe and workshop

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This process meant understanding participants and designing accessible & contextual activities. This would increase likelihood of thoughtful completion.

As the sensitizing probe, we chose to create a booklet for participants attach to their phones to log their media engagement, with a sticker on the front of their phone to remind them to fill it out.

Because it was so ready at hand, we found that all participants completed the logs despite it being a spread out over a whole day activity.


Step 3 — Facilitating


Most important barrier to overcome was switching from designer to facilitator—encouraging generative ideas in others (that I couldn’t anticipate in advance) rather than trying to solve the problem myself.


Step 4 - Distilling the Insights


Some of the key insights

— There are deep habits when it comes to consuming media: often returning to same platforms every time they pick up their phones

— Trust is not necessarily a factor in choice of media & people still spend time on platforms they don’t necessarily trust

— Participants often consumed fast media to relax, or to avoid doing nothing. This emotional perception of fast media as relaxing is something we wanted to pursue further in the future.