June 12 Work Session Summary

June 12, 2018


About This Project

The act of looking after oneself has been dubbed as self-care and it plays an incredibly important role in maintaining physical, mental, and emotional health. Self care can range from going to the spa to unwind after a long day or simply eating dinner. In other words, self-care is care provided to you by you.

However, those living with depression often find self-care difficult and even impossible to attain. Research believes that since depression interferes with the frontal lobes--the areas responsible for executive reasoning--those struggling with the disease will also struggle with even the most basic tasks of self-care. Depression also drains their energy and willpower, often leaving them too exhausted to perform the basic necessities such as eating or bathing.

Project Goals

Self care is vital to physical and mental health but people who are struggling with self care and depression may not always reach out to others for help. As such, the goals for this project are:

  1. An app that will encourage users to start a regime of self-care and continue this practice as a means of  managing depression

  2. Enable users to take control of their mental as well as physical health

  3. A safe space for people to talk about their problems, share tips and tricks, and understand that they are not alone in dealing with depression

  4. Target audience members who are struggling with depression and are looking into self-care as a way of managing it

Time Scope

  • Week 1: Research

    • Gather and compile data on what is necessary for self-care

    • Understand the audience and their struggles

    • User interviews and synthesis user research

  • Week 2: Ideate

    • Start to gather ideas on paper

    • Prototype thinking if stuck

    • Create wireframes for prototyping if possible

    • Conduct some user testing sessions if possible and refine

  • Week 3: Prototype

    • Build a more robust and high-fidelity prototype

    • User test and refine

  • Week 4: Refinement

    • After prototyping, refine the work that is done

    • Consider motion animation or what is needed to really tell the story

    • Prepare final deliverables

The Impact of My Inquiry

June 18, 2018

As a child, I could not find myself reflected in any of the Saturday morning cartoons I watched religiously or on the silver screen. Even then, I should still count myself lucky since the only portray of Asian women during that time were either as the fierce dragon lady dominatrix or various versions of the submissive Geisha girls.

In last week's post, I briefly described how the portrayal of Tony Stark's panic attack gave hope to a ten year old little boy suffering from a severe anxiety disorder. Iron Man 3 showed him that he could be a hero and that even heroes have bad days. What kind of message would have the dragon lady or the geisha girl, which are both sexually fetishized portrayal of Asian women, told a ten year old girl who was desperately searching for a hero the same way the little boy was looking for his?

Media representation and inclusivity matters--even more now than ever as we enter an age where people can be connected to each other instantly across the globe. We are no longer creating or designing things for an audience that fits a certain description to a T but rather people from all walks of life. Diverse media representation means inclusivity which means pulling up an extra chair so that we may all sit at the table. 

Professional Exploration Post 1

June 14, 2018

Topic: Inclusive design and diverse media representation

Personal Statement:

The other day while scrolling on Tumblr, I stumbled upon a post in which the user wrote,

"I was watching Iron Man 3 with my 10 year old brother who has a severe anxiety disorder, and when Tony was having his anxiety attack my brother looks at me and goes 'I’m just like Iron Man!' and I’ve never seen him so happy."

These words stuck with me, tumbling within my brain like laundry on the wash cycle. Diverse representation in media matters--they have had a longer reach than we as a society can truly appreciate. They tell ten year old little boys struggling with a very present but often invisible disorder that even superheroes struggle with mental illnesses. They tell little girls who grow up in a world still ruled by patriarchy of their limitless potential as strong women. They tell us that it is okay to love and we deserved to be loved irregardless of our physical appearances, sexual orientation, and gender identity.

But the path to true diverse representation is not a linear one; it is jagged with rises and falls. For every Black Panther we praise, there is Motoko Kusanagi played by a Scarlett Johansson. For every commitment to diversity big companies make, there is a new article with the headline that "diversity in tech has only gotten worse." For every Fenty Beauty foundation release, there is another Tarte Shape Tape foundation controversy. Even though we have recognized the importance of diversity and we are still struggling with how to truly be inclusive of all people.


  • Design is Storytelling by Ellen Lupton 
  • Universal UX Design: Building Multicultural User Experience by Alberto Ferreira
  • Don't Make Me Think, Revisited: A Common Sense Approach to Web Usability (3rd Edition) (Voices That Matter) by Steve Krug

Article List

Thinkers to Follow

  • Don Norman
  • Anna Akana
  • Michael Nesmith
  • Angry Asian Man